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This Book May Cause Heart Palpitations


Heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, choking sensations, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, shuddering, sweating, dizziness, insomnia, increased sensitivity to sounds and lights are just some of the possible side effects that may occur while enjoying the book TALKING HEADS: The Vent Haven Portraits by Matthew Rolston [Pointed Leaf Press (2012) $75 ].  The book, by American celebrity photographer and director Rolston, is his first on the subject of ventriloquist dummies – a topic that strikes fear in heart of approximately 5% of the population.


The lush photography book turns Rolston’s camera lens on a collection of dummies unearthed at the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.  Matthew Rolston, who typically photographs celebrities and music stars like: Jessica Simpson, Zac Efron, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Adam Levine, Oprah, Kelly Osbourne and Michael Jackson, employed a formal portrait approach to capturing the dolls characterizations in more than 100 images over 224 pages.


More prevalent in children than adults, the phobia of inanimate objects that represent sentient souls is called Automatonophobia; while the fear of dolls in general is called Pediophobia.  The art of giving inanimate objects a soul is believed to have begun around 1500 BC by the ancient Israelites who outlawed the practice of Necromancy (raising the dead).  In more modern times, the first known record of the art of ventriloquism was in 1753 in England representing Baron de Mengen who performed with a small doll.  Thanks to popular culture movies like Chucky (and subsequent sequels), Magic, Devil Doll, Twilight Zone, and Dead of Night, the art of giving an inanimate object a soul – even an evil soul – is alive today and scaring the pants off people.


Get your copy of TALKING HEADS: The Vent Haven Portraits by Matthew Rolston [Pointed Leaf Press (2012) $75]



1. Thank the Google commercial for this one – Glossophobia – the fear of public speaking (74%)
2. Necrophobia – the fear of death and dying (68%)
3. Fear of spiders – Arachnophobia (30.5%)
4. Fear of darkness – Achluophobia, Scotophobia or Myctophobia (11%)
5. Fear of heights – Acrophobia (10%)
6. Fear of people or social situations – Sociophobia (7.9%)
7. Fear of flying – Aerophobia (6.5%)
8. Fear of confined spaces – Claustrophobia (2.5%)
9. Fear of open spaces – Agoraphobia (2.2%)
10. Fear of thunder and lightning – Brontophobia (2%)

*Source: The National Institute of Mental Health, 2012

About the author: Bill Indursky
Bill Indursky is an architect, trend expert, and digital entrepreneur. He is the former founder of V&M (Vintage & Modern (2006-2013)) and the current founder of Design Life Network (DLN). DLN is a MAGAZINE + DESIGN AGENCY + MARKETPLACE + TV CHANNEL promoting inspiring design of all eras online and on TV.

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