Family removes controversial Halloween display over concerns for own safety

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WARNING: Video contains graphic and gory scenes that may not be appropriate for all viewers.

PARMA, Ohio — An Ohio family has now taken down its controversial Halloween display over concerns for their own safety.

Owner Vicki Barrett told WJW the display was getting too much attention and it made her family feel unsafe.

"I came down one night a little bit after midnight and happened to see stuff flashing in my front yard and looked out my window and our front yard was full of people that we didn't know," she told WJW.

As for whether they’ll ever decorate for Halloween again, she said probably not.

"I don't think we even want to do anything. We don't even want to put up a pumpkin or any of what some people would think are typical Halloween decorations," she said.

"That's not the way we want to express it," she told WJW. "I think by us decorating this way maybe some people think that we should, would be us caving in and this is not a caving in thing, this is a safety thing for our family."

Blood and gore are Halloween staples but how far is too far?

Some in Ohio are saying one haunting display in their town is just too real.

The display includes a man crucified upside down and what appears to be a body wrapped in plastic hanging upside down from a tree.

Most offensive to many is a child-sized mannequin stabbed in the throat and impaled on a metal pole.

Reports state children have been scared and started crying as they walk by the house going to and from an elementary school.

City leaders say there’s nothing they can do about it because it’s considered freedom of expression.

Vicki Barrett put up the display with her husband and said they haven’t had any complaints.

“We don’t want to scare kids," she said. "We just want to do the Halloween fun of it and, you know, but definitely no ill intent, no.”

Barrett said she has a 2-year-old child and a special-needs teenager and would never do anything to purposely frighten children.

“If it’s scaring some kids, and we knew they’re having a hard time leaving school, yeah, we may have toned it down," she said. "We don’t want to scare kids.”

The question now is will they take it down?


  • Tammy

    I think it’s alittle to graphic for kids and should be toned down. Remember you were thinking with a adult mind and that isn’t the same as a child’s mind. It can leave a lasting impression and cause nightmares that can last a lifetime.

  • Heretic Schmeretic

    I’m fine with this, because it doesn’t really matter when you think about it. I have to look at Fear Factory on my drive home from work everyday and I see more graphic imagery on the side of a building than this. Give a kid a stick and have him poke a body. My grand dad told me stories of when he used to do that, and it helped him get over the fear of death.

  • Sheila

    Well, now the kids know that it is fake…what is the point of taking it down. It is already embedded into their memory. Shucks!

    • truegrit54

      Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!!! Had to make a story about a Halloween display political! Someone throw little Bobbie a minnow!!!

  • J

    Ironic: can’t do anything about “dead bodies” gory fake child murders hanging in a yard…but hang an american flag on a non holiday day and that will bring the hordes of nay sayers.

    • Jeff Krogue

      Thats incorrect if you are not allowed to fly a flag that means you are under an HOA, which would also have the legal ability to prevent you from putting up a display like this.

  • Dan Gray

    Its halloween for cripes sake! Its SUPPOSE to be scary! Now if they had this display out on say Christmas or the 4th Of July, then I would start to worry. So stop trying to make a mountain out of a molehill!

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  • Isabel

    They complain because a guy kill people in a school … when they have hung people in a house and killed people . And they say they have to explain to children the difference between fantasy and reality between a fake dead a real one …. If we teach our children to see that this is normal in decorations for Halloween , and after we intend to distinguish killing people are not fun!
    Something is not good !

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