Dolls have long been a little girl’s dream and favorite toy for centuries. A coveted and wished for Christmas or birthday present, dolls are the ultimate gift of joy and happiness. When dolls happen to show up on your doorstep unannounced out of the blue, it can be scary and concerning. Such is what has happened recently which has alarmed a California neighborhood.
In mid July, owners of several homesteads in the Talega neighborhood of San Clemente in Orange County, California found porcelain dolls on their porches. All of the families had little girls younger than age ten, who were quite delighted with the surprise gift at first. Realizing that their neighbors and friends had also received a doll on their doorstep, worried parents contacted police for help. It was all much more than a coincidence.
The beautiful porcelain dolls all dressed up in frilly clothes were a delight to the young girls of the neighborhood, but had to be held as evidence in a possible crime. It was all so bizarre. Was there a serial killer at bay? A kidnapper? A child molester trying to attract their attention? The possibilities seemed endless to the anonymous gifts and the reasons why.
With a full week of investigation into the mysterious dolls showing up on doorsteps, the prominent California neighborhood could finally rest at night. Right around the corner from the Real Housewives of Orange County, and a splice of life from The Stepford Wives, a true storybook fairytale had taken place with real nightmares on hand in the Talega area.
All the young gals who received the dolls on their doorsteps, either knew each other from school, church or the neighborhood. The eerie factor outdid the strange gift from nowhere. Wondering about a stranger who left gifts without a note made parents question the intent and motivation. The why and how did someone know so much about the children to leave look alike dolls on doorsteps seemed worth the caution and alarm.
It turns out that an elderly woman who knew of the eight or ten girls in the neighborhood, all under the age of ten who received the dolls, was acquainted with them in various ways. She just took to normal housecleaning tasks one day and discovered her doll collection in an old closet. Out of a pure gesture of kindness, the woman, who is still unnamed, simply dropped off the gifts of love, quietly and unannounced.
No notes of any kind, ransom or threats were imposed with the lovely gifts of dolls upon doorsteps, but the activity was one of question among families in the California neighborhood. It has all been resolved, as the anonymous woman has stepped forward with embarrassment over the incident. Her goal was only to impart a gift of love that was mistakenly construed as an intent to harm.
Porcelain dolls are very lifelike with the eerie reminder of Chucky, the fictional knife wielding child of horror. The realistic character dolls seem to instill is believability, fear and awe with their uncanny human qualities. Many dolls have been fashioned over the years to replicate queens, princesses and celebrities. The lifelike image can be quite haunting if one forgets that it is not real. American Girl Dolls and Reborns are prime examples of realistic dolls one may easily call their own child.
Ignoring the attention this case has evoked, dolls are still a wonderful wish come true, a treasured toy and a lovable gift for little girls. Just a simple note of intent would have gone beyond the worries and woes of the mysterious dolls on the doorsteps that alarmed a California neighborhood.
By: Roanne FitzGibbon