Jackie Anselmo appreciates a good Halloween decoration as much as anybody. But the mother was shocked when she noticed a new display up on Dentzler Road in Parma, Ohio, directly along the route that she walks her daughter to school along. The display wasn’t just scary – it was truly gory, with several grotesque corpses and depictions of brutal murder scenes for all passerby to see.
“Shock. You almost do a double take because it is a very realistic display,” Anselmo told Cleveland19. “Almost horrified that somebody would think that it’s okay to put it that close to an elementary school.”
Anselmo wasn’t just speaking for herself, but primarily for her poor daughter who was terribly frightened by the experience. While it’s unreasonable to expect the world to be completely child-proof, this public display seems to have gone over the line for many.
According to Anselmo, her 9-year-old daughter was distraught because she believed that the dead bodies in the display were real. Considering one of them is being held up by a giant knife stabbed through its chest, it’s understandably scary for a young child to see.
Anselmo decided to do what she could in this unfortunate situation. She snapped a picture and sent a formal complaint to the city, with the intent of forcing the homeowner to remove the display. Otherwise, she and her daughter would be walking past it every day for the next few weeks.
According to city officials, there is nothing to do about the display. It is a “free expression,” and doesn’t violate any laws, so their hands are tied. Cleveland19 decided to get to the bottom of this, and they sought out answers from the source – the homeowners who put up the display.
“We don’t want to scare kids. We just want to do the Halloween fun of it but definitely no ill intent, no,” Vicky Barrett told the local CNN affiliate. “If it’s scaring some kids and we knew they’re having a hard time leaving school, year, we may have toned it down.”
This story took place several years ago, and it’s not clear from the original reporting what the eventual outcome of the situation was. Hopefully, the family saw it in the goodness of their hearts to remove the more terrifying aspects of their display so more kids aren’t traumatized like Anselmo’s daughter.
Anselmo did the right thing by approaching the city, but in the end, they have to follow the laws of the land. At a certain point, you have to make that human connection and approach the issue with an open mind – otherwise, conflict is sure to ensue.
The images recently went viral once more on image sharing platform Imgur, with thousands of commenters enjoying the controversial display once again this Halloween season.
“Great way to hide the actual bodies…” wrote Makato2003 yesterday.
“They’re just jealous her Halloween decoration is better than theirs,” added another commenter.
What do you think of Barrett’s bizarre and frightening Halloween display? Share your thoughts in the comments and start a conversation!