A woman who is obsessed with life-like dolls has filled her house with hundreds of toy people – some of which are made from the hair of her own family.
Marilyn Mansfield, a 36-year-old from New York City, says she has been fixated on dolls since she was two years old, and walks them around town in a pram for fun.
She has even made a career out of her bizarre hobby – she and her husband Zoth Ommog, 40, make and sell the dolls for a living.
Their home, on New York’s Staten Island, has now been overwhelmed by her collection, which numbers more than 300.
Mrs Mansfield, who lives with her two children and husband Zoth, 40, said that the dolls are ‘therapeutic’ and that caring for them fills a gap left now that her children Damien, 10, and Skylar, 15, are too old for pushchairs.
She said: ‘I loved walking with a stroller when my kids were little – they don’t fit in the strollers any more, so I take out a doll.
‘The dolls can be therapeutic – for some people it can be beneficial as long as you’re not losing touch with reality.
‘I have been fascinated with dolls since as early as I can remember – when I was two-years-old I had a cookie monster doll and wouldn’t let it go.
‘I got a doll called Real Baby when I was about 7 or 8, it looked realistic – not compared to my babies here.
‘My instinct is to cuddle them, mother them, take care of them – that just comes natural (sic) for me.’
Her ever-expanding doll collection are often made with natural materials such as goat’s hair – but for one Mrs Mansfield imported some extra authenticity by using hair from her own son.
She said: ‘One of my favourites is Davina Star – I rooted her hair with my son’s hair.
‘We usually use goat hair for the babies, but I decided to use my son’s hair so she looks like more of the family.’
Mr Ommog fully supports his wife’s obsession and has come to accept them as part of his lifestyle.
He said: ‘This is my life and has been for over ten years now – living babies surrounding me in my bedroom and every room of the house.
‘I help care for them, I help make and sell them – it’s part of the lifestyle that I live now.’