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A Creepy, Lifelike Halloween Installation Is Upsetting Some Montrealers

Is it festive or going too far?

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​The lifelike figure is tangled in branches hanging over rue Saint-Urbain.

The lifelike figure is tangled in branches hanging over rue Saint-Urbain.

Montrealers like it spooky and spicy leading up to Halloween, but a decoration on one Ahuntsic road might be a step too far for some. A duct-taped figure strung up in a tree over the sidewalk on rue Saint-Urbain is sparking debate about what's appropriate for the season.

Manish Patwari posted a photo of the homemade decoration to the "Montreal Then and Now" Facebook group, along with shots of nearby plastic skeletons and graveyard props. Members were quick to react and a fiery debate ensued.

Most commenters called the installation "disturbing" and in "bad taste." Some even likened it to a lynching, calling it a "reminder of the horrendous act against many people in the world who have lost their lives in this horrific way."

Others called for consideration of viewers, particularly immigrants and refugees, who might be from war-torn parts of the world and called for compassion.

"Compassion for people who are offended by an old pair of pants, shirt and shoes full of leaves?" replied another, who said the installation didn't prompt the lynching connection for everyone.

"It's Halloween, it is supposed to be spooky, weird AND disturbing. You know… being afraid… feeling uncomfortable," one poster continued. "People really miss [the] sense of art and humour."

"Skeletons are just fine, but a fresh one that has yet to decompose is not?" asked another.

For many, their biggest issue with the suspended cadaver is how lifelike it is. "For a second I thought it was a real person. I'll pass on this type of decoration," said a member of the group.

With the ongoing controversy, it remains to be seen if the decoration will stay up until Halloween.

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