The power of mass media has contributed to this negative reaction. They have put dolls in horror films for this past generation creating the 'fear'.
Are you familiar with the TV show Brain Games? They show you pictures and situations and then tell you why you react the way you do. This is my version of brain games. We have become a society that loves the drama and lives for strong emotions but we really don't want to live in that strong emotional space for long. Just enough to feel alive and no more.
That is why subconsciously, if you are one that is drawn to dolls, the sad woe begotten waif will pull at your heart strings. The serene character will create a calming oasis; making both of these types the ones people will buy into.
Keep in mind that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Maybe you now can see past the emotions of the fear. Don't our dolls that we surround ourselves with make us stronger? Maybe a little more loved? A little less afraid... I believe so.
Also, be aware that the artist who does one-of-a-kind dolls will usually push the envelope for emotions. We are, after all, artists! We love expressing 'our' emotions and 'our' imaginations through our dolls. This gives us the freedom to explore those emotions with them. But that is another story..