Morton father-of-one speaks out after elaborate Halloween decorations attract criticism
A father-of-one accused of having a ‘disturbed mind’ after decorating his home with elaborate Halloween decorations has vowed to put even more on display next year.
Paul Downs received an anonymous letter criticising his display which included ‘bodies’ hanging from upstairs windows, police tape, gravestones and a ‘murder victim’ on his front lawn.
The 36-year-old office clerk spends around a fortnight decorating his home in Rosehip Road, Morton, inside and out in the run up to Halloween when he and wife Nicky, 34, host a party for friends.
This was the seventh year they have held the party, and the first in which they have received a complaint about their decorations.
Paul said: “Over the years I’ve had a lot of positive comments about the display.
“The party was on Saturday, October 29 and we left the decorations up for a few days so the trick-or-treaters could enjoy them on Halloween.
“It’s just a bit of fun. Lots of people put up Halloween decorations. People have been driving here specifically to have a look and enjoy it.”
Paul received the letter via second class post on All Souls’ Day, last Wednesday, after the decorations had been taken down.
Quoting Wikipedia, it outlines the history of Halloween and highlights the Christian importance of remembering those who have died, adding: “All in all, this Christian practice seems more fitting to our time and sensibility than the horrors and fears of pagan superstition and fear often portrayed in gruesome images that can, in extreme images, express very sick and disturbed minds.”
Housewife Anne Weeks, 59, who lives nearby, received a similar letter about her own Halloween display.
Paul and Nicky have a five-year-old daughter, Isla, who likes the decorations.
Paul said he was shocked by the letter’s content and disappointed the writer had chosen not to raise their concerns with him in person.
He added: “We have between 15 and 30 people at the party each year and put a lot of effort into it.
“I look for ideas online and throughout the year people send me Halloween projects they’ve seen for me to consider. Most of the outside stuff I make myself.
“I’m not particularly religious but we did get married in a church. I even helped the vicar open and close the building for a while when he was poorly. I’m not disturbed – it’s all very light-hearted. If someone said their kids were frightened I probably would have toned it down a bit.”
Asked if he will decorate his home again next Halloween, Paul replied: “Yes, Iam going to do it again next. In fact, I’ll probably focus more on the front of the house next year.”
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