The Thrift Shop in the Woods

On the heels of “The Cabin the Woods” winning the Bram Stoker in the screen play category, I thought I would talk about my own “…in the Woods” moment.

Okay, so it wasn’t a cabin. And there weren’t any woods around. (Are there any woods in Tampa?) But I swear to god, I felt as if whatever I chose, bought, and brought home would somehow be the death of me. And why?

Because I found these

The Evil Dolls in the Thrift Shop in the Woods
The Evil Dolls in the Thrift Shop in the Woods

at a little thrift shop.

There were plenty of other weird things. A silver (or silver-plated? or not even really silver at all?) etching of a man bowing and giving something to a woman that could have been flowers or could have been the legs of an octopus. A microwave that weighed more than I did and probably wouldn’t have fit in my car without removing the back row of seats and leaving the trunk open. But nothing was as weird as those little statues.

I couldn’t tell what they were made of. Were they some weird clay or polymer or even a wood that had softened or had something else weird happen over time. I also couldn’t tell how old they were. And they weren’t priced. It was like they had appeared there, ready for someone to pick them, like the items in the basement in the cabin in the woods.

I’m not sure if you can tell how creepy they truly are.

The woman (crone?) is holding what looks like an umbrella that she’s leaning on, and she has a scarf over her head. Her face is scrunched up, and her nose is squished flat on her face. Her eyes aren’t really there, and she’s smiling, but there are no teeth in her mouth. Not exactly attractive.

Then there’s the man. He looks like a cross between a grandfather, a lumberjack, santa claus, and a corpse. There are weird holes in his cheeks…and his nose is gone. He looks like he might be interested in getting those holes filled…with human flesh! Okay, maybe that’s my own imagination.

But these things were just creepy enough that, on some level, I wanted to bring them home, stare at them, and then write a story about them. They obviously have an awesome story behind them, right?

But then this little thing in my brain said, “But what if they come to life and kill you in your sleep?” And, somehow, that seems like a logical question to me. Why couldn’t they come to life? Why couldn’t they be evil little voodoo dolls like Robert?

Suffice it to say, I took a bunch of pictures of them and then left them in the thrift store. I almost didn’t do that because there is that nice old legend about the soul existing in photographs, and I still remember the Twilight Zone episode where the photos come to life and try to hunt down the guy who developed the pictures. But I hoped that they didn’t have any souls to capture, so I thought that might mean I’d be safe.

Anyway, just saying – keep an eye on the Tampa papers. You know, in case someone does buy them.