So you know zombies can be creepy. And dolls can sure as hell be creepy as well. Now, what if I told you someone combined both of them? Yeah, creepy zombie dolls, that you can buy.. Made inside a haunted church… Welcome to our interview with Kelley from Zombie Dollz.
Hi Kelley, could you tell a bit more about yourself?
I am a long time horror enthusiast with an obsessive concentration on zombies. I enjoy lengthy discussions on zombie apocalypse survival. It’s the creative aspect of survival that appeals to me, anything can become a weapon. My favorite survival idea has been surrounding our home with treadmills, might work and would be fun to watch zombies fly in the air after wandering onto it.
I think there’s a meme about that! I really wonder if that would work, it just might. But we’ll have to think of something for the corners I guess.
So, how did this project get started?
The Zombie Dollz Store started with a trip to my local thrift store. I was shopping for creepy dolls to use for my Halloween display. I stumbled upon a huge porcelain doll collection that had been donated. There were clowns, Victorian women in fancy gowns, school girls, brides, pouty children and more. Many were still in boxes, untouched. Something clicked in my head about how weird variety of dolls that was, a cross section of eras and life. My warped mind responded, “Yeah, but each one of you could be inflicted with a zombie virus”. I knew I wanted to create that story for each doll. I loaded my cart with those dolls and Zombie Dollz was started.
Inspiration comes when you least expect it. Where do you get the source material from now? Are they still coming from thrift stores, or are these now homemade?
Thrift stores and auctions are great sources for materials. I bring abandoned objects back from the dead. I dismantle each doll, dye and distress their clothes and repaint each doll. I use clay to alter their bodies and will sew new outfits if needed. I want each doll to tell the story of who they were and what has happened since. I’m drawn to the contrast of creepy and cute. A doll can be grossly disfigured, yet still beautiful. Seeing the beauty still is most important in my art.
They really are brought back from the dead. Do you have any other horror themed projects?
Several years ago we bought an abandoned country church that the locals say is haunted. We’ve been remodeling it and turning it into our future home. A lot of my dolls are created there. I have a picture of our ghost, it’s pretty freaky. So in ways that is our main horror project, but otherwise it’s Halloween. I love Halloween and was even married on Halloween. Our reception was a masquerade party. I enjoy decorating for Halloween. We have an elaborate display that we have created by hand.
Wait, you have a picture of your ghost? Inside your haunted church that is now your home?
This is our church. I was just taking random pictures inside. The picture before and after were normal, nothing on the lens. It was a nice day, no reason for the camera to be blurry. It’s such a classic “Casper” image.
Why zombies? What is it that really appeals to you?
Wow, great question. I think I like zombies because it’s a disaster that in my mind could happen. The idea of zombies is equalizing, it could happen to anyone. We strive for these perfect, glamorous lives filled with money and material things. Then one day you’re stricken with a zombie virus and now you’re an altered version of yourself. Now, a relentless pursuit of human brains is your main goal. Creating these dolls is satisfying. They are living their second life as zombies after being discarded.
Thank you so much for this interview Kelley, I love your story and product!
Thank you Frank for this opportunity. Sitting down and really thinking about my process has provided me with a wonderful reflective afternoon. I appreciate that.
You’re welcome, so to direct people to your amazing project, let’s drop some links below:
Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZombieDollzStore