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Mike Polk Jr. visits the largest Troll doll collection in the world in Alliance

Move over Rock Hall, Northeast Ohio has another historic museum that's become a mecca for passionate fans of a very specific interest: Trolls!

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Move over Rock Hall. Step aside Pro Football Hall of Fame. Northeast Ohio has another historic museum that has become a mecca for passionate fans of a very specific interest... and that interest is Trolls!

We're not talking the Tolkien variety...not the internet kind either. We're talking Troll dolls, and maybe, like me, you didn't know they were still a thing. But boy are they. And some people are really into them.  

And, it’s here in Alliance, Ohio that you will find The Troll Hole. A vibrant museum housing the world's largest collection of troll dolls. It's the realized vision of owner and curator Sherry Groom who started collecting Trolls when she was 5 and never looked back. 

"We started with two thousand Trolls," Groom explained. "It was a very passive collection that I started when I was 5, with my first Troll, but once it became a business, now I had reason to buy more Trolls. So now we have over forty thousand pieces of Trolls, Troll dolls and Troll memorabilia."

Sherry was gracious enough to offer me a guided tour throughout this truly labyrinthian troll gallery, and shared no shortage of Troll history and Troll lore.... like the reason why she believes so many people feel a connection with these mythical creatures.

"They're so ugly, it makes you laugh," she said. "And the Scandinavian belief system was if you're laughing, no harm can come to you. There's something about the hair, something about the eyes that's a magical element to the troll dolls that make them so popular."

"As they say, “If you build it, they will come”. And, Troll doll collectors from near and far gathered here last week for the Alliance of Trolls Convention, and for traveling Troll lovers like Janna Hasselbring, the journey is worth it. 

"I bought my first Troll in 1964, so I've loved Trolls my whole entire life," Hasselbring said of her enthusiasm for Troll culture. "[The troll community] is so kind to each other, you just wouldn't believe how nice the people are."

Credit: Capturing Moments Photography
The Troll Hole Museum recently hosted the Alliance of Trolls Convention.

To be candid, I don’t necessarily see the appeal of Troll Dolls, but that is, of course irrelevant because not everything is for me and frankly some of the stuff I like is way weirder than this. But I do think it’s great that people who DO love troll dolls have a place like this to meet up, hang out and talk about the thing that they mutually enjoy. So I say, Troll on, Troll Hole, and thanks for making Northeast Ohio a little weirder place to live.  

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