Fifth Street was lined with adults and children of all ages on Sept. 3 patiently waiting to see the Labor Day parade entries and grab as much candy as they could. But, what some people were not expecting to see was zombies escaping from a horse trailer and being shot by people carrying guns.
The scene was fake and a skit from the Scare Creepers Haunted House. But, some parents who attended the parade felt this particular skit was too graphic.
Scare Creepers is a local haunted attraction in its third year of operation.
Doug Oller originated Scare Creepers three years ago in Round Knob, but Beau and Jessica Neihoff, of Simpson, bought the business, and this year will be the second year the Neihoff's have owned the haunted attraction. This year's theme is Zombie Apocalypse, which was the theme of the Labor Day parade skit.
This was not the first Labor Day Parade Scare Creepers have been a part of. Jessica Neihoff said this was the third year the haunted house has been in the parade. However in previous years, the characters have been riding on a flat bed trailer.
Although, Neihoff points out, last year there were people on the flatbed trailer along with other people who were dressed up walking alongside of the trailer.
"We feel bad enough about this as it is. We didn't mean to scare little kids," said Neihoff, re-iterating that Scare Creepers was there to advertise the haunted attraction and to show people what they will be able to do if they visit their haunted house — hunt people dressed as zombies with an air soft gun.
"We were not out there to scare little children, just to advertise our haunt," she said.
One of those concerned parents who felt the skit was too graphic for her child was CaSandra Helton-Morehead, who expressed her feelings on the Metropolis Planet's Facebook page:
"I'm going to vent a little. Yesterday at the Labor Day Parade, I was incredibly infuriated with the Scare Creepers skit. I want to make myself clear: I am not a sheltering, un-cool mother. While enjoying the parade, catching candy and dancing to the band, my 3-year-old daughter was chased into a lawn chair by a "zombie" who then collapsed at her feet. A grown man stood over him [the zombie] — inches away from my daughter — and placed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. All the while, Gradie is screaming, shaking and crying. The only thing I could mutter is, 'She's 3!'
"This was a scene out of a rated R movie. You wouldn't have even seen this in a PG-13 movie, people. I feel so strongly about this poor taste in judgment by this 'organization' that I have contacted the mayor and the Lion's Club president this morning," Helton-Morehead wrote.
Helton-Morehead's post to the Planet's Facebook page received 132 likes and 95 comments, many of which were in agreement that the skit was in bad taste, pointing out with the recent shootings, the guns and act of violence was not needed at a "family-oriented" parade.
By the same token, there were others who posted comments that they did not think the skit was inappropriate.
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