For a recent assignment, I had the misfortune of stumbling upon newswire photos tagged with “mannequin.” Turns out, the uncanny valley is alive and well in the image databases for Reuters and the Associated Press.
The uncanny valley describes the relationship between how lifelike an object is and our emotional response to that object. The more a robot or doll resembles a realistic human, the more positive we feel towards it. That is, up to a point. There is a significant dip in the comfort we feel around life-like objects when they become too real. Owing to this effect, mannequins are often far creepier than they ought to be.
These images have been haunting my dreams—and now they can haunt yours. Happy Halloween!