The Halloween display that some think is too gruesome

Published date: 14 October 2010 |
Published by: Hayley Collins
Read more articles by Hayley Collins


A HALLOWEEN-themed shop window display has sparked a flurry of complaints – for being too scary.

Staff at the Party Shop in Mold spent hours adorning the window in High Street with hanging heads, witches cauldrons, a killer chef and bloody body parts, but their efforts have led to a backlash from some members of the public.

Shop owner Helen Perry said: “People have said it’s not appropriate to walk past and that children will be scared, but it’s the kids who have been giggling at it.

“It’s no more scary than it usually is and it’s for Halloween – that’s what people want.”

Helen has had about six complaints from concerned passers-by since she set up the display at the beginning of the month.

“I’ve just been telling people that it’s only for a couple of weeks until Halloween,” she said.

“When I ask them what they don’t like about it they can’t specify anything apart from the fact that they don’t think it’s appropriate.

“One man said to me that he wouldn’t want his grandchildren to see it, but the kids love it.

“More children are frightened of Father Christmas than of Halloween and I have more kids crying when I put Father Christmas out than anything else.”

In the past Helen has received awards for her impressive window displays.

She added: “I do it for the entertainment of the public. I follow everything that’s going on in the town – people love it.

“It always takes me a bit longer to do the Halloween display, but I always make an effort with all my windows.”

Mold town mayor and county councillor Chris Bithell is astounded at the negative response.

“It’s the time of year when people indulge in this kind of tradition and yes it’s scary, but kids can cope with that,” he said.

“They like scary.

“We are trying to encourage trade in the town and Helen always does her best with her displays.

“She’s very dedicated and I can see no harm in what she’s done this year. It’s just a bit of fun.”

Helen opened the Party Shop 10 years ago and sells everything from fancy dress outfits to balloons and party accessories.

She is no stranger to controversy and two years ago launched a petition to save Halloween Harry – a terrifying life-size zombie that stands outside the shop during Halloween.

Some members of the public complained that Harry was scaring little children, but after a campaign in the Leader Harry was spared the axe.

Sadly Harry is out of action after a mindless yob knocked him over and broke him earlier this week.

“It’s such a shame because people come in especially to see Harry,” Helen said.

She has now launched a petition to save the Halloween display.

She added: “We only started it yesterday, but we have about 30 signatures already.”

-  Do you think the window display is too scary? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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  1. Posted by: nomad at 09:26 on 14 October 2010 Report

    astounded at the negative response,children like been scared,children have been laughing at all the blood .is this counciler and shop keeper normal or have they escaped from broadmoor.or are they anti christian devil worshipers[i realy feel sorry for children with idiots like this about

  2. Posted by: oh dear at 09:42 on 14 October 2010 Report

    oh get a grip,its just a window display,its no worse than taking your kids to the haunted house or the ghost train at a fun fair

  3. Posted by: veritas at 09:44 on 14 October 2010 Report

    "Children like scary"; It's only Halloween". These comments both patronise our children, and encapsulate the very issues that undermine our society. We do not want to celebrate witchcraft, spells and broomsticks, not all our children enjoy scary. Since when do headless zombies, blood, gore, entrials, rats, and suchlike have anything to do with Halloween? The window display has to be changed to reflect a family-focussed, wholesome montage that Mold can be proud of.

  4. Posted by: a cahill at 10:27 on 14 October 2010 Report

    As the headline states "some find it too scary " everyone to their own, live and let live, blah blah blah and on and on it goes until we create a pristine society where only good things and stories with happy endings are allowed and our kids know nothing of the horrors of the real world.... so lets ban news of disasters and wars while we're at it

  5. Posted by: *Red* at 10:54 on 14 October 2010 Report

    And why is this top online story over the kids finding needles in Wrexham??? The display is awful and that stupid thing she has outside is in the way taking up footpath space where it is already awkward with the corner and people waiting to cross why can it not be kept inside?! I suppose there is no such thing as bad publicity just free advertising!!!

  6. Posted by: Welsh Witch at 10:56 on 14 October 2010 Report

    Some people really need to get a life - only those who know nothing about the craft condem it as evil - it is not - it is about balance and healing. Scrapman - well said - I was forced to take RE in school when my religion is not recognised in the UK.

  7. Posted by: Welsh Witch at 10:58 on 14 October 2010 Report

    Well said A Cahill - most of the news reports on tv are all about violence - not to mention the games that kids love to play on the XBox, Playstation etc - maybe it is the adults that are too afraid of their own skins !!! - as I said before - get a life!!!

  8. Posted by: Hamish at 13:22 on 14 October 2010 Report

    This shop window should be in the House of Horrors where you are warned of it's nature before you view and you make the choice to view it or not. Being a shop you do not get the chance to choose. The window is like a celebration of the evil and grusome things that man has done to fellow man. I don't see how this is traditional Halloween, which I remember as little kids making witches outfits.

  9. Posted by: Hamish at 13:25 on 14 October 2010 Report

    With this shop being in the heart of Mold it would be so much better if it's display inspired the community into good and caring citizenship, rather than inspiring the next generation of maniacal murders.

  10. Posted by: Roland Cleth at 13:39 on 14 October 2010 Report

    veritas, you're being ironic, yes?

  11. Posted by: veritas at 15:32 on 14 October 2010 Report

    There are only two ultimate sources of power, good and evil. The issue is that they are mixed to become grey, which is the colour most of us see through. Suddenly, we become sensitized, numbed to the realities of the powers at work in our society, and we call it choice. Each to their own, but give me good any day of the week!!

  12. Posted by: hubs1 at 17:40 on 14 October 2010 Report

    My kids are terrified of this. We do celebrate halloween with them and they do enjoy a "little bit of scarey"...this, however, is to a 3 and 6 year old a little bit more than scarey! They wont even walk past it. I also had to avoid there when they had "chocolate willies" and "willy straws" in the window as I don't want them seeing that sort of thing at all!

  13. Posted by: nomad at 17:59 on 14 October 2010 Report

    the devil is allways on the prowel ,he never attacks from the front, allways from behind or side.very sneaky.this is one of those accations.remember god won wene he give his only son as the fijnal sacricfice,remember people no matter who u are, jesus loves you. its the sin he does not like

  14. Posted by: nomad at 18:07 on 14 October 2010 Report

    no wonder north wales is in a state right now with councilers agreeing with imoral things like this i wonder if he bought one of the chocalate things in the display. this shop needs bording up till the latest imoral display is taken out discusting

  15. Posted by: honey at 18:35 on 14 October 2010 Report

    Was the picture of the father and son by the window supposed to reassure us that it is a family friendly display? The young lad looks rather unhappy! My kids are now grown up, but when they were smaller, we had to avoid the window because they did not like it and at times found it embarrasing. I'm glad someone has brought this to the public's attention.

  16. Posted by: eveningreader at 19:10 on 14 October 2010 Report

    honey. The kid in the picture looks a little too young for Halloween.

  17. Posted by: honey at 19:27 on 14 October 2010 Report

    Well done to those who have gone in to complain, I will be calling in over the weekend in support of those who think it very inappropriate as this is more like horror than just halloween.

  18. Posted by: honey at 19:35 on 14 October 2010 Report

    I agree he is too young for halloween. Children of this age (or any age) passing the shop have no choice. The crux of the matter is that choice is taken away because the window is in a public place.

  19. Posted by: nomad at 21:55 on 14 October 2010 Report

    i think even more people would go in and complain but feel inbarrest.i will be there saturday afternoon i hope a lot more people complain and try and talk some sense in to this silly women. and this so called stubid counciler some children could be mentally scared for life

  20. Posted by: Fadro at 07:10 on 15 October 2010 Report

    "..mentally scared for life." I love it.. :)

  21. Posted by: mumof3 at 12:05 on 15 October 2010 Report

    As a mum of 3 boys can I just say that my two older boys of 11 and 13yrs think that the display is gory and disgusting and my 4 year old is so scared we have to cross the road and distract him as we pass. Surely this affects our freedom to walk down the street with out children, what happened to plastic bats and pumpkins??

  22. Posted by: veritas at 12:46 on 15 October 2010 Report

    Why is there no photograph of the actual window display published in this story? Is it because it's too gruesome for the Leader to print? If the children had a choice to view the horror, then parents could help them decide, but as it's on public display!!!! It's a disgrace and should be taken down.

  23. Posted by: Roland Cleth at 13:28 on 15 October 2010 Report

    veritas - "Why is there no photograph of the actual window display published in this story? Is it because it's too gruesome for the Leader to print?" I doubt it. They had no problem printing a photograph of a dead sheep draped over a sign.

  24. Posted by: food4greymatter at 14:10 on 15 October 2010 Report

    I don't think it's about wrapping kids in cotton wool as someone described. The point is that there is enough blood, guts and horror in the world without celebrating it for fun. Should we let the kids watch the news... yes. Friday the 13th/Texas Chainsaw massacre... no. The difference is obvious, one glorifies horror, the other doesn't. Retailers do well to respond positively to complaints, whether right or wrong, rather than digging their heals in and hard facing their customers.

  25. Posted by: alethia at 14:53 on 15 October 2010 Report

    The child in the photograph is hardly an advert for 'giggling' at the display! it is a sad comment on the state of our society that adults prefer to show small children horror scenes and gruesome paraphernalia to the wholesome fare of RE lessons, 'fairy stories' and the truth that we need good to triumph over evil.

  26. Posted by: windyarbouir at 15:48 on 15 October 2010 Report

    I wonder how much it costs to have a full front page advert in the leader?

  27. Posted by: Roland Cleth at 16:02 on 15 October 2010 Report

    alethia - "RE lessons, 'fairy stories' " - Same thing?

  28. Posted by: alethia at 22:59 on 16 October 2010 Report

    Roland Cleth- no RE lessons and fairy stories are not the same thing but both are preferable to taking kids to view horror and gore such as in this display.

  29. Posted by: Dash_Daddy at 16:37 on 19 October 2010 Report

    This is an issue of plain common decency. As a parent I will determine what is acceptable for my children, and not have a collection of severed heads, limbs and entrails foisted upon me and my family as I go about my business in the town. I will not have a shopkeeper unilaterally decide what is OK on everybody else's behalf. The display has now been 'toned down'. Good on the shopkeeper. This is a campaign against bad taste, having nothing to do with Halloween but everything to do with horror.

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