Author Topic: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?  (Read 5917 times)

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Library Dragon

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2013, 04:51:41 PM »
My thought is that all decorations, for all holidays, need to be tasteful and cognizant of the fact that a variety of people will see them. So for me, the really gruesome Halloween decorations should be inside your house, not outside.

We had a thread on this last year, which was based on a "Dear Prudie" letter. I have to say I disagree with Prudie's response. If your decorating is such that a child across the street can't sleep at night, having the child help set up the decorations is probably not going to help things much. http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=121208.0

SNIP


Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, but I still prefer creepy to gory.

I do disagree with the bolded. I've known a usually rational 11 year old terrified by the movie Finding Nemo.  I cannot be responsible for everyone else's fears.  I wouldn't chase a 5 year old with a fake hatchet, but there should be an expectation that I'm may be playing creepy music and have ghosts on my lawn at Halloween.

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2013, 05:02:17 PM »
I remember as a kid being afraid to go next door because our neighbors would do this thing where they'd dress up like Dracula and a headless butler or something.  Funny, that seems very tame in comparison to what some folks do.

My DH enjoys decorating for Halloween, but he wouldn't do anything that was gruesome. Heck this year we have an inflatable Snoopy on top of his doghouse because my Peanuts-loving 5th grader begged for it.  Course we also have a grim reaper but it's not gruesome as it is spooky.

And I'm actually glad that most of the decor here tends to be on the tamer side. Heck even the people who go for "spooky" tend for the funnier side of things. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Zilla

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2013, 07:10:16 PM »
I have a realistic almost 8 foot tall Slender Man with the 8 notes tacked around my front yard. (for those that know the "game")  And people expressed that he looks so "real!".  But no complaints yet.  And if someone was truly disturbed by him, I would put him in my backyard. :)  I wouldn't be offended.  I also have several tombstones and a "scream" phantom that again is life sized and can be creepy I guess to some?  I am jaded as I love all things horror and love all things Halloween so very little if any scare me.


I do draw the line at blood and gore as decoration personally as there are kids here and I don't want to gross anyone out. 

*inviteseller

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2013, 09:01:54 PM »
To me, as Halloween is my favorite holiday, the more creative and scary, the more I like it.  There is a guy on my sister's street that is dressed exactly like Micheal Meyers, complete with the music playing.  He just stands there...I am always waiting for him to do something, but I have kids with me and he won't scare the little ones (altho when DD was 15 he started to follow her a ways, she loved it!).  I think the big thing is parents need to explain to kids it is all make believe including touching things (if possible) to show they are not real.

The TARDIS

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2013, 09:20:49 PM »
Someone up the street from me has a setup similar to this. http://www.funnyvooz.com/ufo-crash-halloween-display/

I love it.

I don't mind the gory things although they can be quite disturbing. To each their own. If a house is too frightening for a trick or treating child, I often see the person who gives candy come out to the child in the driveway or on the sidewalk. No muss, no fuss.

I myself am not much a fan of people who jump out at you from somewhere hidden, although that is also part of the fun and I won't spoil that for others. Usually what I do is as I approach I say "If anyone is going to jump out, please don't do it to me." So far I haven't had anyone ignore my request.

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cicero

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2013, 02:34:32 AM »
this is very interesting to me - as i said in my OP, i don't celebrate halloween and i live in a country where it's not celebrated. Our "costume holiday" is not scary - people just dress up in costumes that can be stupid, silly, cute or gory but they are just costumes, not decorations on someone's house that you have to see every day for a few weeks.

The house that i saw was definitely more on the gory /scary side than on the spooky/cute/fun side.

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camlan

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2013, 06:43:15 AM »
I don't think anyone's trying to stop people from enjoying the horror stuff. It's just that not everyone enjoys that. And so I think that displays that are public, in your front yard, should be tamed down a bit.

The link that kherbert posted--that looked like a horror movie to me. There was nothing "Halloweeny" about it at all. (To be fair, though, they didn't show how the rest of the house/yard was decorated.) The link The Tardis posted--that didn't look like Halloween to me, either, more like a science fiction movie. Although I liked that one and didn't like the one kherbert posted.

As a kid, I could not watch horror movies. They scared me and left me with nightmares for days afterwards. As an adult, I still avoid them. So I can understand why parents with sensitive kids would not want ghoulish, creepy, over the top scary displays out in public, where they might have no choice but to drive past them with the kids a few times a day. I'd prefer these displays were kept inside the home or in the back yard, where I can avoid them.

People can avoid the haunted houses. People can avoid horror movies. But they can't always avoid driving past the neighbor's house with the huge Halloween display.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Sharnita

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2013, 07:49:04 AM »
Yeah, telling the kids "it ism't real"  is not always the answet. I wouldn't want dismemberment as a concept in their head at all. Real or not real wouldn't be the primary issue.

Firecat

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2013, 10:42:11 AM »
I don't think anyone's trying to stop people from enjoying the horror stuff. It's just that not everyone enjoys that. And so I think that displays that are public, in your front yard, should be tamed down a bit.

The link that kherbert posted--that looked like a horror movie to me. There was nothing "Halloweeny" about it at all. (To be fair, though, they didn't show how the rest of the house/yard was decorated.) The link The Tardis posted--that didn't look like Halloween to me, either, more like a science fiction movie. Although I liked that one and didn't like the one kherbert posted.

As a kid, I could not watch horror movies. They scared me and left me with nightmares for days afterwards. As an adult, I still avoid them. So I can understand why parents with sensitive kids would not want ghoulish, creepy, over the top scary displays out in public, where they might have no choice but to drive past them with the kids a few times a day. I'd prefer these displays were kept inside the home or in the back yard, where I can avoid them.

People can avoid the haunted houses. People can avoid horror movies. But they can't always avoid driving past the neighbor's house with the huge Halloween display.

I can empathize with scared kids and their parents. And yet, there is no right to not be offended or to not see things you don't necessarily want to see. I get a little offended/grossed out by people engaging in what I feel are excessive public displays of affection. But I also recognize that my feeling of "excessive" is not binding on anyone else.

There are people who are offended by same-gender couples showing affection for each other in public. There are people offended by women wearing what they consider to be "skimpy" clothing. Or by Christmas decorations of a religious nature - or those of a non-religious nature. That doesn't mean they have a right not to see those things.

At some point, it's up to the viewer to be responsible for his/her own reaction. I may feel that some displays are a bit over the top (heck, there's one down the block from my house right now that features a giant fake spider and lots of fake webs). That one freaks me out a bit when I have to go past it, because I do NOT like spiders. But I wouldn't dream of asking the owner to change it just because I'm a little freaked out by it.

Any hypothetical kids I had who were freaked out by that display, or any other, would be encouraged to look the other way, cross the street, and/or close their eyes when passing it. Yes, it's hard and upsetting to deal with a fearful child...but that's also, imho, part of being a parent - figuring out how to address things that upset you and/or your child - without trying to tell other people what they can or can't have as decorations in their yard.

Thipu1

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2013, 10:47:03 AM »
Not having children I wouldn't know but, might it not be a bit different if the kid's knew the people in the house with the gruesome decorations and knew that they were nice people? 

Goosey

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2013, 10:53:02 AM »
Decorators should be cognizant of the health and safety of the participants. But tone it down "for the children" - I can't agree with that. Parents with sensitive children should scope out their trick-or-treat route before they go to adjust as necessary.

As many kids that are sensitive to scary scenes, there are dozens more that enjoy it.

Our neighbor had a super-scary haunted house set up every year. Kids were bused in to see it. He had actors and everything.

I love it, but I was terrified of scare crows (ever read "Harold")?

Parents are responsible for their own kids' fears.

poundcake

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2013, 12:40:27 PM »
I don't think that decorations on either side of another ambiguous party's subjective taste is what's rude. Decorations that taunt, target or bully, if you remember the case of the woman who set up a coffin display to taunt her neighbor whose daughter had died and whose granddaughter was currently dying, however? Yes, that could be considered "rude." Beyond rude.

Firecat

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2013, 01:14:25 PM »
I don't think that decorations on either side of another ambiguous party's subjective taste is what's rude. Decorations that taunt, target or bully, if you remember the case of the woman who set up a coffin display to taunt her neighbor whose daughter had died and whose granddaughter was currently dying, however? Yes, that could be considered "rude." Beyond rude.

I don't think it's the decoration itself that's rude, in that case, but the taunting/bullying. So not the decoration, but the use to which the decoration is being put, if that makes sense. Having a coffin display for a Halloween decoration isn't in itself rude. Having one to mock your neighbor's grief...way past rude and possibly into "needs treatment" territory.

EllenS

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2013, 01:15:26 PM »
I think this comes down into the distinction between "tacky" and "rude", just like excessive Christmas decorations.  Some neighborhoods have Homeowner's Associations with specific limits on the size and parameters of holiday displays.  I think if you are not violating any neighborhood covenants like that, then it might not be "rude" but it sure could be tacky. 

I agree with PP's that, anything that depicts lynching or hate-crime, anything that involves attacking or apparently attacking passersby, or anything that fools people into calling 911 is out of bounds.

I have a neighbor who apparently does a lavish and realistic "zombie apocalypse" display every year.  I know because they start putting up directional signs on the streetcorners to guide visitors who want to see it.  I know that would gross me out and I don't want to see it, so I avoid driving down that street during October, and do not allow my kids to trick or treat there. (My kids have been known to have nightmares over everything from Mary Poppins to Swiss Family Robinson, so I'm keeping zombie anything away from them as long as possible).

The TARDIS

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2013, 03:34:27 PM »
Today, it seems as though we are living in extremes. An entire class is forbidden to have a Halloween party because of one child with a religion who doesn't partake. I fully believe extremes like that only ostracize the child of a different religion, since every child in that class will blame him/her for not being allowed to have the party.

I've seen some fairly offensive halloween displays in the past, and I simply rolled my eyes and walked by without stopping there. To each their own.

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