Mutilated dolls adorn Upstate yard - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Mutilated dolls adorn Upstate yard

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(Source: WYFF) (Source: WYFF)

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - There are dolls hung from trees in hangman's nooses, impaled, stabbed in the eyes and in fire pits, all in the yard of a couple who says it's just a decorating scheme -- and apparently, there's nothing to stop them from adding even more to their collection.

Larriatt McHale shares the home off Oakland Street in the Converse community of Spartanburg County with her boyfriend, Brad Kennedy. They said they are big Halloween fans and always decorate their yard and home.

This year, McHale says she made it her New Year's resolution to not be afraid to do what she wants, which was to decorate the outside of her home. Kennedy showed McHale a show called "Destination Truth" and a story about the "Island of the Dolls."

McHale said, "I've always decorated the inside of my house, and I've wanted to decorate the outside, but I never knew how."

Once she had the idea, McHale got some dolls from a friend and bought the rest at second-hand stores.

"(The friend) is the one who put the noose in the tree and came up with the idea of putting shackles on the baby, even though he won't admit it," McHale said.

"It's nothing negative," Kennedy said. "Just like a little creativity, like demons in your mind. Just trying to express yourself, basically."

Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement has not gotten any complaints about the dolls, and they say the decorations do not break any county ordinances or laws.

Two neighbors told WYFF-TV they want the dolls taken down, and they said all their fellow neighbors feel the same way. One neighbor called it an "abomination."

The neighbors said they think it sends a bad message to the children in the neighborhood.

McHale says she plans to add more dolls to the yard.

She said, "We've gotten a couple of people who've said stuff, but nobody's really said anything negative. There's nothing negative about it. We're not doing it to be negative people. I don't hate people or anybody.

"We find something on the street like a dart, bring it up the street and it goes in the baby doll's eye," she said. "It's nothing evil or nothing like that … I've got four children, and they think it's cool. They don't find a problem with it."

McHale said her children want to help with the display.

"We don't teach them that it's bad. We don't say, 'Hey, go out and stab a person in the eye.' It's a baby doll. It's not a person. There's no blood. There's no grossness," she said.

"It's kind of artsy, the way it all is, in a morbid way," Kennedy said. "It ain't negative whatsoever. It's more of a positive way, like in the eyes of the beholder."

McHale said, "I would hate for something like this to happen to my kids. I would really hope other parents would look up and say, 'Hey. This could happen to my kids. Maybe I need to watch them better.' … I don't want this to happen to anyone."

"I just think people should be more expressive. People shouldn't be so afraid to do what they want to do," she said. "If you feel like you want to come out and nail a doll to the tree, then nail a doll to the tree. It's much more better than beating your kids."

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