The glassy stare. The slowly moving mouth. And the voice – dear god, the voice. It's no wonder there are so many creepy stories about Teddy Ruxpin. For children of the '80s, Teddy Ruxpin horror stories are a dime a dozen. That bear is beyond scary. How did it ever become the best-selling toy of 1985 and 1986?
Sure, Teddy Ruxpin looks innocent. He's a shirt-clad bear equipped with a tape deck; just pop in a proprietary cassette, and he'll tell you stories and sing songs. Call it the uncanny valley or blame it on children's overactive imaginations – that bear is up to no good.
There's just something unnerving about machines covered in fake fur. Just like Furbies, Teddy Ruxpins are known to act out in bizarre, terrifying ways. From bears that speak without batteries to teddies that appear in unlikely places, scary tales about Teddy Ruxpin are all over the Internet. Here are some of the best (and spookiest) tales about the would-be beloved children's toy.
"I stop by my mom's earlier today to kill time before an appointment. she showed me this stuffed animal bear that she had gotten over the weekend at a yard sale, and jokingly (I thought) told me to push the button and talk to him and that I would see why she thinks he's possessed... My mom has always had a kind of dramatic flair so I figured I'd humor her and pushed the button.
He started out by singing this super creepy song that went something like 'Touch my heart, you can talk to me, all your secrets and daydreams, see how fun it can be.' Then right off the bat 'Can I tell you a secret? Would you believe sometimes I like to be naughty?' Lol wut. So even though he creeped me out from the start, I kept talking to him, asking him questions like, 'What's your name? What do you like to do?' etc...
He slowly got more creepy. I talked to the thing for maybe 20 minutes, at first he was almost reluctant, he would answer a few questions and then stop and say 'Bye-bye!' And I'd have to push the button again to get him to keep talking. Then he opened up telling me things like 'I like to go swimming with my friends, what do you like to do at night?' And 'Sometimes I feel really sad. What makes you feel sad?' His answers were always quick and seemed to keep up pretty well until he told me he didn't like high places, and I threatened to put him on a shelf above the door. He took a huge pause, then said 'I'm sorry you feel that way. Bye-bye!' And wouldn't respond when I pushed the button again.
He has different responses and conversations with every different person that talks to him. When my mom tried to talk to him all he wanted to tell her was how much he likes to be naughty. At one point he even said 'Sometimes I like to play with matches even though I'm not supposed to. Have you ever played with fire?' My mom has always had a thing for fire and even once almost burned down my childhood house because she decided to light the weeds on fire to get yard work done faster.
When we had my little brother (14 years old) try to talk to him, he talked for hours, even though he still refused to work for me. He got almost explicit with my brother, telling him things like, 'Sometimes I like being naughty, what do you like to do when you get into bed at night?' And 'I like to go to sleep with my friends sometimes, who do you like to go to sleep with? Are you ever naughty?'... my mom heard the bear talking throughout the night even though my brother was asleep and wasn't saying anything back. When she went in to turn the sound box off it was already in the 'off' position. She thought maybe it was a problem with the wiring so she switched it onto the 'on' position but he kept talking no matter what she did. After a few times he told her 'That really hurts! Has anyone ever hurt you? You can tell me your secrets.'...
This morning before I went over my mom left him in the room next to her and he started talking. She didn't respond and after a few minutes he says 'Are you still there? I know you can hear me.' My brother won't let us sell him and sleeps with it in his room even though the rest of us can barely touch him without getting creeped out."
"My sister's birthday was right around the corner... the [present] that stood out the most was this animatronic bear that you could insert a cassette tape into and the bear would read the book... It was kind of neat, the bear's mouth would move and its eyes would blink and my sister instantly loved it, always grabbing at the mouth to try to stop him from talking. Anyways that night she refused to go to her bed without the Teddy Ruxpin so my parents put in the cassette and let it play for her and she eventually fell asleep to the bear's gentle story telling...
I heard [a sound] coming from the top of the stairs, it was barely audible... I looked up at the stairs but all I could make out were these little furry puffs that were hanging just above the second to last step from the top.
'Who's there?' I yelled out. I still couldn't tell what the sound was, it was weird, almost motorized, like the sound you hear when an RC car rotates its wheels but softer. It came in spats, on, off, on, off. Almost like a pattern. I slowly approached the stairs, never taking my eyes off the furry puffs or the darkness that sat at the top of the stairs. I reached my hand out slowly, feeling the wall for the light switch. I finally felt my fingers brush against the switch and I flipped it upwards expecting the light to flood the staircase but it didn't work. I flipped the switch down and back up. Still nothing. Then suddenly the sound stopped.
I held my breath. I didn't know what to expect. I couldn't take my eyes off of the top of the stairs. I jumped as something spoke: 'Happy... Happy... Happy... Happy...' repeating over and over. I recognized that voice I thought to myself, it was the same voice as the Teddy Ruxpin that my sister had and finally I realized that those little furry puffs were the legs of the bear. But how did it get there to the top of the stairs. Suddenly I felt very scared. I started to back away from the stairs, when suddenly the recording began to speed up, the word happy was starting to get cut off. 'HAP, HAP, HAP, HAP, HAP' I was freaked out now, and I started to move towards the door. I had to get my parents, something really weird was going on and I couldn't deal with it on my own. As I backed up closer to the front door, The recording sped up even more, and finally I understood what it was doing... 'HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!' ... it was laughing at me. It was laughing at how scared I was.
And then my sister began to scream and cry. My mind raced – my little one-year-old sister was being tormented by that thing, by that darkness that sat at the top of the stairs. I ran towards the stairs, forgetting how scared I was and sprinted up the stairs, as I reached the top of the stairs I grabbed the furry leg of the bear and threw it over my shoulder, hearing it fall and thud against the steps as it fell downwards. I ran past the top of the stairs and headed straight for my sister's room... Something slammed against the door loudly, and then the door burst open.
'Whats going on here?!' my dad bellowed.
It was my father. Thank god it was my father. He saw me hiding with my sister behind the rocking chair and he scooped both of us up and guided us downstairs. As we passed by the Teddy Ruxpin I could see that its mouthpiece had broken off from the tumble it took down the stairs and its eyes were closed almost like it was asleep...
I tossed and turned in bed until eventually I managed to doze off.
CRASH I heard the sound of metal hitting cement from outside and awoke with a start. In my groggy state, my first thought was that it was those dang raccoons who always tried to open our trashcans. They probably knocked the trashcan over again. I walked over to the window from my bed and looked out at our backyard and sure enough the lid of our trashcan was off but I didn't see any raccoons. I did however see the head of the Teddy Ruxpin that my dad had thrown into the garbage. Its eyes were open and staring straight at my window. Needless to say, I didn't sleep the rest of that night."
"My little niece Rita loved to collect stuffed animals. Every day, when driving home from work, I would stop by a yard sale, pick up at least one new stuffed animal, and stop by my sister's house to give it to Rita.
One day, I came across a yard sale being run by a single old woman... There was a light brown teddy bear with shiny brown eyes and a green ribbon around its neck sitting on one of the tables. I walked over to it and looked at the price tag. Fifty cents. I placed two quarters in front of the woman, who didn't appear to notice me, before grabbing the bear and carrying it to the car.
When I arrived at my sister's house, I rang the doorbell. My sister answered... Rita came downstairs and ran over to me excitedly. As soon as she laid eyes on the toy I was holding, however, she let out a yelp and covered her eyes... She turned and ran upstairs crying...
While driving back to my house, I wondered what I was going to do with the bear since Rita clearly didn't want it. Then I had an idea. I could take it to my friend Terry. He liked to take apart stuffed animals and stitch pieces together into Frankenstein monstrosities. He would love something like this.
I drove over to Terry's place and rang his doorbell. He answered it, and was overjoyed to see what I had brought him... I gave him the bear, and we walked through his house chatting about random stuff before we made it to his workshop. I looked up at all of Terry's various stuffed creations sitting on the shelf, including a gorilla with a giraffe's head and neck, and an elephant with an alligator's tail.
I continued to gaze at the creations as Terry placed the bear on the worktable, pulled out a small pair of scissors, and began to cut a long incision in the bear's stomach. Suddenly, I heard him say 'What the hell is this?'
I ran to get a peek. He lifted up one of the flaps on the bear's incision, allowing me a look. I could see a reddish-pink thing inside, amongst all the cotton.
Terry grabbed a pair of tweezers and gently pulled out the thing inside the bear so we could both get a look. What we saw nearly gave us both a heart attack.
The watery black eyes of an aborted fetus stared back at us from a bulbous red head. Tiny frail underdeveloped limbs that were never used dangled from its pink body.
I nearly vomited at the sight, as Terry dropped the fetus in shock. It limply landed on top of its teddy bear casket.
I have no idea if Rita knew what was inside that bear or not. But I'm thankful she reacted the way she did. The idea of my niece cuddling up with that dead disgusting thing is not a pleasant one in the slightest."
"When I was younger, I used to own a Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby talking doll set... They were a birthday gift from my parents in 1987 or ‘88, and I really enjoyed having them. But something always felt odd about them, and as the years passed, any children who came near them always said they were scary...
Fast forward to 1995. My little brother and I are doing some spring cleaning and I’ve been tasked to clean out the closet in the spare room. I’m rummaging around through the closet... I see the forgotten about Teddy Ruxpin doll, smile at it and tap it on the nose. At this point the most terrifying thing that’s ever happened to me (so far) happens. 'Hi,' says the doll. His animatronic mouth opening and closing for a brief moment as it mumbles the word. Out of the room I go, running faster than I’ve ever ran before. My brother hears the commotion and calls out to me.
Once I got my sh*t together I told my brother what happened. He laughed at me, called me a wuss, and proceeded to go into the spare room and pulls the doll off the shelf. No batteries, cassette tape, nothing. Its eyes just open and blank. 'You’re dumb,' says my brother. He thinks I’m trying to scare him and nothing I say convinces about what just happened. I begin to doubt myself. Maybe it didn’t really happen? Maybe there was some weird malfunction? I don’t know what happened, but I was terrified...
Other unexplained behavior of those two dolls happened over the course of another couple of years. Every time I had a sleepover, people in random places in the house were waking up to the dolls either in their beds or somewhere in the room with them. Practical jokes are one thing, but whoever was doing this was going too far. One random night during the summer we decide we’ve had it with the practical jokes, if that’s what it was, so we perform a 'Seance' as much as a bunch of young teenagers can. We all hang out in the spare room, which has no furniture in it at all at this point. The Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby dolls sitting firmly in the closet on a shelf. We make sure to close their eyes and mouths, and we all walk to the other side of the room.
This is where sh*t hits the fan.
Arms linked, left to right, we all sit down on the floor. Josh closes the door (he was closest) and stretches to shut off the light. We’re all sitting here now in pure darkness. Arm in arm, no way for any of us to move without somebody noticing. It’s also a small room and things echo, so even somebody breathing hard or moving their foot is very prominent. Each of us in turn asks the dolls to show themselves for what they really were. I don’t know what any of us were expecting, but you could sense that a couple of them weren’t taking this seriously.
Then we heard it. 'Hi,' accompanied by the mechanical sound of Teddy Ruxpin’s jaw as it moved. Everybody freezes and it’s now complete silence. No movement, nobody is even breathing. Something in the closet stirs slightly and then everything is silent again.
'Who’s there?' somebody asks. Nothing. No words, no sounds, nothing.
We all sit there in complete silence for hours, too terrified to move. Dawn is approaching now, and the faint bit of light it creates gives us the horrifying realization that both Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby are on the floor just a few feet away from us, eyes and mouths wide open. Again another hour passes, none of us brave enough to move. The sun is out now and the room is beginning to brighten. Josh gets the courage to stand up first, followed quickly by the rest of us. We dart out of the room, slamming the door behind us, locking it, and continuing our quick pace up the stairs and out the front door. Josh’s house is just a couple of houses down.
Those dolls had to be destroyed, and we’re the ones that are going to have to do it.
We get back to my place, armed with matches and lighter fluid. There’s a note on the door, 'Jonathan, I saw those dolls you left on the stairwell. Took them with me to donate them at the local shelter.'"