MEMPHIS, Tenn — A spooky Halloween display or a cruel and racist decoration?
That is the debate among many community members after seeing the setup of a home in Brandon, Mississippi.
Neighbor Fred Chambliss says there is no explanation for the Halloween display.
Chambliss posted a video to Facebook showing the display at his neighbor’s house that he believes depicts a black man hanging from a noose.
“I am walking down to my neighbor’s home to put this letter up, ” said Chambliss. “It says please take this hanging man down. This is very offensive to the black community.”
Dusty Welch lives at the home and put up the Halloween display.
“I’m definitely not a racist,” said Welch. “Never have been. I’ve never – I don’t judge people like that, so…”
A neighbor questioned Welch if he can acknowledge that the Halloween display appeared to depict a black man hanging from a noose.
“Yes ma’am. From the picture, it definitely did,” said Welch. “I mean, to me, I just saw Halloween decorations that I’ve used for the last three or four years.”
Welch now claims that he plans to put a mask on the Halloween creation, because it was apart of a haunted maze that he offers every year for children.
“Normally, I put a mask on it, but I usually wait until Halloween day,” said Welch. “I didn’t want the mask to come up missing.”
The Brandon, MS homeowner ended up removing the inflatable prop immediately after the Sherriff’s Department informed him that several people considered it offensive.
“People have threatened to burn the house down, and people have threatened with gun violence, ” said Welch. “But I want to get this out to the public. I’ve never once refused. I was very cooperative once I found that it offended someone. I mean, it’s gone.”
Welch shared his final message to those that were upset over his controversial Halloween display.
“Looking at the pictures and seeing the reaction from the public- you know, it was definitely offensive, ” said Welch. “I apologize now. And it won’t happen again.”