True to the nature of her profession, Bell is a self-professed lover of all things macabre and downright creepy, and we’re guessing that the state of her home really shows it. We might pass on the sleepover invite, Alex, soz!
Top Five Scariest Items I Own
I’ve always liked collecting strange and creepy things, and this is especially the case when writing horror stories. Here are the five scariest items I own:
- Frozen Charlotte
During Victorian and Edwardian times, children used to play with a particular type of doll called a Frozen Charlotte. These were white porcelain dolls based on a legend about a girl who refused to wrap up warm during a sleigh ride to a ball because she wanted everyone to admire her pretty dress. It was a snowy winter’s night and she froze to death on her way to the party. These little dolls are supposed to represent Charlotte after she’d died – that’s why their limbs are “frozen” in place and their eyes are often closed. They were produced naked so that little girls could make them dresses out of scraps of fabric, but they have painted hair and some had painted shoes and stockings. I found this one on Ebay whilst writing my horror novel for Red Eye. Frozen Charlotte dolls are very old so most of them are broken, but you still find the odd one that’s all in one piece.
- Hamish the Shrunken Head
My brother got me this as a birthday present. It’s not a real shrunken head, of course, but it’s pretty convincing – especially the hair and eyelashes.
- The Fiji Mermaid
Famed showman P.T. Barnum caused controversy in 1842 when he exhibited a dead “mermaid” in the American Museum of New York. Forget Ariel and shell bras, this was a warped, grotesque looking creature supposedly caught by Japanese sailors off the coast of Fiji. The mermaid was later exposed as a hoax and revealed to be the head and torso of a monkey sewn onto the tail of a fish. They still crop up in sideshows and curiosity cabinets from time to time, and this fake one was another Ebay find (just search for “sideshow gaff” and you’ll find all kinds of awesome stuff!).
- Erin the Skeleton
Another birthday present (my people know I love macabre things!). At Christmas he swaps the Victorian top hat for a Santa hat and lots of tinsel.
- Tiny Frozen Charlotte Necklace
In Edwardian and Victorian times, the smallest Frozen Charlottes used to be frozen and used as ice cubes in drinks (they would float on their backs), or hidden as concealed charms in Christmas puddings. Nowadays you can find lots of creepy Frozen Charlotte jewellery on places like Etsy. My Great Uncle sent me this necklace, which has a teeny tiny Frozen Charlotte from the 1860s sealed into the glaze.
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