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'It's something that I like:' Meet the owner of the Eastside's 'Creepy Doll House'

The unique front yard attracts spectators and controversy from some neighbors
House of Dolls Tucson
Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 12:43:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Paula Carter knows what she likes, and she wants to be surrounded by it. Her Eastside house is a testament to that.

The outside is a collection of things she likes, gathered from thrift stores and yard sales, which Carter frequents at least twice a month.

Her first outdoor decorations were mannequin heads her father got from a closing beauty salon.

"So he asked them if he could get the heads, and they said what do you want with the heads and he said I have a crazy daughter," Carter said.

Now, dolls line the outside of her yard, keeping those who don't understand it away from Carter's "fortress of solitude."

"There’s a lot of people that love them, a lot of people that hate it," she said, gesturing to the fence. "Some of the neighbors do not like it, some of them like them.”

One of the neighbors who is a fan of Carter's unique display is 90 year-old Merrill Moon who has lived in the neighborhood since 1962. He sees the dolls every day on his morning walk and even added a little green frog to the pence post.

"Well I’m 90 years old," He said. "I’ve seen most of these when they were first made. I think a person who gathers something like this over all the years… They’re fine people. I like them.”

Carter said that while not everyone is a fan of her yard, she doesn't do it for them.

“People are going to think it’s creepy, people are going to think it’s cute, I don’t care," she said. "It’s just art. It’s something that I like.”

Alex Dowd is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9, where her work combines her two favorite hobbies: talking to new people and learning about the community around her. Her goal is to eventually meet every single person in Tucson. Share your story ideas with Alex via email,, or connecting on Instagram or X.