The Creepy Side of Campos do Jordão

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So, I’m not sure what the big whoop is about Campos do Jordão. We went this past weekend and it seemed to me that it was just like any of the other over commercialized small mountain towns, only even more full of shops with cheap crap from China. I understand that it was once very quaint and rural. My husband was sent there as a kid to go to summer camp and experienced something that sounds similar to Survivor or The Amazing Race. But now, the downtown area just seemed over crowded and over priced.

Sure, we got to go on some swan boats.

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And we got to pay a lot of money for a mediocre dinner at one of the “charm” pousadas. (The pousada itself was really beautiful.)

However, it was not all a loss. We had a lot of fun at our pousada. But best of all, there were two points of interest that made it all worthwhile.

First, this was next to a playground near the lot where we parked our car.

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Thinking it was a playhouse, my daughter ran up to go inside, only to find it was locked. I went to investigate. Imagine my delight when I discovered… through the window…

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… the weekend house where all the creepy Brazilian baby dolls go to holiday!

(For more on creepy Brazilian baby dolls click here, here, here here, here and here.)

The next day, we decided to go somewhere focused on kid fun. So we did a search and discovered that the area had a park called Parque da Floresta Encantada. Seemed harmless enough.

But this particular attraction can only be described as the LSD-driven fantasy/nightmare of some overprivileged/underutilized  architect/mud-hut designer in the 70’s whose parents ignored him as a child and left him alone every Christmas with a nanny who stole all his toys and pets. (This will all become clear as the story unfolds…)

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First stop was a foreshadowing for the rest of the park. An “Easter” house that had an interior strung with stuffed bunnies.

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The second house on the path of madness was the first haunted house. (And the first of oh so many wtf’s and “why’s.”)

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Outside, practically hiding behind a tree and furiously texting (probably for help), was a poor teen dressed as a witch, complete with plastic strap on nose. So with this, plus the Freddy Kruger-like creature on the balcony, we kind of knew what we were in for…

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… or not.

Next was, of course, a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs themed home.

(For more on Snow White sightings in Brazil, click here, here, here, here and here.)

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Inside was another park employee dressed as Snow White, who scared the hell out of me as I went around the corner, because who would have thought these structures would be inhabited?

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What’s a Snow White story without a couple creepy doll co-stars…

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… and a stained glass dog window. All makes sense.

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No rendition of the story is complete without dwarf sleeping quarters.

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I’m not sure why, but this feels like the creepiest thing about this stop on the exhibition of insanity.

Next was the “Angel House.”

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It was sparsely furnished with child-sized lounge furniture and many of these types of figurines.

Then there was what appeared to be some ramshackle hillbilly mansion.

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But what was actually the second haunted house.

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I don’t know what these are supposed to be. Maybe a street drug induced interpretation of horror movie grave stones? Can’t be sure.

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To my delight, we then encountered a house full of bizarre dolls (for my collection).

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What is a Netherlands inspired Brazilian town without a holiday house for Santa Claus?

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Happily, I discovered this was an excellent source for creepy Santa dolls.

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Drunk Uncle Santa.

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Earlier drunk Uncle Santa now completely passed out.

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Life-sized ones even…

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The grand finale was a house-o-cats.

IMG_6933 IMG_6932 I tell myself that they let the cats out at night for air and that’s why every house has a peculiar system of wired fencing around it. So they don’t set up camp (or toilettes) in the attractions.

My daughter loved this park for the adventure and mystery. I loved it, obviously, for the bizarrity. My husband was happy that we were happy.

A good day was had by all.

Campos was OK. But if you want to get a little of the Netherlands in Brazil, I would recommend Penedo instead. It’s smaller, but has everything Campos seems to have (except for the above) – and is less expensive. It’s an hour further from São Paulo, but worth the extra drive.

Unless, of course, you must experience Parque da Floresta Encantada for yourself…

 

 

 

About bornagainbrazilian

Having relocated from New York City to Sao Paulo, Brazil, I'm an expat attempting to broaden my horizons and adjust some of my American ways to be "born again" a Brazilian.
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10 Responses to The Creepy Side of Campos do Jordão

  1. Erin says:

    This is soooooo funny!! I should have warned you that Campos is not all it´s said to be, but glad you found something to amuse you there nonetheless.

  2. Oh. My. God. It’s like you found the Island of Misfits from Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer. Why are Brazilian baby dolls SO creepy?

  3. nilsonsux says:

    Why do I feel violated after seeing these images? God that Angel House is disturbing!

  4. Shelley says:

    Man, I miss those creepy dolls. Thanks for posting!

  5. Brasil_Researcher says:

    You don’t understand the fuzz about Campos do Jordao because you don’t know what to do there and you have never been in a town like that in your own country..the US..where towns like that barely exist (even if it looks like that you see your regular Walmart or Target with worse and everything made china crap…at least in Campos do Jordao you find more made in Brazil)…anyway…How ignorant are you about the nation you live? It’s clear not just a bit. Before you go to a place, at least do some homework by reading it’s history..or you just plain lazy (like the usual lack of culture US citizen…it’s a fact, many people in the US lack culture..walmart, coca coca cola and mcdonalds is not culture..they are corporations that ruin the US). INetherlands inspired Brazilian town? It’s not a DUTCH inspired Brazilian town. It’s a Brazilian town founded and built by mainly Swiss and German immigrants (others are Austrians, Hungarians etc). Penedo is in the state of Rio de Janeiro is founded by Finish immigrants. Typical Dutch (in this case, Brazilians from Dutch descendant, the Netherlands/Holland) old immigrant towns are, two examples because there are many around the country: .Holambra in the state of Sao Paulo or Castrolandia in state of Parana. The dolls look scary, but for a person living in Brazil, pretty long, lack of knowledge and typing as an ignorant is even scarier.

    • Chill out Brasil Researcher. This is a blog, not the Wall Street Journal. Talk about ignorant, we certainly do have towns like this in the US. Ever been there? You should go before you criticize and generalize. That’s ignorant! And my husband has been going to Campos do Jordao since he was a child – and he is of the same opinion and I’m certain knows more about the place than you do.

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