When it comes to Russian dolls, those “matryoshka” nesting dolls get all of the publicity because they’re decorative and harmless (although the last one may be a choking hazard). They often look like older ladies (the name "matryoshka" means "little matron") but the real-life little matrons living in one Russian town are terrified and suffering from physical ailments after their neighborhoods were overrun overnight by large, scary, needle-marked voodoo dolls. Is this payback for trolling us on Facebook?
“Creepy dolls are nailed to the pillars, fences and bus stops in Zavetny on the outskirts of Armavir in Krasnodar region.”
As you can tell by one witness’s account, these voodoo “mannequins” aren’t your normal small cloth dolls pierced with pins and bearing the facial image (or a reasonable facsimile) of the person who the owner hopes will feel the pain. (Interesting side note: while voodoo dolls are most often linked to Haiti or New Orleans, their origin actually dates back to medieval England when folk magic practitioners known as the “cunning folk” are believed to have come up with the idea of inflicting pain via pins stuck in dolls made with cloth or hair or some other possession of the victim). The hole-filled dolls found in Zavetny, a town near Krasnodar in far southwestern Russia, were the size of store mannequins and dressed in girl’s clothes or school uniforms. (Plenty of photos here.)
It gets worse.
“The little girl mannequins are pierced with needles and tied with black threads.”
Police report that dozens of the dolls were found in random locations in the village – a park, bus stops, leaning against fences. While it’s not a crime to leave dolls around, they were concerned because the dolls were “spiked with needles” (although it’s hard to tell from the photos) and some were missing eyes and various body parts. In addition to studying security videos, the police had to calm down the matryoshkas and old men who claimed the scary dolls gave them high blood pressure.
Were these really some Russian version of voodoo dolls? One source claimed the dolls were once used in a puppet theater and were later given to a local museum which threw them out. A security officer found them and gave the dolls to her daughter to use while teaching school. However, the dolls creeped-out the kids so she tossed them again. No one admitted to taking them out of the trash again and dropping them off around town.
That’s an interesting theory but it doesn’t explain the needles and pin holes reported in the dolls. For now, the matryoshkas will just have to take their medications and wait to see which ones start feeling sharp, stabbing pains different than their normal sharp, stabbing pains.
Russian nesting dolls are so much easier to deal with.