Avoid Dangerous, Illegal Halloween Decorations
Do you know when a creative Halloween decoration pushes the envelope and becomes an illegal Halloween decoration?
In the good ol' days, one could simply decorate his house with a Jack-o-lantern. But now simply having a pumpkin is lame. Instead, homeowners are upping the ante with an assortment of decorations from flying witches to rising zombies.
However, while Halloween may give you an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing, you should be careful not to go too far as to make an illegal Halloween decoration. Here are three situations when you know you may have taken things too far:
- Threatening Remarks. Don't like your neighbors? That's fine, you don't have to like everyone you live near. But don't put their names on tombstones or make other thinly veiled threats through the use of Halloween decorations. If you do, your Halloween decorations could be used as evidence in a criminal harassment or intimidation trial.
- Driving Hazards. It can be fun to create a virtual haunted house complete with flashing lights and frightening noises. However, you don't want to make your spooked-out home too much of a distraction. On Halloween night, there will be plenty of children wandering around in the dark. If your haunted house creates a distraction to drivers, you could be partially on the hook for any accidents involving pedestrians and cars.
- Racist Stereotypes. Halloween is no excuse for your racist stereotypes to run free. Surprisingly, many people still dress up and decorate their homes to fit certain stereotypes like the American Indians, hillbillies, or African tribes. Be sensitive that these costumes and decorations are based on racial stereotypes. Instead, get creative with vampires and witches. Even if overdone, these costumes won't insult anyone except real-life vampires and witches.
Halloween is a fun time to decorate your home. Just keep these tips in mind so that you won't get in trouble for your Halloween decorations.
- Halloween Laws: Keep Your Halloween Party Legal (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Halloween 101: Are Nunchucks Legal? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Halloween Safety Tips (FindLaw's Common Law)
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