Actress Melanie Griffith was left spooked after moviemaker Alfred Hitchcock gifted her a doll of her mum when she was a child.

The filmmaker directed Tippi Hedren in The Birds and thought he'd found the perfect Christmas present for her daughter.

Griffith recalls, "It was, like, a coffin box... and I opened it up and in it was a doll of my mother from The Birds... It was, like, made by the studio.

"Can you imagine the psychological effect (of that)... He was a very weird guy."

She was reminded of the weird gift while she was shooting a recent appearance on sitcom Raising Hope: "The weirdest thing was when I walked on the set I was asking where my mum was... and they said, 'She's over there in the coffin,' and she's laying in a coffin.

"I was, like, kissing her and talking to her and then all of a sudden I realised that she was in a coffin and it was sorta creepy."