Neighbor takes down ‘offensive’ Halloween decoration. Family puts it right back up

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — A family’s Halloween decorations are causing controversy in Cartersville.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was at the home on Cassville Road in Bartow County Wednesday, where a body with brown hands is hanging from a tree with a noose around its neck.

Some people are offended and say it looks like a Black man, and they want it taken down.

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The decoration has an animal skull on its head and it is wearing brown gloves.

Fernandes talked to one neighbor who said it upset her so much that she yanked the body down.

But the family said they have First Amendment rights and hung the decoration right back up.

Fernandes spoke with the homeowner, who said that her family decorates every year and has a lot of fun with it. She said the kids in the neighborhood also love it.


“Every year, we’ve all decorated as a family,” she said. “They love Halloween. They’re both excited about Mr. Creepy in the tree.”

But the president of the Bartow Chapter of the NAACP sees it differently.

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“I really felt like this was really crossing the line. It was offensive,” Dexter Benning said. “It really just signified and insinuated that it was a person and a person of color. Bartow County has a history of hangings here in this county and to do that is just not appropriate.”

According to the homeowner, who Channel 2 is not identifying, a neighbor came over and took the decoration down herself.

“She said because the thing underneath the mask is black and his shirt is black, she was thinking it’s a Black person. And it’s not,” the homeowner said. “That’s just the spare clothes my husband had that he was gonna throw away anyway. That’s why I picked those. No reason other than that, and the gloves are garbage gloves so...”

A local pastor hopes the family listens to the community’s concerns.

“If you really want to celebrate Halloween and not be offensive, it shouldn’t be a problem for you to take it down,” Randy Livsey said. “Hang it around the waist if you want to or just hang up something different.”

Someone called 911 over the decoration. When deputies got there, they said that the family isn’t breaking the law, so there’s nothing they can do. With Halloween more than three weeks away, “Mr. Creepy” will probably but up for awhile.