MAKE YOUR OWN CORNHUSK DOLL: The Historic Arkansas Museum's gift shop sells a doll kit to help craft dolls similar to these. BRIAN CHILSON

The third season of HBO’s “True Detective,” filmed and set in Northwest Arkansas, premiered last night with the first two episodes. Along with the thrill of recognizing landmarks in the new season’s opening credits, such as the Christ of the Ozarks statue, Arkansas viewers also have the opportunity to recreate the show’s morbid malaise with the help of a cornhusk doll kit available for a cool $7.25 at the Historic Arkansas Museum gift shop.

The Traditional Cornhusk Doll Kit comes with materials and instructions to make one hauntingly faceless doll, admittedly a more simplistic version than the elaborately crafted cornhusk dolls that line the path to a devastating discovery made by Det. Wayne Hays, played by Mahershala Ali.


Use the doll kit from the Historic Arkansas Museum to leave a little something under your significant other’s pillow, ensuring yourself a spot on the couch for the evening. Place the doll in your chair at the dinner table to fool your family into thinking you’ve shed your mortal coil and transformed into a toy made from the dried ears of a vegetable. Or, really commit to your new identity as a bizarre niche prankster and buy several doll kits to create an unsettling garland of corn people, then string it up in your bathroom, turn the lights out, and wait for your roommate to find it.

Even after only two episodes, the dolls seem to be a significant clue to deciphering the mystery behind the crimes that shock the fictional small town of West Finger. The dolls were a favored craft from “pioneer days to the present,” as the kit’s description reads, and their presence in the show feels like a nod to the first season’s affinity for Southern symbology, where Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s characters navigated crime scenes replete with intricately constructed “devil nets,” also called bird catchers, which were a cornerstone of the season’s exploration of southern Louisiana lore.


Will the third season’s cornhusk dolls prove to be as connected to the identities of the guilty as the first season’s devil nets? Will you commit to buying every cornhusk kit the Historic Arkansas Museum has in stock in order to execute an elaborate series of spooky pranks that alienate your family and friends? Our regular movie reviewer Sam Eifling will recap the series for us every week, so stay tuned for what the dolls reveal in the show. We’ll take your word for it on the pranks.