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Forget princesses: This 7-year-old is into dressing up as horror icons


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This little girl is more scared of gender norms than scary movies. 

Pint-size horror fan Coral DeGraves would much rather dress up like Chucky than Cinderella.

“Coral has never really taken to princesses and other things in that realm,” the 7-year-old’s mother, Cheyenne, told Caters News Agency of her daughter, whom she’s helped cosplay as more than 60 iconic, terrifying characters. “She doesn’t necessarily turn her nose up to princesses or fairy tales; she’s just never shown a distinct interest.”

Coral’s inclination for gore became clear when she was still a toddler and she expressed an interest in the main villain from the slasher film franchise “Child’s Play.”

“When Coral was about 2 years old, she became drawn to Chucky, so for fun I made her a little Good Gal’s costume,” said Maryland mom Cheyenne, 31, referring to a female equivalent of the Good Guy doll that Chucky’s spirit inhabits in the films. “She wound up later asking to wear that same costume to a horror convention a few months later.”

Coral DeGraves, 7, takes on Chucky's scarred look from "Child's Play."
Coral DeGraves, 7, takes on Chucky’s scarred look from the “Child’s Play” franchise.
Cheyenne DeGraves / Caters News

While Cheyenne — who works as an office manager — was initially surprised by Coral’s taste for terror, she sees no problem with it. 

“While she loves all things horror and paranormal, she is just as much your regular animal-loving, adventure-seeking Girl Scout,” she explained. Now, the pair regularly attend horror conventions together in homemade outfits depicting a gory tooth fairy, the Joker, the Bride of Frankenstein, Stephen King’s creeper clown Pennywise from “It” (Coral’s favorite film) or a terrifying Tinkerbell. Plus, getting to meet some of the actors and artists behind her favorite scary characters has taken “the fear out of the images and movies” for Coral, her mom said.

Still, Cheyenne makes sure to vet all horror films before letting her 7-year-old watch them. “Her father and I are very cautious of what she is actually allowed to see,” she said. The horror classic “The Exorcist,” for example, has been deemed inappropriate for now. 

Coral DeGraves is fascinated by horror icons — like this nefarious gnome reminiscent of the title character in the 1993 horror film "Leprechaun."
Coral DeGraves is fascinated by horror icons — like this nefarious gnome reminiscent of the title character in the 1993 film “Leprechaun.”
Cheyenne DeGraves / Caters News

The relatively unique hobby has made Coral popular among her friends, who she said “think it’s neat that I like scary things, even though they don’t.”

Strangers, though, are occasionally put off by it. “Sometimes they stand and stare from far away, trying to figure out what I’m doing, or they turn around and avoid me.” But Coral always manages to take nasty reactions in stride: “It’s always funny though.”

And both she and Cheyenne take pride in helping show the world that plenty of little girls like horror flicks. 

“We love doing these scary cosplays and makeup looks, because so often girls are left out of these things,” said Cheyenne. “When you shop for children’s Halloween costumes, the boys’ selection has skeletons, zombies, ghouls and monsters, while the selection for girls is extremely limited on these styles. We know there are more girls out there with the same interests and want to show them that they can totally be the same cool, gruesome creatures.”

Coral DeGraves gets a zombie makeover that is the antithesis of a Girl Scout’s persona.

Cheyenne DeGraves / Caters News


Sinister scout: Coral DeGraves turns a Girl Scout uniform into a ghoulish spectacle.

Cheyenne DeGraves / Caters News

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