The Case Of The Haunted Dollhouse Week #3 Review – November 2017
An utterly unique experience awaits within The Haunted Dollhouse. Original designs and antique objects weave a gorgeously immersive puzzle, imagining an alternate history of New Orleans played out across a tiny stage.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: The Case of the Haunted Dollhouse
The Cost: $175 for five boxes. (This works out to $35/box.) Shipping is $19.99 within the US for a box containing all five parcels or $49.99 to have a box sent each week as the mystery unfolds.
The Products: ‘Each mysterious parcel contains 10–30 pieces: word games, puzzles, simple DIY projects and various miniature & antique objects.’
Ships to: Worldwide
This is the third installment of a five-package subscription that tells a story about an old building in New Orleans that was the site of a mysterious death and that is also said to contain hidden treasure. I’ll show all the items, but will be keeping some of the secrets hidden for subscribers who want to be surprised. If you want to catch up on the story, check out my earlier reviews of this box.
The first thing I read was this note from L, regarding the history of some letters that were given to Necrissa Bellamy ‘as a matter of discretion.’
The letters were delivered in beautiful envelopes. They appear to be written by Clare Bellamy, who lived in the house with her parents.
The first letter is addressed formally to Monsieur LaFon, thanking him for his visit.
The second letter addresses him as Barthelemy and reveals that he is a childhood friend who is studying medicine.
The final letter addresses him as ‘my darling’ and is more serious than the others. It mentions ‘the picture you asked for in the little golden frame,’ which was included in an earlier box.
This telegraph was a notification of death. The text is blurry as if tears fell onto it.
This library card for Spanish Moss: Its History and Magickal Uses contains a mysterious list – is it for a spell? Spanish moss was also included in an earlier box, as was a scrap of red cloth. A note was written on the back of the card.
This messy (and mysterious) letter from ‘P’ had candle wax dripped on it: ‘The storm has knocked out power and I’ve upset my candle.’
Here we have a receipt for an engraved pocket watch, with another note written on the back. I love the old-fashioned logo at the top!
This week’s story was a bit sad, focusing on death and bereavement. At this point I’ve become invested in the characters and their lives, so I didn’t want anything bad to happen to them – but it’s a good story all the same, and it’s definitely holding my attention.
A second bundle held items for the dollhouse!
But first, this page from a book. I know it’s just a random page (or is it?), but it makes me want to read the rest.
The wall and floor coverings are for a library.
There’s a desk, a chair and a lamp to make. These are trickier than you’d think – an x-acto knife is helpful for cutting out the fine details.
There was a selection of miniature book covers, as well as miniatures of many of the paper items from the subscription!
There was one more thing hiding in the shredded paper. Do you see it?
A ladder with a tiny key attached! But what’s it for?
After finding the ladder after I thought I’d cleared out the box, I sifted through everything else carefully, but only found flower petals. Still, I urge subscribers to go through the boxes very carefully. I’ve kept everything so far, even the packing materials, just in case I’ve missed something.
Certain that there was nothing else to discover, I moved on to making the papercraft items. I first cut out the little pieces of ephemera and made the envelopes. I also folded some of the other papers the way they were folded in the original box.
Next, I cut out the book covers.
Then I folded the covers using a straight edge for a precise line.
There were no directions for making the books, but I happen to know how to do it. I made a little accordion out of paper.
Then I glued the ends of the accordion to the inside of the book. This works better than trying to glue the edges of the paper to the spine. It looks a bit messy in the picture, but the book is very tiny in real life.
Here’s the finished room! I do think the scale is a bit off with this one, as the windows are oddly close to the floor. Or is that some quirk of the building? I think the ladder is meant to reach high shelves, but I wonder what else it could be used for.
Here’s the messy desk with the key, a book and some of the papers.
This is what the house looks like at this point. I left books strewn about the middle floor, but I’m sure there’s something great on the way to decorate it. I haven’t permanently affixed the walls yet, as I am not sure which floor goes where.
Verdict: I loved the story of this week’s box – it was compelling and I really felt for the characters. Initially, I just saw this subscription as a dollhouse delivered in installments, but it’s more than that. It’s like being part of a book, and I know I’ll be sorry when it ends. The library was fun to put together and I enjoyed making the books, though I think a little more instruction would have been helpful for most people. Some hints in this box have helped me make sense of items from the last one, so I’m hoping a future box will shed light on the mysteries of this one.
I believe this subscription runs once or twice a year, so if you miss it this time, there’ll be a chance to do it again. However, sign-ups are still open on their website.
What do you think of this third installment of The Case of the Haunted Dollhouse?