There are fewer things scarier than inanimate objects designed to look like human beings. Dolls, statues, mannequins -- they're all variations on the uncanny valley that plagues motion-capture movies. Because the human eye is most used to looking at other human beings, the more we try to replicate humanity in three dimensions, the more we fail. Ventriliquist dummies are an interesting twist on this principle. That they're usually not designed to perfectly mirror human beings, but, unlike most dolls and mannequins, have the gift of human speech, has resulted in some memorable tales of terror. After the jump, check out some horrifying photos of real-life dummies.
Our friends at i09 have just created a gallery of unnerving vintage ventrioquism portraits. Below are a few of the creepy photos they've gathered. My favorite is the dummy in bed being cared for by a human nurse. What in God's name led to this?! I can think of at least a half-dozen scenarios, none of them cheerful... For more, check out the full gallery at i09.