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"Broken Dolls" is the ninth short story featured in the book Tales to Give You Goosebumps.


Tamara Baker's little brother, Neal, is always trying to break her dolls. One day, Tamara's parents are taking the both of them to a crafts fair. While looking around, she spots a section filled with handmade, and very lifelike, dolls. Tamara meets the old woman who made the dolls, who later gives Neal a cookie. When they leave, Tamara starts to notice that Neal is acting unusually quiet and still. He then gets a fever, and Tamara finds some weird kind of goop in his hair which he calls "dolly jelly". Later, Neal begins to mumble something about not wanting to become a doll. Tamara realizes that the old woman at the fair must have been responsible for Neal's affliction, and heads back to the fairgrounds.

She sneaks into the woman's trailer and finds several boxes of dolls without faces. One of the dolls has dolly jelly in his hair, and Tamara sees that its face is becoming that of Neal's. Soon, the other dolls come to life and try to attack her, until she gets cornered by the old woman. She takes out a jar filled with dolly jelly, and plans to turn Tamara into a doll as well, only Tamara takes the jelly jar and throws it into a pool of water. The old woman shrieks, as Tamara tries to get as far away as possible. When she gets home, she discovers that Neal is back to normal.

The next day, Tamara receives a package in the mail, containing a doll version of the old woman. Tamara then dares her brother to break it.


  • This story shares many plot elements with "Home Sweet Home", a story from Even More Tales to Give You Goosebumps.
    • Both stories feature sibling protagonists. One of the siblings, a girl, likes to play with dolls; the other sibling mistreats the dolls. In each story, the mean-spirited sibling encounters an old woman that tries to turn them into a doll.
  • Tamara and Neal's father and mother are mentioned by name: Ted Baker and Marge Baker respectively.