The Walmart Halloween Display That's So Scary It Gives Your Children Nightmares

Apparently, there is a Halloween display at Walmart that is so scary its giving one Texas woman’s three children nightmares.

“It looked like a real, live monster,” 4-year-old Grace Whitney told KSN news.

From KSN:

Adriana Whitney said she didn’t expect to see something like it while shopping for groceries.

She said it was too much for her three young daughters, the youngest of whom is 20 months old.

“At this age, you cannot explain that this is a toy, that’s not real,” Whitney said.

Whitney said her daughters had nightmares after seeing the decoration and couldn’t sleep in their rooms.

“They had to sleep in my room because they were so scared,” she said.

Walmart moved the display over to another section after Whitney complained, but a spokesperson told the station that the decoration will remain in the store.

Hey, at least it wasn’t a Christmas decoration.

Texas mother angry over graphic Halloween display in Wal-Mart [KSN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. KingPsyz says:

    seriously… no really…

    does this woman hide her precious snowflakes in a bunker for the month of October usually?

    this is far less graphic than most front yards on halloween night.

    I know, my girlfriend’s son hates halloween decorations but I’m not about to blame wal*mart for him not being able to handle rubber scare toys.

  2. morganlh85 says:

    Sorry but those kids are PUSSIES…

  3. jaredutah says:

    When we see those displays, we point them out to our two young children and laugh and point at them and say things like, ‘look at that funny toy, it’s pretending it can take it’s head off…ha ha ha’. Then, when they start laughing, I secretely turn away in fear…dreading the nightmares to come….

  4. WV.Hillbilly says:

    And let’s guess… a lawsuit is forthcoming.

  5. NoNamesLeft says:

    China doesn’t make fake monsters like they used too..

  6. thewriteguy says:

    I saw this at Wallymart a few nights ago and it freaked me out. :(

  7. humorbot says:

    @morganlh85: You, uh… you sure love the little ones.

  8. hubris says:

    She called the friggin MEDIA about this?

    Sweet mother of all that’s holy, we are turning our children into damn pansies. Come on, lady, grow a pair and then let your kids grow a pair.

  9. UpsetPanda says:

    Hey, it looks like one of the Gentleman from the “Hush” episode of Buffy!!

    Yeah seriously, she got into an uproar over this? Shielding small children from watching The Exorcist is one thing, complaining that a store bend to her wishes for the sake of her children, because she isn’t up to explaining to them about how monsters aren’t real is just out of line.

    It’s one display! After you get about 5 feet from it, you can encourage the kids to run back to the monster, launch a sneak attack from behind and kick it in the mechanical shins!

  10. SimonSwegles says:

    “At this age, you cannot explain that this is a toy, that’s not real,” Whitney said.

    Uhh … yes you can. It is called “parenting”. :-/

  11. UpsetPanda says:

    * I’d like to add that my idea posed in the last paragraph would also teach wussy kids how to fight, or at least fight dirty.

  12. PinkBox says:

    Oh please…

  13. howie_in_az says:

    Wasn’t there a Parking Lot Is Full comic about this, where a kid is walking down the street and has every ‘bad’ thing censored? I can’t get to the PLIF site since I’m… uh… hard at work right now…

  14. aseriesoftubes says:

    @SimonSwegles: No joke. What’s wrong with parents these days?

  15. etinterrapax says:

    At the risk of sounding all pediatrician, which I am not, my understanding is that it is developmentally appropriate to have irrational fears and nightmares at that age. If it wasn’t this, it would be something else.

  16. blue_duck says:

    God have mercy on their wussy souls come Halloween. But then again, maybe the children are blindfolded when they trick or treat…

  17. CoolTri says:

    WOW!!! it’s October and Walmart still has Halloween Decorations out… They are so lagging, normal Christmas Deco’s are in full force this time of the month.

    P.s. Please leave the Christmas deco in boxes until after thanksgiving. TY!!

  18. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    How about some french cries with that Whineken?

    When I was little, I grew up near an Arts and Crafts store in upstate NY called Switz’s that had a live vampire sitting in an upright coffin scaring children out of their minds. As well as a 14 foot tall mechnical monster named Oscar. Somehow, I miraculously survived with little psychological trauma.

    Tell this mom to get an f-ing life.

  19. UpsetPanda says:

    @etinterrapax: I remember when I was a kid, I was scared of the dark. Happens to a lot of kids, it’s easy to let your imagination run away from you. The problem is, these kids seem to have a mom who would rather tell the store how horrible the monster display is, rather than telling her kids that the monster isn’t real, won’t come to get them, and finding a way to show them a way they can make fun of the monster, or just to make them feel better. Nightmares at that age are common, but because they scare, I would think the best course of action is to try to alleviate them, but not by telling a store what they should do.

  20. rg says:

    I’ll bet they’re home-schooled. These poor kids are so ill-prepared for life outside of home it’s scary. Somebody needs to call child services if this woman can’t handle a simple situation like this.

  21. WhatThe... says:

    My 2 year old saw this guy at K-mart last night. She kept hitting his button and laughing at him. Even went and found the guy a nice hat to put on him.

    Rule of parenting – if you freak out, they will too. Sounds like the kids are just echoing what mamma taught them.

  22. milty45654 says:

    There needs to be a website that tracks down the contact info of people like this and apple fanboys so we can all tell them how we fell. I would have commented like most of you, but the fact that she will never read this most likely only makes me further dejected. What’s wrong with our kids today…people who parent them like that. I really hope that woman doesn’t vote.

  23. milty45654 says:


  24. boandmichele says:

    @jaredutah: lol is that zaphod?

    so…does this lady just let her kids deal with everything on their own? parent! for christsakes.

  25. db010 says:

    My daughter is the same with a halloween display at QFC. She is scared witless and will cry if I take her into the store. I haven’t asked the store to remove it because I don’t think that one parent has the right to impact everybody else’s enjoyment.

    However, there are a lot of comments above that seem like they may come from non parents and are just plain stupid. Sometimes reasoning just doesn’t work . I just take my business to Wholefoods during the halloween season.

  26. humorbot says:

    Dang. What’s with all the heartless toddler bashing? I agree it’s ridiculous to take one’s complaints about a Halloween display to the local news. But it’s perfectly normal for young children to get scared by this sort of thing, and that doesn’t explicitly suggest that the woman’s a bad parent, or that the kids won’t be able to hack it on actual Halloween, when they expect to be scared

  27. UpsetPanda says:

    I know when I was a kid, I looked forward to Halloween. Heck, I love Halloween and I still look forward to it. I think it’s a fun holiday and kids can certainly enjoy it just as much, monsters or not. I agree with WhatThe… these kids got freaked, probably because their mom freaked. Kids take cues from mom and dad. You show fright, they will understand that something is wrong and show worry.

    Whenever I have a kid, I think one of the first things I’ll do when we have to deal with the scary monster thing is to take my kid to the toys aisle, give them one of those toy lightsabers and let them intimidate the monster with a flashy beam of plastic. Who cares if it works? It’s fun and hilarious for kids to play and forget that there’s a big bad monster.

  28. marsneedsrabbits says:

    This particular display *isn’t* in the Halloween area in our local Wal*Mart. It *is* on the end of the aisle next to cleaning products (Comet, laundry stuff).
    So even if you want to avoid it by avoiding the Halloween aisle, they make it pretty darned difficult to do so.
    When I was buying bleach the other day, no fewer than three kids (none of them mine) were screaming bloody murder at the sight of this.
    Makes for a positively lovely shopping experience.

  29. DTWD says:

    I used to be scared that zombies would come breaking out of the carpet to crawl/shuffle to my bed and eat my brains. Damn those zombie movies…

    Did you know…

    that sea squirts will eat their own brains for nutrition?

    Reverse zombies!

  30. rg says:

    I’ve never been to a WalMart when the children weren’t screaming bloody murder. It’s one of those places where the trailer-park-set can let their rug rats run freely and not have to keep an eye on them.

  31. marsneedsrabbits says:

    One homeschooled kid I know is a zombie movie freak and regualrly holds movie nights with friends where they dress as zombies complete with fake blood.
    Some homeschoolers do so for religious reasons, some are crunchy-organic types, some are counter-culture folks, some just really don’t like their school system and enjoy teaching their kids.
    Regardless of “why”, most I have met are not sheltered. Many are very well-traveled and very well educated.
    The more you know…

  32. Xerloq says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: I think the kids were screaming because a real parent was buying cleaning supplies to make those kids do chores.

  33. BoogerRed says:

    People have gotten so damned sensitive over time. Nobody takes personal responsibility for themselves. The government wants to decide what’s good for families. Hell, the government wants to parent our children because apparently to lawmakers, the stereotypical American parent can’t think for themselves.

    Now Halloween displays at Wal-Mart of all places are under attack from one “sheltered” family. Now what will Wal-Mart do? Call Halloween candy, Fall Candy? Halloween Costumes, “Fall” costumes?

    It’s disgusting and sad all in one.

  34. milty45654 says:

    Well, one would argue, namely me, that the government should parent our kids(when I say our I mean someone else’s) because too many parents don’t know how to. Personally, a good smack in the butt never scarred me and kept me in line…don’t know why you can’t do it now-a-days…it would certainly help.

  35. Shadowfire says:

    @humorbot: The point is that she’s complaining at the store, and to the media, instead of showing her kids that they’re fake, and teaching them the difference between fantasy and reality.

    People are right… we’ve changed the way we raise our kids. If I’d freaked out at that, my parents would have laughed their asses off, then shown me that it was just a toy. She could have done the same, but like everyone else today, chose to lay blame at the store and not take some responsibility.


  36. ArtDonovansLoveChild. says:

    @MissJ: The “Hush” monsters were the only buffy evil that ever actually frightened me.

  37. exkon says:

    She said: “At this age, you cannot explain that this is a toy, that’s not real.”

    What the hell is she talking about? So everything her kids is real now? What does it take to punch the display and show your kids its FAKE.

  38. djanes1 says:

    You know, thats what children do, they get nightmares.

    When I was in middle school I made my little vegetarian cousins cry because I feigned eating a bite from my sister’s arm. Luckily, there wasn’t a Cousinisist post about it.

  39. SVreader says:

    The best this media-hungry parent could come up with was that a rubber display frightened her kids? At least it didn’t give them diabetes…yet.

  40. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @etinterrapax: YES.

    Kids make up their own things to be scared of. Kids will convince themselves that socks are out to get them, or birds, or dead leaves, or the refrigerator. At four years old, magical thinking rules the day. There’s a great anecdote about a kid who stays up all night because he’s terrified of a monster he heard his dad talking about, the dreaded Twi-Night Double-Header.

    Incidentally, of all the people here blaming the mother for not parenting properly, how many of you remember your parents telling you “honey, there’s no monster in your closet or under your bed, monsters aren’t real, the dark won’t hurt you”? Come on, how often did that actually work? I always figured, in my small-child’s logic, that the monster was hiding when grownups were in the room and would come out to eat me when I was alone (hence the importance of having covers to hide under, and defensive stuffed animal brigades).

    Seriously, guys. Kids will manage to have nightmares about something no matter what parents do, and it seems to me that some big freaky headless guy in Wal-Mart is what they call good old-fashioned nightmare fuel.

  41. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Just going into a Wal-Mart is scary enough to give adults nightmares!

  42. Trackback says:

    You know, I really, really, really and truly loathe the fact that television stations give airtime to anyone who calls up and describes something that is going to make for good ratings. Then Consumerist jumps on the bandwagon …

  43. tinky XIII says:

    The mom probably did flip out at the sight of it, and it spooked her kids. It’s her fault the little scamps will be scarred for life. We let my 20 month old goddaughter watch movies like Army of Darkness and 28 Weeks Later. She laughs at them, hopefully because we’re teaching her monsters she sees on screen or in a store can’t hurt her.

    We’re also teaching her not to trust anyone she doesn’t know, even if myself or her parents are standing next to her. A little paranoia can be a healthy thing…

  44. BoogerRed says:

    Unfortunately, Wal-Mart has turned into a credit card like “Necessary Evil.” Shop there almost exclusively for groceries and other household stuff but damn do I dred walking through those doors.

  45. Chryss says:

    MissJ, will you be my mom? There’s something about giving the kids toy lightsabers to deal with the plastic monsters that’s achingly appealing.

  46. Odiwan says:

    My 13 month old daughter just stared at this decoration last night at Walgreens. I think she was ready to fight it. Good thing she was strapped into Walgreens size buggy where she was safe.

  47. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I love the light saber idea!
    We have a giant floating cat that stays outside the bedroom window at night & he prevents monsters from entering. If any were to get through will he’s on bathroom break, we have Monster Spray. If you get an empty spray bottle & add a tiny bit of mint oil (or whatever you can live with) & fill it the rest of the way with water, you can have Monster Spray, too. Spray it liberally under beds and in closets.
    Guaranteed to keep bad guys and monsters away.

  48. marsneedsrabbits says:

    *while* he’s on bathroom break.

  49. Trai_Dep says:

    Lock the kids up with some Republican politicians in a dark closet and really give them something to have nightmares over!

  50. Anonymous says:

    I saw one of these in the local Wal-Mart the other day, and a bunch of kids were just laughing at it.

  51. faust1200 says:

    If there’s a lawsuit leveled against Walmart they can always get advice from Santa Claus who miraculously returns every year to traumatize millions of screaming babies.

  52. savvy9999 says:

    I take my kids to the Halloween section and freak them out on a regular basis. No fun being a parent if you don’t get to scramble your progeny’s brains by inserting irrational fears of spiders, skeletons, and tombstones. Halloween rocks.

  53. MrEvil says:

    If she thinks that’s bad one of Amarillo TX’s perennial haunted houses had a billboard this year with a dummy being hanged underneath it. Not only that, the dummy had some pneumatics in him to make him kick while dangling from the noose. 911 got bombarded for DAYS about the dummy. I thought it was hilarious. Sadly, the city made them take it down because it violated a billboard area ordinance.

    Seriously, my parents never shielded me from stuff like that. They actually parented and made an effort to show me that wasn’t real. They’d show me the box or the place where it plugs in. Now, I end up taking stuff like that apart to see how the animatronics work.

  54. they even called a wahmbulance


  55. Javert says:

    At least it was not a clown…clowns freak out more kids than disembodied heads.

    Oh yeah to the mom, buy a helmet, life is tough, get over it.

  56. gafpromise says:


    Cognitively, children at a certain age (up until about 3 or 4) can’t distinguish between reality and make-believe. You can try to explain until you’re blue in the face but it won’t make any difference because the child’s brain cannot assimilate this new perception of the world. They watch TV, they think the characters are actually real. They watch a movie, they believe it’s happening to them. That’s why parents should NOT be taking very young children to scary movies BTW.

    That said, calling the media was a bit much. Learning to deal with fear and nightmares is a natural part of a child’s cognitive development. It would have happened sooner or later.

  57. Luckie says:

    Aww, the poor little kids got scared. That’s what kids do. Parenting is about helping your children grow up strong, healthy, and well adjusted to their environment, not about changing the environment. Kids will have to deal with headless monsters gooshing blood someday, at least they got to experience it with their mommy around first. Kids have always cried for mommy at bedtime and demanded to sleep with her. That’s what they do whether they see a Halloween display or not.

  58. S-the-K says:

    @RG Actually, they’re probably “schooled” by the government. If they were home schooled, the parent would have to take responsibility for their education and not be such a wuss.

    I like JaredUtah’s take. I think that is the appropriate one for this case. All the lady would have to do is point it out to the kids, tell them it is a toy and laugh at it. They may still fear it in their subconscious, but if their parent gives them the message that it is harmless, then at least the will think it is harmless. What this lady did was do nothing if not enforce those irrational fears.

    If the kids can’t handle a simple badly made Chinese costume, then what’s going to happen when they grow up and are exposed to REAL scary things in the real world or are exposed to “Saw 13” and “Hostel 28”?

    Maybe that’s a bad example. I can deal with a Halloween costume but the TRAILERS for the “Saw” and “Hostel” movies scare the crud out of me.

  59. jrdnjstn78 says:

    This lady went way overboard! Is she going to go and demand that all her neighbors put away their scary Halloween decorations because it’s scaring her kids. This lady could have easily bypassed the Halloween section of Wal-mart. It’s not like you have to go through the Halloween area.

    I love Halloween and my kids love it too. I stress to them that it is all fake and make-up.

  60. Anonymous says:

    i say let them watch the texas chain saw massacre, or devils reject, then that thing won’t seem so scary anymore.

  61. Benstein says:

    When I was a kid I was scared to death of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. So my parents would hum the theme from that whenever I was being bad. It worked well.

  62. MariSama44 says:

    In what way can you not tell a kid somethings a toy?

  63. UpsetPanda says:

    Thriller didn’t scare made me want to dance, actually. :-P

    @Odiwan: @Chryss: Try out the light saber idea, let me know how it might turn out. My only problem would be if there was actual bashing and the store made me pay for the display damages. Though, I suppose if I went to a Wal-Mart then it would be moot because the store’s just crappy enough anyway.

    I’m a prankster by nature, I always like the laugh. It’s why I think I’ll eventually make a good parent. I’m the kind of person to set up a “free lemonade” stand in a park and watch people approach it carefully, wondering if it is really lemonade or lemon fresh pine sol.

  64. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @MariSama44: Well, you can, but that’s no guarantee they’ll believe you. I mean, obviously the monster’s just pretending to be fake until your back is turned and then BAM! He steals your head as a replacement.

    Man, grownups don’t know shit about monsters.

  65. cryrevolution says:

    It must’ve been a freakin’ slow news day for them to air this. While I understand her complaining to the store, what I don’t get is why waste everyone’s time & report it to the news outlet? Thats a bit much. Call up a WallyWorld manager, have them move it to the Halloween aisle and be done with it. Move on.

  66. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    @Benstein: LOL! That sounds like my father who would chase me around the pool with his hands on the top of his head like fins and hum the Jaws theme when I wasn’t being a good girl.

  67. KF4 says:

    Dear Parents of America,

    I do not care about your children. One bit. Not even a little.

    Somebody who could care less about your children’s bad dreams, bodily functions, grades, fears, or inability to act civilized while in public.

    P.S.- Stop shopping for groceries at WalMart. Gross.

  68. etinterrapax says:

    @MissJ: That’s what I was getting at. God knows I have no love for Wal-Mart; I’m just saying that because it’s developmentally appropriate for kids at that age to have nightmares, her case is not actionable. She can’t prove that the store intended to harm her kid, or did so through negligence.