'These are not PATRIOTS': Skeletons replace Capitol rioters in massive Halloween display
Capitol Insurrectionists (Shutterstock)

A Connecticut man has created a Halloween display depicting the Jan. 6 insurrection, with nearly 30 skeletons climbing a 35-foot-long re-creation of the Capitol building's east facade, on his front lawn in West Hartford.

The only words on the massive display constructed by Matt Warshauer are, "These are not PATRIOTS. This is not DEMOCRACY."

"It's an understated overstatement," Warshauer told the news site We-Ha.com of the display, which tops out at 35 feet high.

"People are going to get it," he said, adding that he constructed the display in part to show the insurrection wasn't a hoax, as former president Donald Trump and others have suggested.

"The most reasonable Americans are going to get it," said Warshauer, a political historian and professor at Central Connecticut State University. "I don't know how people believe [that this wasn't an insurrection] and repeat it with a straight face. I just don't know how anyone can explain away what happened on Jan. 6."

On the top right corner of the display is a skeleton depiction of so-called QAnon shaman Jake Angeli, and on the top left is a vulture skeleton "feeding off the rotting carcass of our democracy." The display also includes six skeletons at the top of the stairs dressed as Capitol Police officers.

Warshauer, who is well known for his elaborate Halloween displays, typically reuses materials from previous years, but this summer he launched an online fundraiser to pay for the skeletons — exceeding his goal in less than 24 hours.

In an artist statement about the display posted on his website, Warshauer points out that the Jan. 6 insurrection marked only the second time in history that the U.S. Capitol has been attacked — and the first by a domestic enemy.

"Now, Trump and his followers claim that the insurrection wasn't an insurrection," Warshauer writes. "The former president recently (September, 2021) claimed it was all a 'hoax.' Such a statement defines the Trump presidency. He has long insisted that if you say something enough times people will believe it. He has made the denial of basic facts a key political strategy. ...

"And be sure – 'The Big Lie' (that Trump actually won the 2020 election) is what culminated in the Capitol Insurrection – this is no minor issue," Warshauer writes. "What has always set America apart is our citizens' willingness to accept elections and the peaceful transition of political power. Without that essential commitment, our Union will fracture; we will be reduced to just another rogue political state. The 'Great Experiment' in representative government will fail."

Check out photos of the display here.