Are Voodoo Dolls Real?

Are Voodoo Dolls Real?


Question: Are Voodoo Dolls Real?


The Myth

Popular culture depicts the “Voodoo doll” as a poppet bearing the resemblance of an enemy. The target is cursed with misfortune, pain and even death via the thrusting of pins into the doll. Such items are not a part of traditional Vodou, although some Vodouisants, primarily in New Orleans, have now adopted them, often for sale to tourists.

Possible Origin

Tales of similar poppets have existed in European witch folklore for centuries.

It’s certainly possible that Europeans, knowing very little about Vodou and commonly decrying it as evil and Satanic, merged rumors of Vodou with familiar witchcraft rumors from back home.


In Vodou, a pwen is an item filled with particular components that appeal to a particular lwa. They are meant to attract a lwa and gain its influences for a person or place. Pwen come in a variety of forms, including dolls. Pwen dolls can be found in a variety of forms, from crude poppets to elaborate works of art.



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