STUTTGART, Ark. – A Halloween display in an Arkansas town was scary for all of the wrong reasons, according to some neighbors.
Bodies made from black trash bags hanging from trees drew complaints. Even the mayor took action to try and bring them down.
The decorations went up Sunday and were pulled Monday night. But on Tuesday, some people were still bothered. Many in town are asking if it is a hurtful trick or a harmless treat.
The Halloween display in Stuttgart hung across from Willis Chambers’ home. He said it resembled something out of a dark time in history.
“We shouldn’t have to worry about backing out of our houses and seeing dummies of black silhouettes hanging out of trees,” Chambers said.
KARK 4 News tried speaking with the homeowners numerous times, but never got a response. A post online by one of the homeowners stated it was a cheap decoration idea found on Pinterest.
Video recorded by the Chambers family captured an exchange with neighbors. A man said he didn’t see any black bodies on display, just decorations for Halloween like you might see in a horror movie.
“A decoration for Halloween,” he said gesturing to his yard.
“That has nothing to do with Halloween,” someone replied.
Offended neighbors like Mary West shared what they saw in a video.
“Halloween decorations is like a ghost and goblins and witches,” West said. “It ain’t nothing to do with blacks hanging from trees and Ku Klux Klan.”
Soon after the commotion started, it caught the attention of Stuttgart’s mayor. Being out of town, she sent Alderman David Leech to the home. Before the city leader left, the homeowners told him they’d remove the nooses.
“I was there probably 35 minutes. They couldn’t have been nicer,” Leech said. “They said, ‘We don’t know why it is offensive’, and I said a lot of times we can’t see out of other people’s eyes why things are offensive.”
By Tuesday, the only decorations left were jack-o-lanterns, webs, and emotions even a costume can’t cover. Chambers is in the military and said he fought horrors overseas so he didn’t have to see them at home.
“To have to deal with this thing, it’s hurtful,” Chambers said.
Chambers and Leech said this does not represent what Stuttgart is about, and they hope any division from this can be mended.