Racial controversy erupts in North Carolina over Halloween decoration of man hanging from tree
Halloween pumpkin with candlelight (Shutterstock)

On Thursday, WRAL reported that a community in Harnett County, North Carolina is up in arms over a Halloween decoration that appears to depict a man hanging from a tree.

"This display, shared hundreds of times on Facebook, shows what appears to be a fully-dressed man with his hands tied behind his back hanging from a tree outside a home in Coats," said the report. "Investigators with the Harnett County’s Sheriff Office tell WRAL the family says it was Halloween decoration meant to look like a farmer. Some residents say the display had racist undertones."

According to the report, the family, which is Hispanic, has taken down the decoration after it prompted social media outrage and an investigation by the county sheriff's office. "Investigators said the family took down the display after realizing the hurt it caused within the community. They go on to say there aren’t policies banning such displays on private property."

"Those who saw it in person said this hits close to home for families of color," said the report. "'My daughter is biracial — she’s Black, white and Indian, and I don’t want her growing up seeing these things,' said Jenni Byrd."

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While this display may not have had ill intent, racist Halloween decorations have caused controversy around the country over the years.

In 2017, a Virginia Halloween yard display that appeared to depict a Black man being lynched triggered protests. A similar display in 2018 was put up by the owner of the Kickstand bar in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, although the bar claimed that the hanged individual was supposed to be the Devil.

Disturbing Halloween decoration comes down after residents complain www.youtube.com