Not a good Halloween display

I hate outdoor Halloween displays more every year. They haven’t always been a thing – back in the 18th century when I was a kid, there was a carved pumpkin and that was it. You didn’t have every yard full of rotting corpses and that stupid cobweb shit draped all over everything.

But some displays are disgusting in a whole other way. The story at AlterNet is titled Kentucky Woman Doesn’t Find Display Of Black People Hanging From Her Tree Offensive

so that’s how that one is disgusting.

A Halloween display depicting what appears to be a black family hanging from a tree outside of a Kentucky residence has been taken down after people complained about it. The house is located on the military base in Fort Campbell. reports that one of its readers sent in a photo of four figures hanging in the home’s front yard. The child has a knife in its back and one of the figures is holding a sign that is hard to read in the photo.

Brendalyn Carpenter with Fort Campbell Public Affairs said her department received a report of a Halloween display that was “offensive in nature” and asked that it be investigated. The woman who had put up the display agreed to take it down after learning of the concerns voiced by some in her community.

Wtf? How would anyone think it was anything else?


  1. Decker says

    Gawd some people are utterly clueless. How could she not know that this was offensive.

    Good, genuine Halloween decorations always have a subtle touch of humor.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    Oddly, in looking around to see what that sign said, I found THIS account:

    The right-wing Modern American Revolution group denied the display was racially motivated, claiming in a Facebook post that the Public Affairs department confirmed it depicted a scene from the 2012 horror movie, “Sinister.”

    “In it, a WHITE family had been killed by their possessed child,” the group posted. “So, anyone who tries to say this is racist is wrong. Since the gentleman is an active duty soldier living on a federal military installation, he has no 1st Amendment rights. Living on post is VERY different than living off post. …End of story!”

    They’re saying that the person who put up this display was MALE. The gender of the person in question is rarely in question! I looked up several sources, which either identified the person as male, or as an “active duty soldier”, gender not mentioned. I wonder why this detail is in question – that strikes me as profoundly odd.

    Another source:

    Army Times reported that the homeowner, who is an active-duty solider, “willingly removed the decorations” after base officials reached out. The homeowner, whose name has not been released, also apologized for “the impression left by the decorations.”

    Although some have suggested the display might reflect a scene from “Sinister,” a 2012 horror film, there was “no discussion with investigators of the particular theme” the display represented, according to Army Times.

    This was the second offensive Halloween display taken down this week because of its association to lynching.

    No gender identified there.

    Here is the scene from the movie “Sinister” – I see no resemblance to the display, save for people being hanged – WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT even though it’s just a movie:

    In the movie scene, all four of the family members are hung, in a line, all at the same level. There is no small child trying to aid the dad-figure, and certainly not a small child with a knife in its back as in the display, as reported here:

    So WTF????

    MY Halloween display had two full-size skeletons arm-wrestling over beers!! 😛

  3. cactuswren says

    On Facebook there’s been a rather disquieting chorus of “How is that racist when everyone knows garbage bags are black?”

  4. otrame says

    Trust me. She didn’t “agree” to take it down. She was told. In fact she will be very lucky not to be kicked off base. They may not be as touchy about that sort of thing now (though they should be) but when I was a teenager, living on an Air Force Base in South Carolina, a neighboring family was kicked off base because the teenaged son routinely stood around on the corner yelling racist remarks to any of the black kids in the neighborhood. The father was told to make him stop. He didn’t stop. They were told to find somewhere else to live.

    The military can be really slow to reach a progressive point, but once they do, they go all the way. I was a teenager in the 1960s and the year I started high school was the year they started desegregating the local schools (8 fucking years after Brown vs. Board of Education, mind you) but it had been against the rules for military personal to express racism for at least a decade and if they lived on base it went for their entire families.

  5. says

    Someone’s fitness reports, from now on, are worth less than toilet paper. What a dumbass.

    I love the “it was from a movie about white people!” excuse. Which is why, presumably, they used black garbage bags instead of white ones: the murderers were in blackface.

  6. Crimson Clupeidae says

    It’s all to easy to find pictures of actual lynchings.

    Most of them show the victims with black hoods/bags over their heads. So I don’t buy that the person said it was only because of the color of the bags.

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