Panning the Halloween ‘hellscapes’

Joy Pullmann of the Federalist is no fan of the more grotesque Halloween displays on neighborhood porches and lawns.

[L]ots of people are rude, tasteless, and selfish. Of course, since I believe human nature is corrupt, this isn’t really a surprise, but what is a surprise is what appears to be an increase in these crudities along with a growing tendency to excuse and rationalize them.

Perhaps the most vivid illustration of this tendency is the grotesquery with which many people “decorate” their yards for Halloween. Within a few blocks of my house are yards full of severed heads, decomposing corpses, positively demonic-looking witches, goblins, and ghouls, and moldy skeletons coming out of the ground (some even shake!).

One entire nearby neighborhood decorated all of its streetlights with hanging severed heads that have blood running out of the eyes. Some people have fog machines and motion detectors that emit noises from Hell every time a mom walks by with her preschooler and baby, or kids of all ages go past on their way to school.

What is wrong with these people?

This is neither tasteful nor fun. It’s ugly and selfish. Every person who uses public streets is not an adult who enjoys viewing things designed to provoke horror. Some people are old, some people are very young, some people have PTSD, some people have easily sickened stomachs, and people like emergency workers see horrific things on the job and need a break after-hours. Like other friends’ kids, my four-year-old has been having nightmares since Halloween season started and is unable to sleep alone or even go upstairs in the daytime due to fears of all the horrible things he’s seen on our streets. Thanks, neighbors.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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