Halloween display scares trick-or-treaters with inner-city horrors

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The photo that accompanied last year's Metro Times article on the Haddon home and its Halloween displays. - Courtesy Kendrick Hardaway's Facebook page
Courtesy Kendrick Hardaway's Facebook page
The photo that accompanied last year's Metro Times article on the Haddon home and its Halloween displays.

As this week's cover story argues, Halloween is huge in Michigan. And, what's more, some people go absolutely bananas decorating their homes, turning them into the ultimate scare-fests.

But usually, the scary stuff depicted includes witches, werewolves, vampires, and skeletons. You know, stuff that you never have to actually deal with. 

Well, take a look at the Halloween display put up by Detroit resident Larethia Haddon. She's put up a bunch of dummies dramatizing such issues as carjacking, police brutality, gun violence, child stalkers, and even the quality of water in Flint.

You might remember Haddon, as she wass featured in a blog item last year. The article, entitled "Putting a dummy face down in your yard in Detroit will draw police interest, sadden neighbors," mostly focused on the way several people tried to help the poor dummy, even calling emergency responders.

It turns out that putting a body in the front yard is something Haddon does year after year. This year, Haddon has amped up the display with so many dummies and signs on what they signify that nobody will probably bother emergency services due to any misunderstanding. 

The display has been up the whole month of October, and has drawn reporting from the Detroit Free Press, local television, ABC News, and now Al Jazeera

Yes, it has shades of the "hell house," those Christian-run horror attractions that center on real-life problems and wind up with a proselytization pitch. But there's something very earnest about this display, which uses broadly depicted social issues to stimulate a more open-ended conversation, not a scare-tactic conversion.

Either way, we may have found our new favorite piece of outsider art.

About The Author

Michael Jackman

Born in 1969 at Mount Carmel hospital in Detroit, Jackman grew up just 100 yards from the Detroit city line in east Dearborn. Jackman has attended New York University, the School of Visual Arts, Northwestern University and Wayne State University, though he never got a degree. He has worked as a bar back, busboy,...
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