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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks! Haven't been around much in these parts for some time. Hubs and I watched the VVitch last night and I thought I would love to do a "historical" witch theme. (obviously not completely accurate because we want to add some fantastical elements etc). Just wondering about thoughts on it though. We live in a fairly religious area (lots of mormon folks around here), but we also have communities such as amish, mennonite, hutterite etc in the area where the women wear the dresses and caps still. Would it be crossing a line to show puritan women (skellies I'm puritan dresses) at the gallows? What are thoughts on nooses as well? Too much in case someone has committed suicide? I would love to have the hangings represented in some form, but don't want to upset anyone. (I have had a few friends hang themselves and I am ok with using those elements but worried it may cross a line for others)

Thanks for any feedback!
 

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I like the idea. Having also lost a friend to suicide via hanging, I can honestly say that I would not be upset by the gallows scene, though I am extremely thick-skinned and far from religious (no comments/debates, thanks). I understand not wanting to upset anyone, but even a simple metal spoon could be taken as offensive, or terrifying, by a person who had been maimed using one; nobody will agree 100% no matter what you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Garthgoyle! Don't worry no debate from me as I'm the big A ?. I am worried that there may be more than just offending someone. backlash if the hutterites etc think it is aimed at them? Any ideas how to portray the witches without people thinking it is a sleight towards the hutterite/amish/mennonite folks in the area? Should I just stick with skellies or maybe even just have the ominous nooses lit up somehow? Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Sure. I was not worried about you;) I have been around Amish at points (not closely/interacting, of course), but I have never encountered either of those other branches. If you go with red, black, brown, yellow, and white skeletons, you should be able to equally offend everyone actively seeking to be upset - ah, throw in a green one just in case any Martians stop by:rolleyes: Also, you could fashion the nooses from those chasing light strands, bound to upset any staunch Christmas supporters with a rabid dislike of Halloween:D
 

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It's really decent of you to consider other people's feelings on the matter. (I've had my Election-Year fill of the deliberately confrontational!)
My personal opinion -- It might make things clear that your figures are historical rather than aimed at locals if you use a lot of signage with dates. "Witch Hangings to be held here, Friday, Oct 31, 1692" Gravestones with dates, etc.

(If your local Amish are like those around here, they probably wouldn't pay that much attention to what you were doing anyway. Our local Amish would be extremely unlikely to say anything...though they might feel hurt or offended if they thought it was aimed at them.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ooojen and kenneth! Yeah...hoping I have the time to do it justice...we'll see!
And yeah, I'm not out to make people dislike halloween, so I don't want to upset anyone. It needs as much help and support as we can get these days so I want to make people love it, not find a reason to shun it haha
 

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The historic fact of the Salem Witch Trials is these people that all but one was hung is that they were just normal looking people. Now I do extensive genealogical studies of my family history and my family was in Massachusettes in the 1600's. Where did i find this? In a genealogy page by the Later Day Saints. I feel that if people find this offensive then they are not happy about their history. I guess you could say it is like alot of German People that dont like to be reminded or talk about Hitler. If you make it Historically correct then i dont see a problem in it at all and it is your freedom of expression. Many people dont like the civil war but there are countless recreations of that. So to me it is all the same. And if they have a problem with it do like i did when someone had a problem with my display and took it to the city council. Tell them if you are not allowed to have your display then you dont want to see a single Christmas decoration in the city because you find it offensive. Trust me it changes peoples opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Harboe that way might work IF we didn't do up our house for xmas too ? I'd shoot myself in the foot with that one because then I'd get screwed out of both holidays hahaha. I understand what you mean though. I think I may have found an alternative idea (If I can get it to work) I was thinking maybe having some gallows but instead of an actual skellie or body hanging, I would "float" a witch hat midway between the collapse door and the noose. (yes I know they didn't actually wear witch hats but that is where the fantastical elements come into play haha) just not sure if it would work with our high winds. How did the meeting before council go with you? My anxiety would get the better of me then I think!
 

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"Moon" What kind of a community do you reside in? a small under-populated little town or village where people might be more friendly on-average, or a larger town or city where people don't rub "elbows" socially or care to ever say :"Good morning"?
We each have the amazing ability to ingratiate ourselves with others or to totally alienate them by little things we may not even realize that we are doing.
A good reputation might require Years to create and only seconds to lose. We all have such choices, whether or not we actually consider others.
Do what you want to do, but also have an actual, reasonable explanation handy for any "Repair work".
I have what I consider to be a funny, ridiculous display of "Nazi-Babes". If someone doesn't like it or at least tolerate it , I have my response.
My Dad was in WW2, my family has a lot of "German" in it , and if someone of the Jewish ancestry or faith gets upset, I just tell them I will contact my G.Grandfather Katzenburger on the Oui-Ja board and see what he thinks? To the vast majority the display is humorous.
There will be some of your audience who try to find angst in everything.
A display of a hanging itself, I would never do, simply because of the high number of young people who do this or try it as a permanent solution to temporary problems.
 

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Harboe that way might work IF we didn't do up our house for xmas too �� I'd shoot myself in the foot with that one because then I'd get screwed out of both holidays hahaha. I understand what you mean though. I think I may have found an alternative idea (If I can get it to work) I was thinking maybe having some gallows but instead of an actual skellie or body hanging, I would "float" a witch hat midway between the collapse door and the noose. (yes I know they didn't actually wear witch hats but that is where the fantastical elements come into play haha) just not sure if it would work with our high winds. How did the meeting before council go with you? My anxiety would get the better of me then I think!
Short and sweet is I still have my display and they still do Christmas :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good to hear, Harboe! Win for everyone!

Gym...you are very right. Maybe I will just take the nooses out all together. My own apprehension to not want to upset someone is probably a self indicator not to do it. I would probably be ok if it just "offended" someone, but I would probably be mortified to know I had brpught back unwelcome memories to someone in regards to losing someone to hanging. That just isn't in my nature. I am not one to intentionally provoke people or be overly confrontational, I just got excited about the theme after watching the movie. Haha But I think we could pull off a good witch theme without having to use nooses, as well. Maybe for the true historical aspect I will just use real names of some of the women hanged in salem instead on some tombstones.
We also try to keep our haunts creepy, but light enpugh not to scare the very wee tots (at least not too badly) so that could be pushing the limits of what we typically do for our neighborhood.

And Gym, you are very right in that it only takes a second to lose a good reputation. Last year we had almost 350 tots come to our house. In just two halloweens here we have doubled our numbers and become "the house" in our neighborhood. And that isn't something I want to put on the line for one prop/idea.

Thanks for all the suggestions folks, and for the dialogue. I seriously appreciate it all. ????
 

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We live in a fairly religious area (lots of mormon folks around here),
Really? Alberta?

Huh.

Well, speaking as the resident Mormon living in the Mormon capital, I can say that the locals here wouldn't mind at all.

In fact, the This is the Place Heritage Park already did it. (Local museum largely about early Mormon Settlers to Utah, was expanded to be more religiously inclusive recently.)







And the Polynesian Cultural center in Hawaii (owned by the Mormon Church) ran a witch theme for years. That's practically an official endorsement.



That said, there are members who think I've boarded a south bound train with all this 'evil stuff'. But, it's more personal opinion than actual church doctrine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh unorthodox thanks a bunch! And yep! (my profile atills says fort mac though I believe but we now live in southern alberta (Lethbridge) and there is a huge mormon population here. It was honestly more the hutterites etc I was concerned with due to their garb. Didn't want them thinking I was making a statement against them. But still wasn't sure how it would be perceived ny the mormon community either.
Thanks for the links! I'm gonna have some watching to do! Haha
 

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Granted there are some people who just won't be dealt with nicely, and some times when people have to stand up for their rights, but life just flows so much more smoothly when you don't pi$$ off your neighbors. (Sometimes it's very helpful to have neighbors with whom you're not at odds.) It's a worthy goal to never get to the point of, "If you break my toys, I'll break yours."

I think your floating hat sounds great, and yeah, you're right-- it doesn't have to be a strictly-accurate historical display; it's a Halloween display. Fantastical elements are a big chunk of the fun! :)
 

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If you think the noose would offend you could always construct a pile of coals with a stake in the middle and use a charred skeleton. Hang a sign indicating what witch had just been burned. And put a pillory or set of stocks nearby to show a lesser but contemporary means of punishment.
 

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My uncle committed suicide by hanging... 23 years ago. Yesterday I showed my mother some stuff I am working on for our yard haunt, including a projection of the silhouette of a hanging man, JUST a projected silhouette.... She immediately put her foot down and said "NO!" The whole living room came to a standstill.

Now granted I am married, 45, have grown kids of my own and I can do what I want in my own house.... but... it isn't worth it to me to upset her. So I can give in on this one thing.
 

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I like the stake idea that was mentioned above. That's not historically accurate but it would get the point across...
 

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Didn't they also "press" the victims... Or am I just thinking of the play The Crucible.
Giles Corey was pressed to death because he refused to plead guilty. He knew he was going to die either way, but by refusing to plead guilty to witchcraft he was able to legally keep his estate and not have it fall into the hands of the local government. This way, his estate stayed with the family and was inherited by his sons.
 
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