Louisiana Neighbors Call For Controversial Halloween Display To Be Removed
“We have a little religious theme here, We wanted to make people scared, to make them a little uncomfortable.”
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
Vic Miorana, a resident of Bucktown, has a yearly tradition of creating intricate and spooky Halloween displays. This year, he has been working on his latest display for a year, which has a religious theme intended to scare and make people feel uncomfortable.
Miorana emphasized that the display was only for fun and does not reflect his personal or religious beliefs.
However, some of Miorana's Bucktown neighbors were disturbed when they saw the display, which features a beheaded Jesus with Satan holding his head, flanked by a nun and priest.
Rachel Flanagan, a mother, said her children were the first to spot the display and found it appalling. Another neighbor, Peggy Keller, described the display as blasphemy.
“Look, I’m all about Halloween. I decorate. We all have scary stuff. This just is crossing the line," Flanagan said.
Many Metairie residents echoed Flanagan and Keller's sentiment and expressed a desire to see the decorations removed.
Paula Hennessey stated that while everyone has freedom of speech, her opinion also needs to be heard.
“I understand everybody has freedom of speech. That’s what we are all here for, that’s what makes this country great, but we have freedom of speech as well. I felt like we needed to express our opinion as well," Paula Hennessey said.
Code enforcement even visited Miorana's property to investigate.
“We are not aware of any local ordinances that specifically address this type of situation; however, this neighborhood display is clearly offensive and certainly not in the spirit of a family-friendly Jefferson Parish Halloween," Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng said in a statement to WWL-TV.
Despite the controversy, Miorana's next-door neighbor, Frank Turan, found nothing wrong with the display. He shared that Miorana's displays tend to be elaborate, and everyone seems to like them, except for a few people.
"Every year he goes way overboard on trying to make these displays. Everyone seems to like it, except a few people," Turan said.
Was A Line Crossed?
Miorana emphasized that the display was similar to those found in haunted houses or scary movies and had no intention of inciting violence or bias against the church. Nevertheless, some neighbors felt that Miorana went too far with the display, crossing a line that shouldn't have been crossed.
“This is not real, and we have no interest in inciting violence. We have no bias against the church. We were both raised Catholic," Miorana said.
In response, Miorana stated that if people did not like his display, they should avoid his street on Halloween.