Author Topic: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?  (Read 5043 times)

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EllenS

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2013, 04:26:10 PM »
The phenomenon is spreading further.  Has anyone looked at today's Sunday Sweets post at Cake Wrecks?  Some of those things are ghastly.

Really? I don't think any of those are particularly bad. The eyeballs on the second cake were *slightly* more detailed than I would have loved, but I certainly don't think any of them crossed any sort of line of appropriateness.

It's Halloween - it's supposed to have corpses, tombstones, zombies, etc. If it looks so real it could legitimately be mistaken for real, or it features a super high level of 'viscera', then I think it could cross that line. But that stuff seems like a very well done version of your standard holiday fare.

I didn't think any of those cakes were bad at all. They were ghoulish but not scary IMO. I thought they were quite lovely, if particularly styled, in fact.

I think it is possible for any decorations to be rude, but i don't think a scary, or detailed, Halloween display qualifies as rude on its own. Some of the things mentioned - particularly taunting a person/family, chasing or touching people not on the property, referencing racism, etc - those things are rude. But just having a scary or gruesome display? That's not rude. It might be, as another poster called it tacky, but tacky isn't rude.

Personally I find a very common religious symbol to often be extraordinarily gruesome, just as gruesome as any other dead/dying, blood covered torture victim depiction, and yet people seem to display that symbol all over the place, even wearing replicas on necklaces, etc while out casually daily, and certainly around children. I see no reason why that display of torture and death and gruesomeness is ok and just for fun display of dead or bloody bodies for Halloween would be questioned as being not ok.


re, the bolded, I don't find that inconsistent at all.  The thing I find upsetting about gruesome halloween images is that, dead bodies are not fun or funny. I am guessing what religious symbol you refer to, and while many people may be inured to it or not take it with full solemnity, I doubt anyone wearin/displaying it for religious reasons would consider it to be a joke, or a game.

ETA for clarification: I don't like gross Halloween stuff, but subject to the caveats above, I don't think it is per se rude.  I just avoid it.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 04:28:05 PM by EllenS »

Betelnut

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2013, 04:36:05 PM »
I personally don't like displays that portray things that could really happen like dismembered dead bodies, etc.  After all, there are really people out there that do those things to real people.

Anything supernatural?  Sure, since I don't believe in any of that stuff.
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EllenS

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2013, 04:54:01 PM »
I personally don't like displays that portray things that could really happen like dismembered dead bodies, etc.  After all, there are really people out there that do those things to real people.

Anything supernatural?  Sure, since I don't believe in any of that stuff.

That's an interesting distinction. I also feel there's nothing gross about ghosts, Frankenstein, Vampires, etc.  Too scary for my kids but that's my job to deal with.  Zombies I think are kind of a crossover - Not "realistic" in terms of  could really happen, but often realistic looking in terms of wounds, - gore, putrefaction, etc.

Ick.

gellchom

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2013, 05:52:31 PM »
Well, I'm sure that it's possible to exceed the bounds of taste, even on Halloween, so I wouldn't say "absolutely anything goes."  For sure if a neighbor child is having trouble sleeping, and their parents ask nicely, take whatever it is down.  You can use it another year when the kid is older.  And if a neighbor has lost a loved one to a violent murder or accident, use your common sense about what is kind.

But at the same time, I am not thrilled about the general trend in a lot of areas to defang Halloween entirely so that nothing that isn't appropriate for a sensitive toddler can be used.  I mean, it's SUPPOSED to be scary.  I get the difference between spooky and gross or violent.  But I wouldn't limit displays and costumes only to the former.  And zombies -- when, if not at Halloween?

I was sorry when my kids were little to see most Halloween events billed as "Fun!  Not scary!"  They turned the holiday into just a candy and costume party.  That's fine for little children, but older kids enjoy confronting scary things that they aren't yet 100% sure aren't real.  It has actual psychological value, in fact.

When we were kids (boy, do I sound like the geezer I am), we loved Halloween precisely because it was kind of scary.  We weren't scared of ghosts -- not much, anyway -- but of being out in the dark at night, of older kids taking our candy, of getting caught when we played pranks, of the neighbor everyone "knew" terrorized kids, and so forth.  In those days, in my suburban neighborhood, kids went out in groups of friends, not their parents (everyone always felt sorry for the one loser whose dad insisted on accompanying her).  The littlest kids went with a parent or sibling early in the evening for a few minutes, before the real action started.  That's what made it so cool -- the one night of the year when the neighborhood belonged to the children.  And the urban legends of poisoned treats and razor blades in apples hadn't yet begun -- some people actually made homemade treats, like popcorn balls and cookies, which were always the best.  I am not saying it couldn't or didn't happen, but I have no memory of anyone ever getting injured or harmed.  And it helped us feel self-reliant and brave.  I know it's not that way anymore, and I'm not criticizing parents who accompany their children.  You do what you have to do.  But it sure was fun for us kids then.

Anyway, I like to see Halloween be scary, so my vote is, with obvious common-sense exceptions, I vote for scary.

magicdomino

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2013, 06:29:54 PM »
If your neighbors are calling the 911 because they think your car fell on you while you were working on it you have gone to far. (Happened this year gory pictures)


If you are chasing toddlers, elementary kids, and their parents off the street with a running chain saw, you have gone to far. (Happened to Sis, Loren, and Brett several years ago. Add in the fact the jerk was 9 sheets to the wind and still had the chain on the saw he was lucky he just got arrested and didn't earn the darwin award)


If you are rigging real live people so they look like they were hung and can come to life you are an idiot, are chancing killing someone, and have gone to far. (If someone is a stunt person, worked stunts in film and/or theatre I'll grant an exception if they follow every single safety rule.)

Good rules. I'd say that is the very least a responsible haunter should do.

The trick with a Halloween display is to know your audience.   Toddlers?  School-aged kids?  Teens?  Adults?  What is scary to one might not be scary at all to other ages.  I keep a few cute decorations to distract the toddlers, and the zombie stays in a distant corner. (Actually that zombie is pretty stupid-looking; I may not bother.)  My ideal is decorations whose creepiest factor will go over the heads of the little ones, but I don't know how successful I am.  This year, I bought a couple of creepy ladies, but they will be posed with some humorously dressed skeletons, as I have no desire to make little kids cry.  And yes, I will walk out to meet nervous little ones.  Teenagers, however, are fair game.   >:D

Complicating this is that many of the old "spooky" things just aren't that spooky anymore.  Maybe it is because I live with three very sweet black cats, but I don't even bother putting cats in the display.  So far spiders and bats seem to hold their scary factor (which is good because I went a little crazy and bought a case of squeaky rats from Dollar Tree. ??? ). Skeletons have been around since I was a kid, although those were the jointed cardboard things, not the more realistic ones sold now.  For that matter, I remember a front yard graveyard with wooden tombstones.  Where else would a self-respecting cheesecloth ghost hang out? 

Thipu1

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2013, 10:24:31 AM »
Okay, things are getting bit odd. 

Yesterday, I hung our Halloween wreath on the door.  It's a grapevine wreath.  I string a garland of artificial autumn leaves through it and add four or five little ghosts.  The ghosts are made by centering a cotton ball in the center of a paper napkin.  The neck of the ghost is a twist-tie to hold it to the wreath.  A cheerful face is painted with a pen on each little head. 

We received note today asking us to remove the ghosts because they scare a 4 year old boy who lives next door and has to see it every time he leaves or enters his apartment. 

The ghosts on our wreath make Caspar the Friendly Ghost look like Dracula. 

Where will it end? 

Punky B.

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2013, 02:43:53 PM »
I love the macabre and would go as far to call myself a gorehound- if it's icky and bloody, I'm in.  My interior decorating reflects my tastes and it's pretty creepy year round.  I don't decorate out front because we don't hand out candy and decorations are an indicator that you participate in the candy handout. 

In the summer we leave our drapes open to get some sun into the house.  One day the neighbor lady came by and asked if we could please close our curtains, her daughter had been looking into our living room and was terrified.   Since you have to work pretty hard to see into our house with the glare on the front windows, I declined.  She called me rude and disgusting and stomped off.

So, it doesn't really end. :P

darkprincess

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2013, 04:50:10 PM »
The phenomenon is spreading further.  Has anyone looked at today's Sunday Sweets post at Cake Wrecks?  Some of those things are ghastly.

Really? I don't think any of those are particularly bad. The eyeballs on the second cake were *slightly* more detailed than I would have loved, but I certainly don't think any of them crossed any sort of line of appropriateness.

It's Halloween - it's supposed to have corpses, tombstones, zombies, etc. If it looks so real it could legitimately be mistaken for real, or it features a super high level of 'viscera', then I think it could cross that line. But that stuff seems like a very well done version of your standard holiday fare.

I didn't think any of those cakes were bad at all. They were ghoulish but not scary IMO. I thought they were quite lovely, if particularly styled, in fact.

I think it is possible for any decorations to be rude, but i don't think a scary, or detailed, Halloween display qualifies as rude on its own. Some of the things mentioned - particularly taunting a person/family, chasing or touching people not on the property, referencing racism, etc - those things are rude. But just having a scary or gruesome display? That's not rude. It might be, as another poster called it tacky, but tacky isn't rude.

Personally I find a very common religious symbol to often be extraordinarily gruesome, just as gruesome as any other dead/dying, blood covered torture victim depiction, and yet people seem to display that symbol all over the place, even wearing replicas on necklaces, etc while out casually daily, and certainly around children. I see no reason why that display of torture and death and gruesomeness is ok and just for fun display of dead or bloody bodies for Halloween would be questioned as being not ok.


re, the bolded, I don't find that inconsistent at all.  The thing I find upsetting about gruesome halloween images is that, dead bodies are not fun or funny. I am guessing what religious symbol you refer to, and while many people may be inured to it or not take it with full solemnity, I doubt anyone wearin/displaying it for religious reasons would consider it to be a joke, or a game.

ETA for clarification: I don't like gross Halloween stuff, but subject to the caveats above, I don't think it is per se rude.  I just avoid it.

Last Easter several people in our town complained about a graphic, bloody, Jesus figure on a cross in front of a church on a busy street. It was life size and was only wearing a loin clothe. The same church this year is having a trunk or treat with very specific rules for costumes. No blood, no gore, costumes must be modest.  :o

I figure if people can put up with huge light displays in December which can be disruptive to sleep and annoying, people can also put up with blood and gore ( as long as it isn't so lifelike people are calling the police.) we all have to deal with things we don't like and are tacky.

Shea

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2013, 11:30:19 AM »
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.

Okay, now THAT would scare the bejabbers out of me! ;D

Personally, I'm okay with macabre Halloween decorations. My decorating tastes trend more towards skeletons, spiderwebs, bats and torturing my cat by making her wear a tiny witch hat, but if other people are more into bloody zombies and corpses, I'm okay with that, with the caveat that if they're in an area that can be seen by the public, they shouldn't be so realistic as to prompt people to call the police thinking that a crime has been committed. Also, I'm not fond of things that can push cultural nerves, like hanging corpses reminiscent of lynchings, or another person I read about who put a fake corpse in an electric chair in the yard.

As someone said upthread, we can't be responsible for other peoples' fears. Sometimes decorations can be rather tasteless or tacky, but rarely are they rude.


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shhh its me

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2013, 11:56:17 AM »
  I went back and read some of the old threads too.  If a display would be rated R or censored as a billboards then I think its too much for public display. So I'd say if its too much for network tv in the afternoon then it may be too much for a public place.  In theory I think that line can be crossed , realistically acting screens form Hostel comes to mind.  But Scream , The Mummy , various zombie movies have all been on network TV so can't do a static display of bar would allowed for a pretty high gore content.

Phoebelion

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2013, 01:26:32 PM »
DS and DDIL are into Halloween big time.

DS props a coffin (home built) against the house and this is where he hands out candy to the big kids from.    He is in it with his eyes closed, etc - big uns start walking past - he opens his eyes, holds out a hand full of candy and makes a grunting noise.  Scares the c*** out of the ones that don't know what's going to happen.  Totally set up by their friends, of course.

DDIL sits on the front porch in her fairy costume with their boxer mix - also decked out with wings - handing out candy to the little ones.

I won't even go into what they do to their house and back yard for their annual Halloween party.  And the "normal" food they have somehow turned into a disgusting looking pile of bleh. 

All their friends and family know what they're getting into at the party.  Some do stay away - no hurt feelings.   

JoW

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2013, 09:27:55 PM »
Another issue is noise and light.  I'm expected to be at work on Nov 1.  If your display makes so much noise and/or is so bright that I can't sleep before midnight your display is tacky.  That applies to Christmas decorations, too.  Please turn everything down or off by 10pm.  Also, if people looking at your display block my access to my home your display is rude. 

MommyPenguin

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2013, 09:58:34 PM »
I think part of the issue is that it's not *just* on Halloween.  Many people who have these really gory displays have them up for a month or so.  Which means that it's not just kids going trick-or-treating on Halloween, but also the kids walking past the houses every day for a month on their way to school, etc.  So it's not like parents can just keep their kids home on Halloween if the kids are easily scared.  And it's  a lot easier said than done to keep a kid from seeing something creepy when you are walking past it (because when it's up ahead, it's almost directly in the center of your line of sight, so hard to avoid, and then it's a long distance to walk past it without looking to the side).

I personally believe that people should tone down the gore when it's in public view, and have it be in their backyard if they're having a party, or at the very least just turn it on for Halloween itself.  I agree with the others... if you wouldn't be allowed to take your kid to see a movie with that level of gore (because of the rating it would get), why should they be forced to see it when you walk past it every day for a month?

esposita

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2013, 10:35:54 PM »
I think part of the issue is that it's not *just* on Halloween.  Many people who have these really gory displays have them up for a month or so.  Which means that it's not just kids going trick-or-treating on Halloween, but also the kids walking past the houses every day for a month on their way to school, etc.  So it's not like parents can just keep their kids home on Halloween if the kids are easily scared.  And it's  a lot easier said than done to keep a kid from seeing something creepy when you are walking past it (because when it's up ahead, it's almost directly in the center of your line of sight, so hard to avoid, and then it's a long distance to walk past it without looking to the side).

I personally believe that people should tone down the gore when it's in public view, and have it be in their backyard if they're having a party, or at the very least just turn it on for Halloween itself.  I agree with the others... if you wouldn't be allowed to take your kid to see a movie with that level of gore (because of the rating it would get), why should they be forced to see it when you walk past it every day for a month?

Very, very good points, very much agreed.

We actually have to avoid a lot of stores right now too, because the displays are uber-creepy, horror type stuff. And its there for soooo long!

emjo306

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Re: can halloween decorations be considered "rude"?
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2013, 02:08:31 PM »
I agree as well. Last year, a house right beside my son's elementary school had severed heads on their fence posts. Thankfully, my kids didn't seem to think much of it, but I think that's really inappropriate for an area young children have to pass to get to school. This year I noticed that house didn't put out such a gory display.

Personally, we don't do scary/gory Halloween - a purple skeleton with a happy looking face is a gory as it gets around here. I understand that just because I don't like that part of Halloween, the world doesn't need to be censored for me...but I think it would be neighborly and considerate to keep that kind of stuff in more private areas (inside the house, backyard, haunted houses, etc). As for other "offensive" things such as skimpier clothing, PDA, religious items...none of that is likely to terrify a small child.