mysteries solved!

Freaky Old Dolls: A Great Way to Terrify Neighbor-Children

Photo: OCSD/

A glassy-eyed porcelain doll dressed up in miniature Victorian garb is pretty much as terrifying as it gets. But even MORE terrifying: A glassy-eyed porcelain doll that resembles your 10-year-old child and is left anonymously on your front porch. Horror-movie plot? No. Just some day-to-day scary life-stuff for real residents of a real California town.

Eleven families received these strange little offerings, but nobody knew what they meant.

Here are the theories we first formulated when we heard this story, in descending order by degree of terror:

Chilling: A serial killer was leaving clues indicating his intended victims. 

Still Pretty Chilling: Someone went on a drunk Etsy-buying spree and was too ashamed to head to the local Goodwill.

Chill: Families didn’t realize there was an episode of True Detective and/or an offbeat hidden-camera show filming.

Chillest: A free month’s subscription to the Thing That Will Haunt Your Dreams of the Month Club.

None of these theories were correct. The Orange County police department cracked the case this morning, and because life is not an episode of CSI, the hypothetical Porcelain Doll Killer turned out to to be just a neighborhood woman making misguided overtures of friendship. (“She intended it as a kind gesture,” according to a police press release.)

Next time she should consider leaving the children Edible Arrangements — 100 percent more delicious and 200 percent less terrifying.

Dolls: A Great Way to Terrify Neighbor-Children