I’m pretty sure I’ve written a ton of times about how 1982’s Poltergeist started me on the road of fearing all manner of dolls and ventriloquist dummies, a fear that I admit I still have to this day.
Which is why I failed to stifle a groan of despair when a good friend of the Retroist site was kind…cruel…enough to send me this image of Henry Rox Bauchredner and his ventriloquist dummy named Max, I guess to make sure I had my daily dose of Nightmare Juice.
I’m not sure where the image came from but I did find a family website claiming that Henry Rox Bauchredner was just the stage name for Fedor Albert Paul Witkowsky. Fedor was born on March 25, 1855 in Berlin and would travel through Europe performing his ventriloquist act and it seems he would actually marry his young assistant Anna Auguste Albertine Prescher.
I really do wish I could find some original handbills or of course more images of Henry Rox Bauchredner and Max, its face to me doesn’t appear to be made out of wood, look in particular at the area of its mouth. I couldn’t help but let my fears run away from me and wonder…was it a child made to look like a ventriloquist dummy?