An Army family on Fort Campbell, Ky. removed an "offensive" Halloween display that appears to depict a lynching after post officials ordered them to do so, according to a local news website.
The decorations were reported to the website by a reader.
The display shows three fake, bloodied people hung from a tree and a fake child with a bloodied knife protruding from his back. The people were created using black trash bags, making it appear that they have black skin. A sign hung on one neck appears to say "Do Not Touch You Be Next."
Post officials reported that the display's owners did not intend for it to be offensive and that they were ordered to remove it.
But the situation has sparked a debate within the military community about what, exactly, is an appropriate Halloween display. Where is the line between fun and scary and inappropriate bad taste -- on base or otherwise?
First let me confess -- I hate Halloween. Hate it. We don't celebrate it and, for now, my children do not dress-up or go trick-or-treating. We don't decorate the house and we don't hand out candy. We simply don't participate. And I have a very low tolerance for the gore that Halloween often brings. My year-round arachnophobia definitely does not help. I'm firmly with our friends over at Many Kind Regards on this one.
But that doesn't mean I think others shouldn't enjoy the day. I understand that most people find Halloween a fun, spooky holiday to enjoy with their families and friends. I just don't.
Still, most people would say there is a line when it comes to yard decorations and there is a difference between spooky fun and gore. Halloween is primarily a holiday for children (adults don't go trick-or-treating alone, do they? Or rather, they shouldn't). And so, in theory, the decorations should be something that children would enjoy.
Very few people will argue that a lynching scene, or even a scene of dead bodies hung in a tree that is NOT a lynching, is appropriate for children.
But what about a grave yard in front of your house? What about a grave yard with a body popping out of the grave while being consumed by a giant fake spider? What about a bloodied fake body hanging out your top window? Are these things that my 5-year-old should have to see?
Are these things that are in good taste and living up to the spirit of the holiday which, I'm told, is spooky fun?
Maybe I'm way off base here. Maybe bodies hanging from a tree (as long as it's not a lynching because, just, no) IS spooky fun and something that a child would enjoy.
You tell me. What do you consider appropriate and inappropriate for Halloween?
Photos courtesy of Facebook.