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“The house of a thousand heads”: the creepy balcony full of doll heads in Caracas

3 min read

In the center of Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, amid the hustle and bustle of the city and the tall buildings, the façade of a house stands out that seems to have been taken from a horror movie.
Located in the middle of Avenida Este 12, between Fuerzas Armadas and Sur 5, in a place known as “El Muerto” (literally The Dead) corner, is a two-storey building that has captured the imagination of both locals and visitors of the city. The large balcony can go unnoticed by those who walk at the dizzying pace imposed by the city and who do not have time to look up, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to take in the sights, there’s no way to miss the hundreds of creepy old doll heads that seem to follow you with their eyes as you pass by.
Going past the Balcony of the Dolls during the day is creepy enough, but doing it at night, when there is hardly anyone around, can give you nightmares.
Throw in some rain that makes the dirt and soot run down the dolls’ faces like black tears, and you can feel like inside of a real-life horror scene!

Stories and urban legends about the creepy balcony have been going around Caracas for years, but in reality, there’s nothing macabre or scary behind it. Simply, it is the creation of local visual artist Etanís González , who owns the house and the commercial premises below it, and has turned part of it into a museum.
And the balcony of the dolls, a work known among Caracas people as “the house of a thousand heads”, is merely one of his many art installations.
According to Mr. Gonzalez’s son, Jonathan, the creepy installation was inspired by the friendship their family developed with Mr. Jesús Poleo, a Caracas driver who has a truck decorated with dolls.
The art piece of the dolls took 3 years and a lot of patience, placing one by one of the heads that now hang in front of the house.
Jonathan also explains that most of the artworks they do are made with recycled materials.

In the beginning, the Balcony of the Dolls, was very controversial in the neighborhood, with some who thought it was a satanic symbol, others that the dolls were actual babies, with some residents tried to collect signatures to force the González family to withdraw the artwork. But in the end, everything settled down, and now people have accepted the balcony as a local landmark, that attracts also onlookers and photographers.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a fan of Etanís González’s artistic installation, and some of the neighbors suspect that it’s these people who start rumors about the family performing black magic in the house.
One of the most popular myths about this unique attraction is that it’s the house of a deformed, fat and hunchbacked old man, who comes out at midnight to steal the girls’ dolls while they sleep.
But the mystery, for now, is only in the heads of the pedestrians who avoid the Gonzalez house at night, if they can avoid it….

Images from web – Google Research

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