Halloween Decorating Etiquette 101

Halloween Decorating Basics

Just when you thought I couldn't possibly have another Etiquette 101 hub and I couldn't possibly write another Halloween hub, I decided to combine the two for Halloween Decorating Etiquette 101! It is like you just can't get away from my two obsessions. So let us sit back and discuss some Halloween decorating basics.

Let's face it, Halloween is not for everyone. Some people don't celebrate Halloween. They find it offensive or claim it is a pagan holiday (as if there is anything wrong with that anyway) or maybe they just scare easily. For the folks that do frighten easily (for the purpose of this hub, I will refer to them using a very polite term... how about Scaredy Cats?), we need to try to respect them and use some tasteful Halloween decorations. After all, we can do what we want in our own home. When it comes to what our neighbors see, it never hurts to at least attempt to be polite.

Fake Graveyards

I know graveyards are creepy. That is why some people go to graveyards in the middle of the night to look for ghosts. All of that is pretty cool and I understand the appeal. However, please keep in mind what a graveyard really represents: a final resting place where dead bodies are buried.

Yes, that is scary! But it is also sad for some people. I don't know about you, but some of my own family members have passed away recently, and even as much as I love Halloween, I don't find the fake graveyard scenes to be scary or entertaining at all. It instead reminds me of funerals and loved ones. Naturally, I am not going to knock on your door and complain about it, but keep in mind, if you have a fake graveyard set up for Halloween, you may be offending some of your neighbors.

The Grim Reaper

Along the same lines, the grim reaper apparently offends some people. I found this out the hard way. Since the grim reaper does not actually exist, one should not be too concerned if they see one in a neighbor's window, right? Wrong. Apparently, my grim reaper in my apartment window completely offended someone last year. Yes, a Scaredy Cat complained to my apartment building's leasing manager about the grim reaper. I was then called and asked if I could take it down. At first, I started to refuse. On second thought, I figured if my Halloween decorations were that offensive and frightening, that was the best compliment I could get.

I took down the grim reaper decoration and there were no issues. Mind you, I had bloody handprints all over my front door (fake blood... don't worry... I'm not that crazy), yet no one was offended by that. Go figure. It just goes to show, weird things will scare people.

Pervy Decorations

Yes, nothing is more hilarious than a Halloween decoration with boobs. We've all seen the scarecrows with two pumpkins used for a chest. Or even the guy bending over to reveal a giant pumpkin butt mooning the whole neighborhood. Is it funny? Sure. Are you an adult? If the answer is "sure" to that, then maybe you might want to keep that in the backyard like a mature adult. The kids in the neighborhood do not need to see fake pumpkin boobs or a pumpkin butt while they are walking to school each day. It makes you look like a perv. Maybe you are a pervert, but you don't need the neighbors to know that about you.

Annoying Your Co-Workers

Some people work at an office that encourages folks to decorate for Halloween. If you are lucky enough to work at an office like that, keep in mind you can go too far. This is work and unless you work for the Spirit Halloween store, you are going to want to keep your Halloween decorations in good taste.

Keep in mind, there are people that are offended by anything that can perceived as satanic. Wearing devil horns to work is not a good idea. Putting up decorations that yell or moan each time someone walks by is also a no-no. Also, remember you are unfortunately going to actually have to work while at work. You don't want to put up a decoration that takes up too much space or is constantly falling down on you all day. Even worse, don't put up a decoration that constantly falls down on your co-worker either.

The End is Near

Now that you've gotten a little lesson on Halloween Decorating Etiquette 101, I am sure you are going to go out there and put up some non-offensive, neighborly decorations. If you still want to create some elaborate graveyard scene with grim reapers and scarecrows with pumpkin boobs, be my guest. I would just recommend being a good sport if someone asks you to take them down.

Keep in mind, everyone has their own ideas on what is scary and what it is good taste. If a neighbor is being polite about the situation and they seem geniunely disturbed by your decorations, be a good neighbor and take it down. After all, it is really a huge compliment. Not everyone is messed up in the head enough to come up with truly disturbing Halloween decorations. Kudos to you!

I personally believe more people ought to just "tough it out" and simply look the other way if they see Halloween decorations they don't like. Apparently, some people have the free time to get stressed over silliness. If your decorations are that offensive, you must be way cool anyway. Be the better person and take it down. Sometimes in life, you've just got to choose your battles wisely and fighting over Halloween decorations isn't a wise choice.

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Comments 13 comments

Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

My wife loves decorating all seasons and holidays and Halloween is no exception. She once had a headless man sitting in the rocking chair on our porch and darn near scared on little girl to death. Great ideas and a wonderful hub.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks for the comment, Cousin Fudd. Love the screen name, by the way.

I enjoy decorating for Halloween more than other holidays. I enjoy scaring people, but sometimes I have to remember not everyone can handle it. I grew up watching horror movies, and not too much bothers me.


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Hi Jeannie...alright...I'm putting away the pervy stuff. Damn...now I have to buy new Halloween decorations. Damn this etiquette stuff...but thank you for alerting me to my social faux pas...

PS...you are right...Cousin Fudd is a great name!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Hahaha... sorry you have to buy all new decorations. The pervy stuff is fine for the backyard though. Thanks for dropping by and posting a comment!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I do my best to stay away from people who are offended or afraid of paganism. I am not a religious person. I remember when a friend of mine from high school was talking about wiccan people I get ticked off and she automatically asked me if I followed the religion. According to her book and that of many others, if you are offended by people badmouthing a religion, you must belong to that religion, otherwise, why wouldn't you think it was bad?

I hate people sometimes.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, I feel the same way you do. However, sometimes it is not easy to avoid people like that. You can't decide what your neighbors will believe or what will offend your co-workers. It seems like there are people that refuse to be open-minded no matter where you go. I live in a city, which helps cut down on that, but no matter where I go, there are going to be some party poopers.

I understand how you feel. Thanks for the comment!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Jeannie...what a great hub! So funny! I think it's silly that people get offended over decorations, but, oh, well, people are people, and they all have their own ideas about things. Well-written hub. I voted it up, interesting, useful, awesome, and FUNNY! I especially liked how you gave the opportunity to buy the "forbidden" grim reaper and tombstone. Love it!


Karen N profile image

Karen N 5 years ago from United States

I can see why some people might be bothered by certain aspects of Halloween. But I also think that it's a little silly to take things so seriously, it is after all just a fun day for the kids.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Great article Jeannie, I am just amused by the Grim Reaper incident. What would the apartment manager have said if you answered 'oh, that's not a dummy, that's my son, he always stands in the window like that'. LOL


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

hahaha. Funny, misty! That's a good one! :-)


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Victoria Lynn - Yes, I thought everyone should have the opportunity to buy the grim reaper even if it does offend their neighbors.

Karen N - Some people just take things too seriously. I think there are people that simply do not have enough going on in their lives. They need to make a little drama even though it is not necessary.

mistyhorizon2003 - I should have used that answer! Or I could have said I did not know what she was talking about. If there is a grim reaper at my window, I didn't put him there. Hehe.

Thanks for the comments!


James Halpin profile image

James Halpin 5 years ago from York, Pennsylvania

I'm looking for trick or treat etiquette. LOL! Great Hub!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Hahaha... maybe I need to do that hub, as well. Thanks for dropping by!

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    Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle (Jeannieinabottle)1,161 Followers
    440 Articles

    Jeannie is a huge fan of Halloween and loves everything that is ghoulish. You can often find her reading or writing horror stories.



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