Midlothian family defends "extremely offensive" Halloween display

Published: Oct. 8, 2013 at 3:28 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2013 at 3:28 AM EDT
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MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - A Halloween display along Midlothian Turnpike, which shows someone in an electric chair is under the microscope after a concerned citizen found it offensive. The concerned citizen also questioned if it violates a county ordinance.

The display is located at the corner of Midlothian Turnpike and Winterfield Road.

"We go big or we go home," said property owner Leslie Reamer.

The Reamer family's Halloween display is now being called a "disturbance in the area."

A concerned viewer wrote NBC 12 saying the staged execution goes too far.

"To any passersby it looks like a dead man," said the viewer who wished to remain anonymous. "How am I supposed to explain that to my kids while we wait at the red light? I shouldn't have to. It is tasteless and extremely offensive. I urge you to investigate and see why this kind of display is acceptable in our lovely community."

We reached out to the Chesterfield County Public Affairs office.

"As long as Halloween displays are on private property and not in the right-of-way," said Don Kappel with public affairs. "They are not regulated."

We also reached out to Chesterfield Police.

"As it is described below," said Liz Caroon about our email. "We can't find anything illegal about it."

The Reamer family says they never meant to be offensive.

"It's all for fun," said Leslie. "Children are easily misdirected. If they go...what's that? Point at the pumpkin and say look at the pumpkin!"

Leslie's husband, John, says he spent hours crafting the execution scene.

"I would hate to think that there is anything here that people would have to go to the county to find out if it's ok or not," said John. "We try not to put anything that offensive up in the yard. We have pumpkins and ghosts and things like that. It is still all about Halloween."

The family says they have never had trick or treaters. They hope this year is different.

"I buy the candy," said Leslie. "And I end up eating it. That's not right."

Leslie and John say the Halloween display is a family tradition. They say it gets bigger each year.

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