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Anatoly Moskvin | House of Dolls

| On
June 22, 2019

Anatoly Moskvin is known as one of Russias most bizarre criminals. He was involved in black magic, the occult and a quite unusual hobby. Today we look at his life and the shocking discovery made at his apartment in November 2011.

Attention! The content of this article or section may seem obscene or offensive to some readers.


Anatoly Moskvin was born on September 1st, 1966 in Russia to his parents Yuri Fedorovich and Elvira Alexandrovna.

His childhood was far from carefree and he was bullied a lot at school. When he was in third grade he returned home from school bruised after being raped by a stranger. It's not known if he told his parents but they noticed a change in his behaviour after this. 

As a child, Anatoly would walk around graveyards with his friends and he became interested in the dead. Later in life, he wrote an article about an experience he had after stumbling upon a funeral when he was 12 years old.

He said that he witnessed the funeral of an 11-year-old girl called Natasha Petrova and that he was forced to kiss her by an adult. He wrote:

"An adult pushed my face down to the waxy forehead of the girl in an embroidered cap, and there was nothing I could do but kiss her."

He kissed the girl 3 times and her mother brought two rings. She placed one on his finger and the second on the young girl. He started having dreams about the girl every night and each time she told him he needed to learn black magic. When he told his parents about his dreams he was taken to a doctor, but all they did was prescribe medication to help him sleep and relax.

After a few years of the dreams, Natasha told him she would leave him alone if he completed a simple ceremony to pass the curse on. He did this using a tooth from one of his classmates. His experience with Natasha would have a lasting effect on his life, and he visited her grave whenever he had the chance. It also sparked his interest in the occult and cemeteries.

Studies and Career

Anatoly was a very intelligent man, and after graduating he worked as a lecturer at Nizhny Novgorod Linguistic University and worked at the Institute of Foreign Languages. He spoke 13 different languages, published dictionaries, tutored children on different subjects, and became an expert on local cemeteries.

He also joined the society of Luciferians and started studying the Left-Hand Path. He took part in rituals that included the bodies of dead animals, started practising black magic, didn't drink alcohol or smoke, and took a vow of celibacy.

Moskvin published two dictionaries.
He started a relationship with a woman called Yulia, who suggested they have a non-sexual relationship to support his celibacy. However, she did want a child which their relationship wouldn't be able to give her, so they decided to try adoption. Unfortunately, they were rejected because Moskvin did not earn enough. At this point, he was earning very little working as a journalist and was living with his parents. His parents supported him but they did not agree with his plans to adopt.

They didn't need to worry though, as eventually, the relationship with Yulia ended and he started doing research for a new book called the "Nizhny Novgorod Necropolis". In 2005 he was commissioned to make a summary of 700 graveyards throughout the region, and he would camp in them surrounded by the dead.

The Crime

In 2011 it was discovered that numerous graves had been desecrated at cemeteries that Moskvin would frequent. He wasn't caught in the act until the police received reports of someone vandalising the graves of deceased Muslims. He was being watched for a while and on November 2nd 2011 his apartment was raided.

The 45-year-old was still living with his parents in a small apartment, and inside they were shocked to find a collection of life-sized dolls. They looked like antique dolls covered in fabric at first glance, and some even had makeup on. However, after closer inspection, they realised they were actually the mummified corpses of girls.

One of the bodies started to play music when they moved it, and when they inspected the doll they realised there was a music box in her chest. He would stuff the decayed bodies with rags and wrapped their faces in nylon tights. He also admitted to placing buttons or toy eyes in their eye sockets, so they could watch cartoons with him.

During the search, they also found photos of the plaques on their graves, several books on doll making, and maps of the local graveyards. They also found shoes that matched footprints at the scenes of desecrated graves.

His parents said they knew nothing of the truth behind their son's hobby.

The Motive

Moskvin said he knew he was committing a crime, but he did it because he felt lonely and had always wanted children. He said he loved most of his girls, but the ones he grew to dislike were placed in the garage. He celebrated their birthdays and treated them like they were his children.

Moskvin said he felt sympathy for the dead children and believed that science or magic would find a way to resurrect them, so he preserved them in his home. He would read the obituaries to see what spoke to him and then slept on their graves to see if their spirit wanted to come back. He said the girls were calling out to him.

The Trial

Moskvin was charged with the desecration of graves and dead bodies, but after a psychiatric evaluation, he was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and deemed unfit to stand trial. He was moved to a psychiatric clinic for treatment instead of prison.

He is still being treated at the clinic to this day and still deemed unfit to stand trial.

Final Thoughts

This is such a sad story for many reasons. Firstly, the bodies of young girls being taken from their graves and their loved ones, and then the man that was so lonely he was pushed to committing this crime for the company.

He was bullied and raped as a young boy, and I do feel for him because of what he had to endure as a child. However, he took the bodies and kept them in his home. This is not acceptable at all. I know if it was my loved one I would be very upset, regardless of why he did it and how well he treated them.

What do you think of this case? Let me know in the comments. 
11 comments on "Anatoly Moskvin | House of Dolls"
  1. Gosh, I did not expect that turn for his crimes, why pretty gross it's so interesting to read. I really enjoy your crime posts x

    1. Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed my post. :)

  2. Wow, that's incredibly creepy. I didn't expect that turn either! Thanks for sharing this story!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I am glad you enjoy reading my post. :)

  3. I think it's strange that his parents claimed to know nothing of his activities since he lived with them in a small apartment. Hopefully he is getting help while in the psychiatric clinic!

    1. I know! I think I'd find it odd that new life-sized dolls were appearing overnight. I do wonder if they had some kind of inkling but didn't believe it. Thanks so much for commenting! :)

  4. I don't like dolls as it is but this has made them seem even more creepy. I am surprised the house wasn't haunted by disturbed spirits.

    1. Dolls freak me out. I remember my friends parents had them in their home and in the dark they would scare he life out of me. Can't even imagine how terrifying it would be to see these dolls up close after finding out the truth. Thank you so much for commenting!

  5. I don't think I'd heard about this fellow before. Like you say, creepy and sad. Looking forward to your next one!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I am glad you enjoyed this post! :)

  6. This was so...sad! And creepy! This story was just so weird! Those poor girls and their poor families. I can't even imagine having the police tell the families about their girls! And how could his parents not have known??? Seriously??

    Great post, I absolutely love all of your posts! Perfectly creepy!! Keep 'em coming!

    xo Emily



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