“The whole thing started in our bedroom, where I designed the doll,” James Wan told Collider. Billy the puppet was created completely and wholeheartedly by Wan out of clay and papier-mâché. The traits that made the infamous Jigsaw puppet so terrifying were intentionally designed to look as crafty as possible. Given that Billy is literally a manifestation of John Kramer’s trauma, it makes sense.
Originally Kramer created Bobby, a much smaller version of Billy, to give to his wife and unborn child. After her miscarriage, Kramer kept making these puppets, and Billy became the iconic and recognizable face he could use for his theatrics without revealing his identity. Billy has always been incredibly unsettling, but the almost crude craft behind the original puppet only adds to that feeling.
The doll went on to become one of the most recognizable horror icons out there. Making cameos across various horror projects, it appeared in 2020’s “The Invisible Man,” Wan’s other creepy puppet film, “Dead Silence,” “Insidious,” and many more. He even starred in the spoof film, “Scary Movie 4.”