Halloween is perceived as a pretext for fun. A holiday where you can let go of your usual day-to-day persona and, for one night, become something different.
That what you become has to do with dark things that creep in the night, monsters and maleficent spirits that have been part of the human psyche for millennia, has to do with the very old origins of Halloween itself. But it’s self-understood that no one actually wants to be the things they dress themselves up as. And that the horror that is supposedly referenced is actually meant to be kept at bay specifically by turning it into a fun, tongue-in-cheek phenomenon, as a form of catharsis.
But there are instances when Halloween becomes truly horrifying for some. As in the case of these 5 dead people considered Halloween displays, for which the experience must have been beyond terrible as well as for those who finally figured out the truth.
1. Neighborly care
In 2009, at the Marina del Rey complex in California, on Halloween, people went on about their business as usual, with some preparing decorations for their houses to celebrate the holiday. One of these won the attention of everybody living there for its uncanny realism, a body slumped over the porch of the porch of Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed.
Add to that the fact that the thing sat there up until a few days after the holiday and the neighbors were all impressed by Mr. Zayed’s dedication to the holiday spirit. All except one that is, who called the cops, who quickly discovered that the “mannequin” was actually Mr. Zayed himself who had been shot in the eye and killed before Halloween.
2. Props for that, director!
This story is about the popular “Poltergeist” movie franchise. Which has a very odd and kind of douchey twist in it regarding things that took place off filming.
You’ve surely had someone rank you by giving you false information or withholding it from you completely so that you either do something disgusting or harmful or just embarrassing etc. Well, the actors of Poltergeist are themselves victims of such behavior. Because they weren’t told until after filming that the props bones used in the first film were in reality actual human bones!
Not even bringing into the discussion the psychological and spiritual negative impact this might have on people (for example actor Will Samson performed a ritual on the set of the second movie to exorcise the spirits that might be present), think at least of the biological health hazards that decomposing bones can pose.
And as a spooky coincidence(?), several main actors that starred in the franchise died a few years or months after filming.
3. “Don’t worry darling, it’s a prop.”
Something along these lines is what a construction worker in Ohio told his daughter as he drove her by a very realistic looking dead woman draped across a fence as a Halloween decoration.
A few hours later, he found out that the police were actually investigating a man named Donnie Cochenoeur for killing 31-year-old Rebecca Cade, a woman that didn’t bother anybody and was liked by the whole town, with a rock that was found bloody at the scene.
4. In the end, ignored
If you believe that there is an after-life and the reaction of those left behind matters or not to the deceased, then here’s a situation in which things get complicated. Because when in 2005 a woman in Delaware apparently went to a tall tree about a quarter mile from her hose, tied a noose around her neck and jumped from it, it just so happened that this being around Halloween, passersby were convinced that she is an intentional artificial display for passersby and not a real human being.
So, if that sad tragic woman was hoping that her apparent suicide would cause a reaction for someone in particular or even for a stranger, her story becomes even more tragic and heart-breaking.
If, however she just desired a complete escape and to be left alone, then perhaps the way things turned out were in accord with her wishes.
Still, the sadness of someone dying alone and then being ignored remains.
5. Careful what you wish for
In 2000, in Michigan, at a local horse farm, a haunted hayride job was all that a 14 year old boy desired on Halloween. So as the owner regretfully told him and his mother, who had come with him to see him off to his work, that all the positions are filled he begged, promised to work for free until he got the job.
And see him off she did… But unfortunately on his last road. As he died that day, as he was assigned to a display with a plastic skeleton hanging from a tree. Because he sought to impress patrons (and presumably the proprietor and his mom), by making the display more realistic, by taking the place of the skeleton.
The noose around his neck tightened and he died suffocated, managing to impress only some patrons who thought he was so realistic he must be a prop and didn’t do anything as he suffocated in front of them.