Halloween Decor | Outdoor Halloween Decor

When Is Halloween Decor Too Scary?

October 13, 2010


Good Question, Halloween, hot topic

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface

I live in one of those neighborhoods where folks go nuts decorating their homes for each holiday. It’s a treat when you have little kids, especially around Christmas time when the homes are decked out in rows and rows of lights and festive décor.

But Halloween? Ugh! I can’t stand some the morbid and downright gross Halloween decor that some people put on display in their yards. Forget about toothy jack-o-lanterns, spider webs and witches. Last year someone hung a gory, life-size dummy from a tree, while another one had a big display of mason jars filled with bloody body parts.
Hanging Vampire's Bride Head

Call me a big wuss, but when did Halloween turn into a bad horror movie that any young kid shouldn’t be watching? Bloody chainsaws and scary vampire heads are not rated for everyone.  So how about taking it down a notch and thinking about whether that really scary outdoor Halloween decor is suitable for your younger neighbors? What do you think? Am I being a big baby?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Find cute, not horrifying kids’ Halloween costumes and baby Halloween costumes in our buying guides.

Click here to email Farah, the author of this post.

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  • Amanda
    October 14, 2010

  • I completely agree. I’m so sick of all the nasty blood and gore stuff. What happened to good old fashioned pillow case ghosts and jack-o-lanterns with all kinds of silly faces carved into them?
    I can understand going a little bit further and having some scary music or skeletons or something, but some of what’s out there is downright nasty. If it’d be rated R in a theater, it needs to be kept in their houses or not even sold at all! The world is full of sickness as it is…tone down the Halloween gore!

  • Elizabeth B.
    October 14, 2010

  • It is SO encouraging to hear others voice my sentiments. Thank you, Farah for addressing this issue! Halloween used to be a very fun time of creativity & gathering as friends & neighbors to affirm & delight children. In more recent years the emphasis has become a celebration of evil. This boggles my mind as in daily life we try to do all we can to rid ourselves & our children of all things pertaining to death & destruction of mind, body & soul! I have had to make special effort to not shop in stores (or areas of stores) & take alternate routes traveling through neighborhoods with my young ones at this time of the year. Shame on those who don’t have the decency to refrain from exposing any child to grotesque evil! In our society, people already have enough things to be fearful of ( real or imagined). I wholeheartedly agree with Amanda that anything children should not see in a movie theater should not be displayed in public!
    Let’s do our best to turn this thing back around!!

  • cgb
    October 14, 2010

  • I think you are being a little bit of a baby. Its Halloween and it is suppose to be scarey. If you don’t like it pick and choose the homes you go to… just like you pick and choose the tv shows your kids watch…

  • Lisa Baggerman Hazen
    October 14, 2010

  • Hear, hear, Farah! My five-year-old is having bad dreams about some of the decorations on display in our neighborhood.

  • mod*mom
    October 14, 2010

  • I totally agree farrah (I’ve got a post in draft including this topic).

  • Heather
    October 14, 2010

  • I feel the same way. You are not being a baby. It just isn’t appropriate for the outside of someone’s home. I agree with Amanda and wish people who want to have disgusting things at Halloween could just keep them inside. They can enjoy them morning, noon & night. I have actually quit shopping at Walgreens, Party City and Sam’s Club during this season, because my children are too terrified when we enter the stores. Bloody corpses, zombies, etc. are more than scary; they are disgusting, evil and certainly not for children.

  • Kgill
    October 14, 2010

  • I think you’re being a baby. It’s Halloween. It’s supposed to be scary.
    If you don’t like it, don’t decorate. Surely you know fantasy from reality?
    The bloody corpses aren’t real.

    Kids can have a great time being creative at this time of year, and not all kids LIKE fairies and butterflies. Ever watch Mythbusters? I bet those guys were kids that were all into making scary stuff for the Halloween. Kids posting this stuff on instructables.com just blow my mind with how creative they get and how well they apply science and art to create stuff to scare.

    Leave room for those of us that enjoy the darker side, else we might start complaining about your wind chimes and yard gnomes.

  • april yedinak
    October 15, 2010

  • I think black, morbid and slightly scary are fine- witches, bats, etc. What I don’t like is gore. I hate blood and guts and all of that and ALL of my kids have been terrified at one time or another by someone’s decorations. I understand that some people like scary, but why don’t they display what looks like a crime scene inside their home? I am not a prude, but this stuff is just classless and tacky. Oh, and I don’t go for yard gnomes (creepy) or windchimes (annoying), either.

  • Helene
    October 16, 2010

  • My 3 year old son will not step foot into the local party city due to a lifesize Jason Vorhees greeting him at the door. Being too scary for halloween caused them to lose my business, so yes, things should be toned down for the kids during halloween seasonl At least Party City could have moved the “statue” away from the front door… And last year we twere able rick or treat to 3 houses until the guy with the scary mask “greeted” my child (at 5pm) with a god awful scary mask, which caused a major freakout and Halloween was over. Thanks, neighbor for ruining my kid’s first halloween!!! We went early specifically becasue he was little-not necessary for stupid neighbor to answer door like that so early. Save it for the later trick-o-treaters who are older who may be able to handle the gore and scariness.I hope this doesn’t happen this year…ugh!

  • Laura Eichler
    September 22, 2011

  • My absolute favorite house to visit when I was a kid was the scariest house on the block. Music, lights, things jumping out at you. I was convinced something was going to grab me and that was what made it so much FUN! Halloween is the time for cheap scares and the adrenaline rush that accompanies them. If your kids really can’t handle it, just make sure you go to the toned down houses, a church event, or the elementary school/town youth program’s party. There are always other options. Heck, stay home, get your own candy and put kid friendly Halloween themed movies on.

  • Dee
    October 16, 2011

  • I agree that many decorations can frighten younger children, however, maybe you should look up the origin of Halloween. It IS about fear and horror. I educated my children at a very young age as to what it’s all about. We enjoyed trick-or-treating but they always had the option of NOT going to any house that frightened them (unless they wanted to be scared that day!). If you feel Halloween has gone over the edge, then don’t “celebrate” it. That’s no different than an athiest not celebrating Christmas. I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of people that walk around sick to death of hearing holiday music and seeing christmas decor EVERYwhere…..hmmm….I wonder if all non-Christians stop shopping at Walgreen’s and Sam’s Club in December????

  • staying afloat
    October 23, 2011

  • I get that people want to do this to be above and beyond, so even though I’d rather anything too gross be used away from the street/sidewalk, it would be pretty hard to say, “Don’t do it.”

    But I don’t see why it has to be up for a whole month, as it is with my neighbor. Why not say to people, put it up for the week before Halloween, and for that week me and my kids will avoid your house? It’s a lot harder to do that for a month. My neighbors have a display up that gives even me nightmares. And that doesn’t count the half-guy they attach to the tree in front of their house every year.

  • morgan
    October 31, 2011

  • im 9 and i LOVE scary stuff so no body listen to her this is a stupid thing i say make it more scarier i love blood and Gorey stuff and im a good kid but this is the only time of the year where it is scary and i love it i rest my case haha

  • morgan
    October 31, 2011

  • i agree with kgill its Halloween so STOP BEING BABIES