Family removes controversial Halloween display over concerns for own safety

Posted at 3:43 PM, Oct 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-12 14:31:45-04

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?