METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — Halloween decorations, including a bloody Jesus, in a New Orleans neighborhood have caused an uproar among neighbors.
“This is what I think is scary,” homeowner Vic Miorana says, who lives in the Bucktown area of Metairie. “This theme tends to make people more scared than other ones. Nothing you wouldn’t see in any scary movies or haunted houses.”
Some residents in the area have been calling for the removal of Miorana’s display.
“This has nothing to do with my personal beliefs. It is my religious beliefs, only my freedom of speech, and my freedom of expression,” Miorana says.
However, many are calling it “blasphemy.”
Miorana says they’re missing the point and that it’s all in the spirit of Halloween.
“Before the season starts, I actually encourage neighbors to speak with me if they have any issues as far as the content or the noise, and that way, we may be able to work it out civilly but instead I was just hit completely with attacks,” says Miorana.
Ever since Miorana put up the decorations, curious onlookers have been coming by the Bucktown home to take a look. The feedback has been mixed.
“It shows a lot of expression, a lot of what Halloween is all about. Spooky, scary,” neighbor Darleen Barre says. “I think it’s good for the neighborhood.”
“I hate it, hate, hate, hate it,” says Kelley Turan. “It’s repulsive to me. I mean, I didn’t mind when it was a little bit, when it was political. But now it’s religious and satanic, and I don’t like it at all.
Miorana says he and his girlfriend have been getting harassed as a result. People have reportedly been taking to social media to attack his girlfriend and her place of employment, forcing her to leave her job.
The people in favor of removal say they too are being threatened for sharing their opinions.
“It raises the question, when does freedom of speech cross the line, when is it too much? When is enough, enough?” says Turan.
“We have a right to do things the way we want to do them as long as we’re not breaking any laws and we’re not, clearly,” says Miorana.
He says code enforcement, sheriff’s deputies and even the fire department have visited the home and found no violations.