For centuries, overworked moms have sought ways to keep their energetic kiddos in line. This has resulted in strategies that tend to work with varying degrees of success.
There’s constant hollering, of course. But that can get overused quickly, resulting in terrified pets and irritated neighbors.
Grounding is another all-time favorite. That one has experienced a slight popularity resurgence, since it’s pretty easy to sequester your child’s smartphone.
There’s also a time-honored tactic known as the thinly-veiled threat. “Make that noise one more time,” a harried mother might say at the dinner table, “and see what happens.”
Of course, the concept of Santa Claus provides immeasurable support around the holiday season. Youngsters everywhere are warned to behave if they hope to avoid the prospect of coal in their stockings.
According to the Huff Post, this eventually led to the rather ingenious notion of “Elf of a Shelf.” Stay-at-home mom Carol Aebersold penned a book that recounted her own cherished family tradition, and the concept took off like wildfire.
Thousands of parents were soon leveraging Aebersold’s idea of a “watchful elf” that keeps an eye on kids as Christmas approaches. This elf magically “appears” all over the house, thanks to a grown-up’s strategic placement.
Of course, before Christmas can arrive, the holiday season makes a scary beeline straight through Halloween. And that’s what gave Pittsburgh mom Krystah Wright a cleverly creepy brainstorm.
It’s since become a viral sensation called “Doll in the Hall.” But it all started out as a comical trick-or-treat tactic.
Local ABC news affiliate WTAE reports that evidently, Wright used an old vintage porcelain doll to create a prank of rather epic proportions. She already knew that the ringlet-haired doll made her 7-year-old daughter feel a little unsettled.
So Wright figured a pretend “haunting” might capture her kids’ attention. That’s when she began strategically placing the spooky doll all over the house.
Wright reported back on her daughter’s initial reaction. As she told TODAY Parents, “When she saw the doll in her room, she pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey mom, I think we have a problem. I need to show you something.’”
Spurred on by her daughter’s subtle uneasiness, Wright decided to create a dedicated Facebook page for the doll. After that, she began hearing that local students were experiencing eerie doll visitations in their own residences.
“My kids told me that mysterious haunted dolls have also appeared at some of their classmates’ houses,” she posted on Facebook. “I’d like to think we had something to do with that.”
But Wright says she’s most entertained by the endlessly freaked-out reactions of her own offspring. She’s placed the doll in the hall (of course), on the front porch, on toilet tanks — even in bed with her slumbering kiddos.
Of course, it’s all in good fun. “Doll in the Hall” is simply a mildly scary way to leverage the ghostly goings-on associated with Oct. 31.
Though certainly, many folks on social media agree that if the stunt causes kids to pause and reflect for even a few extra moments, that’s not such an awful thing.
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