Controversial Halloween display leaves mixed reactions in Parma

parma halloween display

PARMA, Ohio (CNN) – Some Ohio residents said a Halloween display in their town is much too life-like.

Their complaint is that some children do not realize it is just a display.

“I felt scared ’cause I thought they were real people,” said a 9-year-old girl who was frightened by the realistic Halloween display less than a block from Dentzler Elementary School in Parma, where she attends.

The child’s mother, Jackie Anselmo, told CNN that she opposes the controversial display, which she said she noticed on the way to the school.

“You take a double take because it is a very realistic display. [I’m] almost horrified that somebody would think that it’s OK to put it that close to an elementary school,” she said.

The Parma resident said she and several other neighbors are bothered by how graphic the display is and that it is so close to the elementary school. Anselmo was so troubled by it that she took a picture and emailed the city to try to get the display taken down.

But the city said there is nothing they can do about it, because it is freedom of expression.

Vicki Barrett, the homeowner that put up controversial Halloween display, said she and her husband have not had any complaints, and do not think the display is in poor taste.

“We don’t want to scare kids. We just want to do the Halloween fun of it and, you know, but definitely no ill intent, no,” she said.

She said she even has a 2-year-old 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. We don’t want to scare kids,” she said.

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