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Thomas Edison’s Talking Dolls Are Pure Nightmare-Inducing Horror

Prolific inventor Thomas Edison’s attempt to market a talking doll failed miserably. Now you can hear why.

Back in 1890, Edison placed tiny phonographs inside dolls that recited nursery rhymes. However, the dolls were only on the market for six weeks because, quite simply, they are TERRIFYING. And, yes, that’s TERRIFYING, not terrifying.

You can now hear the dolls, courtesy of the Thomas Edison Historical Park.

Be warned: they sound as scary as anything you’ve ever seen, heard or used any of your other senses to send shivers down your spine. They make Chucky sound like Glinda the Good Witch.

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The park claims the dolls sound just as bad in 2015 as they did in 1890 because the phonographs inside them were “not optimized for high-fidelity reproduction.” They also reportedly didn’t go over with consumers because they were a big ticket item at the time, ranging from $10-$20, but we think the voice was more the reason. At that time, the only sound that elicited more fear was when someone said, “You’ve got typhoid.”

For years, there had only been two recordings, but the park has acquired six more. New technology enabled the audio to be played digitally. You may think that’s a good thing, but after taking a listen and inevitably enduring several sleepless nights, you just might change your mind.

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