Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


October 16, 2013

Va. family defends gruesome Halloween display

RICHMOND, Va. — Ghosts and goblins, a mad scientist, some pumpkins and a hooded dummy in an electric chair. It’s all Halloween fun for a Richmond-area family who now find themselves defending their annual front yard display.

WWBT-TV reported Tuesday that it had received a complaint that the decorations outside the Midlothian home were offensive, particularly the execution scene that depicts a man in an orange jumpsuit with a black hood on his head getting ready to be electrocuted.

Property owners Leslie and John Reamer say they spent hours crafting the execution scene. They say they didn’t mean for it to be offensive and that it was all for fun and in an attempt to attract trick-or-treaters.

“We go big or we go home,” Leslie Reamer said.

A spokesman for the county says there’s nothing officials can do as long as the display is on private property.

“As long as Halloween displays are on private property and not in the right-of-way,” said Don Kappel with public affairs. “They are not regulated.”

Chesterfield police spokeswoman Liz Caroon said the family has broken no laws.

“We can’t find anything illegal about it,” she told the station.

The Reamers say the Halloween display is a family tradition and it gets bigger each year.

“It’s all for fun,” Leslie said. “Children are easily misdirected. If they go ... what’s that? Point at the pumpkin and say look at the pumpkin!”

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