Wisconsin Halloween decoration comes down after online controversy

Local News

FITCHBURG, Wis. (WISC) – A skeleton hanging by a noose on a tree in a Fitchburg yard is coming down after online comments say it represented lynching.

The man removing it says he isn’t the homeowner and denied to comment. Affiliate WISC says they called the homeowner, but he hung up right after an introduction.

Complaints flooded Alder Joe Maldonando’s email and phone.

“This is unacceptable. This isn’t something that should be displayed in our city.”

Maldonado says there aren’t any policies prohibiting displays like this one, but he says it’s offensive to the people who live nearby.

“You may or may not see that but for somebody that has a direct connection to this, it’s incredibly painful.”

“That’s just hard to watch, to even keep going over there and looking at it,” says China Miller, a resident living nearby. “It just shouldn’t be there.”

Miller lives down the street. She says the display doesn’t feel like Halloween.

“This is very heartbreaking and I think that the person put it up was very insensitive of us black and brown people.”

Nicholas Shoenick says his neighbor builds a Halloween display every year.

“The collection always seems to change and it’s always something different.”

Shoenick says he doesn’t think any of the decorations were put up with bad intentions.

“He’s not the kind of guy who’s out to offend people. He’s out to bring joy.”

He admits that taking it down would be a good idea.

“If somebody is getting offended, maybe he should take that into consideration.”

Two other skeletons hanging by a noose were also removed from a larger Halloween display at the same house.

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