A Texas artist said his Halloween display, an extremely gory fake massacre scene, is attracting a ton of attention from his neighbors — but also visits from the police.
Steven Novak, of Dallas, said he began decorating the outside of his home about six years ago at the request of his neighbors.
“As an artist, I’ve always got projects going on outside so my neighbors always see me making things. They asked me when I was going to do something for Halloween and they finally talked me into it,” he told NBC News in a phone interview Thursday.
The decorations started off with ghosts and fog machines and “slowly evolved into the hyperreal scene it is now,” Novak said.
Realistic dummies covered in blood are scattered across the front of Novak’s home, each one made to look like they suffered a gruesome death. An apparent body bag is discarded in the front yard next to a wheelbarrow of severed limbs.
Novak said he makes all of the props himself and said it can get a little expensive because of all the fake blood he uses.
“When it’s raining, it washes it right off and I have to reapply it every morning,” he said. “As people walk by with their dogs … I’m out there just slinging gallons and gallons of blood. I just wave at them like a friendly neighbor and say, ‘Just out here watering the bodies.’ “
For the most part his neighbors enjoy the display, but some people in the area have complained. A spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department said officers were called to the home after receiving complaints about the decor.
“There’s no citation, they said I wasn’t doing anything wrong,” Novak said about the police visits. “They took pictures, they thought it was great.”
Surprisingly, Novak said he is not a fan of Halloween and decorates his home because he loves being able to make things and “put on a show.” For those who think his decorations are over-the-top, he said to wait until they see what he has in store for next Halloween.
“It’s just fun,” he said. “I think it cheers people up. Halloween is the perfect opportunity to put on a spectacle.”