A Detroit grandmother has taken a whole new approach to Halloween décor, per her grandchildren’s request.
Instead of witches, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns, Larethia Haddon’s Halloween display consists of six dummies in her front yard that each represent a horrifying social injustice happening in America.
Her “decorations” call out police brutality, the ongoing Flint water crisis, child abduction, and terrorism, among other issues.
“This year my grandchildren said, ‘Grandma, we’re not afraid of the boogeyman anymore, we’re afraid of what’s going on in the world right now,’” Haddon told local reporters.
The life-like dummies include a man with a gunshot wound holding up a sign that reads, “My hands were up,” a mother and child meant to depict victims of domestic abuse, and an elderly male figure holding a cup of filthy water with a sign that says, “Flint water, nobody deserves this!”
Each of Haddon’s grandchildren came up with an idea for a dummy based on their personal daily fears, according to The Huffington Post.
As expected, the poignant display has gotten much attention from neighbors and other community members who have gathered around Haddon’s yard and slowed their vehicles while passing by just to get a closer look.
Although the shocking decorations are alarming and heartbreaking, Haddon said it’s meant to have a positive effect on the community.
“I want to get people to be a little more focused on the issues, what’s going on in the world,” Haddon said. “We need to stick together more. We need to come together. And if we don’t, this scene in my yard is going to be [a] reality every single day.”
Haddon and her grandchildren have used a highly commercialized and traditionally “fun” holiday to speak out against the horrors that plague Americans every single day.
No fictional scary movie character can inflict the amount of fear and terror that these social issues do.
As we quickly approach the holiday season — beginning with Halloween and continuing through New Year’s — it’s important that as we celebrate, we don’t become distracted from the important matters affecting our country.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Eloy Alonso