A Parma, Ohio, family’s front-yard Halloween display is a little too gory for some neighborhood kids, and neighbors are complaining, WOIO out of Cleveland is reporting.
For three years, homeowner Vicki Barrett, and her family has put up gruesome Halloween displays in the front yard of their suburban Cleveland home. They’ve never had any complaints. This year’s display includes scenes of bodies that have met their fate in various horrifying ways. A mummified corpse hangs upside-down from a tree. Nearby, a man is impaled through the torso with a knife stuck in his mouth. Another body is positioned upside down, nails in its wrists and hypodermic syringes embedded in its neck. Demonic gargoyles look on from behind.
Purim displays don’t come close… Ohio family’s gruesome Halloween decorations controversy http://t.co/sf6JsdTFwl pic.twitter.com/Mjadyaeb8B
— Malei Rikud (@MaleiRikud) October 9, 2015
This year, however, neighbors are complaining. Children on their way to nearby Dentzler Elementary school pass the Halloween display, and at least one — an unidentified 9-year-old girl — told her parents that the display scared her.
“I felt scared ’cause I thought they were real people.”
The girl’s mother, Jackie Anselmo, was not impressed.
“Shock. You take a double take because it is a very realistic display. Almost horrified that somebody would think that it’s okay to put it that close to an elementary school.”
Anselmo says she and other neighbors — she wouldn’t say who or how many — are alarmed at the graphic Halloween display, and they want it gone. Another neighbor, Michael Pasek, tells WJW in Cleveland that he’s also concerned about neighborhood kids being scared by the display.
“I just think that belongs in a haunted house somewhere rather than perhaps out on the street.”
Anselmo says the took a picture of the display and e-mailed it to Parma city officials, thinking the local authorities would make the family take it down. No such luck; Parma officials say there’s nothing they can do because the Halloween display is protected by the First Amendment. Barrett says she has no interest in taking down her Halloween display.
“When we put up the display, I don’t think we even considered that there was a school there. I think as parents, if my kids were going to that school or if I was someone in the neighborhood, I would just teach my children that this is a Halloween display and I thought other parents would have done the same.”
Parent Julie Austin is on Barrett’s side; she said that her child knows make-believe from real, and isn’t afraid of the display.
“I think it’s fine. It’s Halloween. I don’t see a problem with it. My daughter has watched Nightmare on Elm Street and she’s seven. So she’s not scared and I think it’s all in good fun.”
The Parma family is not the first family to arouse the ire of neighbors for a gruesome Halloween display. Last year, according to this Inquisitr report, a family living on the Fort Campbell military base put up a Halloween display that featured human characters, their faces covered in black cloth, hanging from a tree. Alarmed neighbors suggested that the display was racist; characters with black heads hanging from trees recalled the lynching of African-Americans, and the military ordered the display taken down.
— Dominique D Gilliard (@WEB_Ture) November 3, 2014
Do you believe the Parma, Ohio, family’s Halloween display is too gruesome and should be taken down? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Pressmaster]