Halloween house 'too gory for kids'

A Stevenage man decorated the outside of his house with skeletons, bloodied corpses and cobwebs in a display dubbed 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'

A man who put up a gory Halloween display of disembowelled corpses outside his home has been told by police to tone it down after a passer-by said it made their child cry.

James Creighton, 25, decorated the outside of his house with skeletons, bloodied corpses and cobwebs in a display dubbed Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The bar owner transforms his house in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, every year to raise money for the Cancer Research UK charity in memory of his grandmother Betty, who died from the disease in 2009.

But he had a nasty shock when two police officers knocked on his door to tell him a parent had complained it was frightening children.

Mr Creighton said: “The police came round knocking on my door. They said they were sorry to disturb me but they had a complaint from a member of the public who walks past my house in the morning.

"Apparently their child starts crying every time they walk past my house.

“I was shocked - more to the point that the parent couldn't come to the door themselves and speak to me personally, but had to get the police involved and waste their time.

"Police have asked me to put black tarpaulin along the fence so the kids can't see it, but why should I do that? It ruins the whole rest of the display for everyone else.

“All the other kids love it. It is just this one who doesn't like it.

"It is a bit gruesome, it's a bit gory, but that is Halloween, it is meant to be fun and scary. It is all for a good cause."

Mr Creighton put the gruesome decorations up outside his home at the beginning of the month to mark Halloween and to support Cancer Research UK.

He creates the display every year in tribute to his grandmother, a Halloween enthusiast who died from lung cancer, and claims this is the first complaint he has ever received.

Last year he raised £1,100 for the charity, and has collected £1,358 so far this month.

The 25 year-old said he was "disappointed" when police told him about the complaint on Tuesday lunchtime because the exhibition is ”just a bit of fun“.

He said: "It is all for a good cause. I've done it for three years and I've never had a complaint before.

“It all started when I was a teenager and my nan and mum threw a surprise party for me and my mates. They decorated the whole of the inside and outside of the house. Ever since then I've got into it. It is carrying on that legacy.

"Halloween is packed with people on my street because of my house. Everyone has been complimentary saying they love it. I've never had any negative feedback.

“I'm very disappointed, I would have liked the person to come and speak to me. I was willing to compromise with the person if they were prepared to come to my door, it would have been a lot easier than getting the police involved.”

Despite the objection, Mr Creighton, who has received donations from as far afield as the US and Mexico, said he is determined to keep the display up and raise as much money as possible for charity.

He said: “I'm definitely going to keep it up, but it has made me think that for next year I might be a bit more wary, which is a bit of a shame.

"But I'm not going to stop. It is something that reminds me of my nan and it is for a good cause."

Inspector Simon Tabert told the BBC that officers had visited Mr Creighton "to discuss the matter."

He said: "We had a complaint (from a parent) that it was so realistic, it was going to upset their children.

“Mr Creighton offered to create a barrier, but it's my understanding we did not ask him to do so.

"We asked him to tone it down, because people were being distressed by it."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Production Administrator

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading and fastest ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sunroom / Conservatory / Extension Designers

£16000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Planning Assistant

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the count...

Recruitment Genius: Purchase Ledger Administrator

£5120 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence