Uncovering secret of the real-life house of horrors

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W ith Halloween being celebrated last week, the TV has been awash with horror movies, the shops have been full of masks and the owners of old buildings have been trying to cash in with ‘scary’ ghost hunts.

But the other day I stumbled across a story from Russia that could beat any made-up horror story or supposed haunting.

The term ‘house of horrors’ must have been invented for this place.

Apparently, a 46-year-old Russian man called Anatoly Moskvin exhumed the corpses of at least 150 girls aged between 3 and 12.

He then mummified the decomposing bodies and put them and skeletons in stockings, girls’ clothing and knee-length boots to make them look like dolls before placing them around his house.

He even reputedly gave them names and held birthday parties for them.

And there was me thinking that people who collect tax discs were strange.

This bloke is off-the-scale weird. What kind of hobby is that? It’s not the sort of thing you’d put on a CV, is it?

We visited the Egyptian Mummies Exhibition on a recent camping trip to Dorchester.

Before long, one of my daughters ran back into the lobby, shouting that the room was dark and that there were dead bodies in there.

But this was an exhibition, carefully recreating unwrapped mummies, mummified sacred animals, death masks, coffins and other treasures.

Mummification was part of Egyptian culture and this was an attempt to explain the process.

But Moskvin’s activities were the product of a very sick mind.

Apparently the judge said he’s not fit to stand trial and must remain in a psychiatric clinic. You don’t say.

I’m always suspicious of men who collect dolls anyway. Isn’t that just a bit odd?

But dressing dead bodies in costumes and casually placing them around your house is beyond strange.

Reports say his macabre obsession was only discovered when his parents visited him after returning from a holiday.

Can you imagine their reaction?