Man Asked To Remove Halloween Decorations As They 'Damage Kids' Mental Health'
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A councillor was asked to remove his Halloween decorations as they were allegedly 'scaring children'.
Ashan Jeeawon, 42, who is also a property stylist, was told that his floating skeleton displays were damaging to the mental health of the community.
But, deciding to be democratic about it, he put it up to the public vote, with neighbours then overwhelmingly voting to keep the decs up.
Mr Jeeawon said he was sent an email which read: "Although I respect your opinion to celebrate Halloween, I am sorry to say that I hold a different opinion.
"It is my belief that the Halloween celebrations are detrimental to the mental health of many people. In particular of children and the vulnerable.
"There are more than enough things happening in the world to scare people without adding to it with the spectrum of ghosts and witches.
"I would respectfully ask that you take down the display as soon as possible. It is important that we promote a message of hope and not a message of fear."
The councillor, who lives in East Sussex with his partner, sister, her three kids and his parents, says he decorates the house for every big holiday - including Christmas, Easter, Diwali and Armistice Day.
He said: "Being a councillor, everything I do is to support my community.
"I'm actively involved in every project going on and support with my time. For someone to say that it's having a negative impact on the community, my immediate reaction was that is the last thing I would want to do.
"I put a message out on the Bexhill Facebook page as I really wanted to find out from the public as to whether doing these decorations were giving people joy and something to fun look at or whether it was causing a detriment to people's mental health.
"If it really was scaring children and vulnerable people, I'd have no hesitation in taking it down.
"Every single one of the 700 plus comments is positive.
"Lots of people said their kids have asked them to detour so they can look at the house when they drive past.
"I think there were 30 people on the page that said they suffered from mental health issues and that it was supporting them as opposed to it being detrimental."
He hasn't responded to the email yet, but he wants to keep the decorations up - with the support of his neighbours.
He said: "I think I will acknowledge the comments and said that I've done a test with my neighbours and other people local to the area and actually the support is overwhelmingly supportive so the decorations will remain."
Describing his typical Halloween, Mr Jeeawon said: "We have the music, lights and smoke machine on. We're very busy for trick and treaters stopping by.
"I normally wear a black cape and a mask from the Scream films. I stand in the front garden, I don't move at all, and so they think I'm a statue. Once they walk past, I jump at them on the way out.
"It started five years ago, and we've just added decorations every year."
Pretty impressive decorations we might add. Here's hoping Ashan has a very spooky Halloween.