BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Imagine going home every day and being greeted by a giraffe, a lion or even Bigfoot? That’s the reality for an entire neighborhood in Beckley.

On Conway Street, located near the intersection of Maxwell Hill Road and Robert C. Byrd Drive, you can find dozens of lifelike animals- all on display in front yards.

“It’s just unbelievable how realistic they are,” Joyce Wriston said. “It kind of looks like a zoo.”

You could call Joyce the zoo keeper, she owns all of the animal statues. She said her personal zoo started three years ago. “I was living alone, my husband passed away, and I knew I had to keep busy so I thought I would decorate.”

It all started with one and has now grown to more than 70- from farm and zoo animal, to Bigfoot and even dinosaurs.

“I did the dinosaurs because of the children. They love Jurassic Park, it’s one of their favorites.

For a living, Wriston designed and sold one-of-a-kind dolls and also raised wild animals. Her love for the two expanded to realistic animal statues.  But she needed a place to showcase all of them, so she started buying and flipping homes on her street. She now proudly owns seven properties.

“It just makes you feel good, it makes me feel good and I know it does a lot of other people,” Wriston said. 

The buck doesn’t stop at the animals, one of her homes is decorated year-round for Halloween. It’s designed as a haunted house and is filled with your favorite Halloween characters who come to life at the push of a button.

“It’s a new normal . Nothing crazy about it,” said Charles Mullins who has been neighbors with Wriston for more than half a century.”I thought it would stop at one, then another one, and I thought well that looks good. Next thing I know, they had yards full of them.” 

Now, the road he has lived on his entire life has become a family attraction.

“Oh, it’s interesting to me to see the many reactions you can get from the people. Traffic will pull over, they’ll back up sometimes and look again.” 

To some, this may be a neighbor’s worst nightmare, but for Mullins, “The animals don’t bother you, they don’t bark or stay up all night, everything is calm so that’s good.”

“What would you say to people who call you the crazy zoo lady?” 

“I’ve been called that. You have to be yourself and you have to be true to yourself. That’s what makes every human being special,” Wriston said. 

And what makes this so special to Wriston- is seeing the reaction on people’s faces as they visit her personal zoo on Conway Street.

Wriston said she’s invested more than $100,000 in her animal display and haunted house. You can see it all, for free. Instead of taking donations, she encourages everyone to donate to an organization that’s meaningful to them.

If you would like to see the haunted house, Wriston said just knock on her door and she will take you through it.