It was a mystery that would terrify any parent. Who left creepy porcelain dolls who look just like your daughter right outside your home? It sounded like something straight out of a horror movie, but the terror was all too real in a exclusive gated community in San Clemente, California.
"Could there be some strange person stalking kids in our neighborhood?" asked resident Holly Bernstein.
The creepy dolls created panic when 11 different families were shocked to discover they had been left right on their doorsteps. Each of the girls who got one was about 10 years old, and each doll bore an eerie resemblance to the girl who got it.
Police said they didn't know if they were intended as gifts or something much more sinister. And who wouldn't be freaked out by one doll in a blue frilly dress with a blank stare? Or another one in pink with curly hair and bunny slippers?
One worried mom spoke to the Today show.
"I'm actually thinking the worst, like someone creepy watching our children and I'm actually pretty scared about it," said the worried mother.
Doll expert Denise Van Patten told INSIDE EDITION the dolls were made in China and could be purchased online for about $25 each.
"These dolls were not made for play by children, since most children aren't given porcelain dolls to play with," said Van Patten.
So, who was behind the doll mystery? Turns out they were gifts from a woman who attends church with many of the families.
Cops said in a statement that "her motivation was out of goodwill and that she intended it as a kind gesture."
Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Police Department said ,"She actually indicated that she looked at the dolls and tried to leave them with the girls that she thought most resembled the doll that she was leaving for them."
"I can appreciate the sentiment, however, it seems like you would leave a note or something," said Bernstein.
Now, an entire community can breathe a sigh of relief after being terrorized by some really creepy dolls.