Instead of ghosts or witches in their front yard, one Parma, Ohio, family opted for a more graphic display — that included life-like dummies who had been impaled, stabbed in the throat, bound in plastic wrap, and even crucified upside-down.
Because the home is only a block from Denzler Elementary School, several neighbors and parents are speaking out after their children were terrified by the realistic decor.
Jackie Anselmo says she and her 9-year-old daughter saw the display on their way to school. “Shock. You take a double take because it is a very realistic display,” she told the Cleveland news station. “Almost horrified that somebody would think that it’s ok to put it that close to an elementary school.”
Her daughter says she was scared because she thought they were real bodies. So Anselmo took a picture and has been trying to get the city to take the display down. But, the city says there’s nothing they can do about it because it’s freedom of expression.
The homeowner, Vicki Barrett, says she hasn’t received any direct complaints since she and her husband created the gruesome scene. “We don’t want to scare kids,” Barrett told the news station. “We just want to do the Halloween fun of it and, you know, but definitely no ill intent, no.
Barrett, a mom to a 2-year-old and a teen with special needs, says she would never intentionally have frightened 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. We don’t want to scare kids.”