Like the Ouija board, ventriloquism has a downright creepy history. In ancient times, it was believed that chosen prophets could communicate with spirits of the dead by means of ventriloquism. By producing sounds with the stomach (rather than by mouth), these prophets would utter words without moving their lips, and onlookers believed the sounds came from the spirits in the prophets’ stomachs. Hence the name “ventriloquist”, which literally means “belly speaker” in Latin.
By the 16th century, as Christianity took hold of the modern world, any medium that involved channeling spirits was considered to be evil or the work of the devil. Ventriloquism was therefore considered witchcraft and practitioners could be hanged or burned at the stake. As spiritualism became more accepted in the 19th century, ventriloquism became more of a performance art and shed its mystic roots.
Yet there is still something intrinsically creepy about ventriloquist dummies. Why is that? Is it the empty stares or the ever-present smiles? Is it the fact that the voice of the dummy appears to come from thin air? Or could there be a deeper connection? Perhaps there is something about the ventriloquist/dummy dynamic that reminds us of an inner chattering between us and our personal demons.
And now we present to you the stuff that children’s nightmares are made of…
That poor child is looking at some serious therapy when he’s older. What do you mean, ‘I never had a brother’?
Who’s making who talk?
Rock a bye baby on the tree top…
It doesn’t get any weirder than this….
The whole family’s back together again!
Pray you never meet them ….