Dallas area artist has cops called on him for bloodbath Halloween display


How was everyone’s Halloween? I know, it feels like a lifetime ago already, but I haven’t had a chance to ask you yet. We at Hecate Temple ended up having a great time. It was just our family but because we had no guests this year, it allowed us to have a proper Ancestors Feast, We ate, lit the altar candles, had a nice fire in the hearth and played old, scary radio shows on vinyl. Plus, our socially distant spider web with candy and non-food treats that we hung outside proved popular and was far enough away that I could walk on my front step and wave to the trick-or-treaters selecting from it. Many of them roamed around our front lawn looking at the various spooky décor we’d set up for them to enjoy. No one, however, ran screaming or called the cops on us like they did on Steven Novak in Dallas, Texas. Steve went full slasher on his Halloween front yard look this year. Too far, some thought. He created a rather gory scene with body bags, a great deal of blood and body parts and enough realism to make concerned citizens act on their civic duties. Just a warning, I will post some of Steve’s IG videos at the bottom, in case that kind of thing gives you the willies.

Local artist Steven Novak finds himself comfortably at the “horrifying” end of the scale, as his East Dallas neighbors and the Dallas Police Department will surely attest.
“I’ve always been up to hijinks like flying ghosts or 7-foot tall snow sculptures of myself, so if I was gonna do Halloween, it was obvious that it should be hyperreal,” Novak says. “No lights, fog machine, or camp … something that would really freak people out walking by in the dark. So I whipped up some dummies and slung 20 gallons of blood all over.”

“I’m most proud of the wheelbarrow tipped over by the street full of Hefty bags, looking like a failed attempt to dispose of the dismembered bodies in the middle of the night.” Novak says. “A kid walked by and asked me what happened to them; I said they ate too many Skittles.”

Novak’s decorations have brought the police to his house multiple times.

“Neighbors told me cop cars were in front of my house a lot during the day,” he says. “I was only home twice to receive them. They told me they thought it was cool and that they were only there because they were required to reply to complaints from the sergeant.”

Novak continues, while laughing, “They were in formation at the door and when I opened it they asked me if it was all mine. I asked, ‘You mean the blood and the bodies? Yeah, that’s me.”

[From the Dallas Observer]

This reminds me of a story we had here in California of a couple who did Pirates of the Caribbean themed décor so realistic, they had to alert the fire department when they turned them on so they didn’t respond to the called in reports. In the news clip, posted below, though, Steve said he suspected it was his neighbor across the street who called the cops because she simply didn’t care for the decorations. I think he might be right because although, yes, there is gobs of blood, the bodies are very clearly fake, nobody would mistake this for a real crime scene. He said his neighbors get that too. When he comes out to replenish the blood, his neighbors walking by ask him if he’s “watering the bodies” so everyone’s having fun with it. Or at least almost everyone is having fun with it.

Steve also said he’d intended to do more and that next year he would really go all out. What do you guys think, is this too much? This is right on the street, for all to see, even very young kids. I have mentioned before I used to live in a very Halloween production rich neighborhood, like FX designers’ homes production. It got competitive among them and some of those homes got really scary, but none this graphic. We always saw it as our responsibility to steer our kids away from those houses that would scare them. Although this one is kind of unavoidable, maybe? In the end, Steve himself dressed up as Beetlejuice. His costume was great, and he does a good impression, but what’s the theme here – zombies in the house, a fallen safe on the front step, a chainsaw massacre, a body bag – points for dedication but where’s the continuity, man?

Here is the clip in which Steve is interviewed and claimed he “doesn’t like Halloween but I like gore.” I’m having a hard time believing he doesn’t like Halloween a little bit:




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Halloween Decorating Level 11

A post shared by Steven Novak (@stevennovak) on

Photo credit: CBS, Instagram and YouTube

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28 Responses to “Dallas area artist has cops called on him for bloodbath Halloween display”

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  1. Restless Bitch Face says:

    “ points for dedication, but where is the continuity, man?“- Classic Hecate 😂

  2. FHMom says:

    I didn’t watch the video, but I think this is too much. I would never call the cops on him, but if my kids were small, I would avoid driving by that mess. There is enough violence in the US. I am not a fan of horror, so a scary Halloween is not my thing.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      I agree. This is kinda lame and unnecessary. Gory and scary are not the same thing. Put some actual effort in and don’t go for the cheap shock effect.
      Also certainly sucks for neighbours who have children.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      See,I actually do love horror and even I think this is too much. It’s not scary, it’s just gross. I wouldn’t want to expose kids to it, that’s for sure.

    • megs283 says:

      I agree. It’s horrifying, and not in a fun way.

    • Lolafalana says:

      Agree. I think people need to consider the audience. Are the people who enjoy this trick or treating? To me, Halloween is all cartoon witches, cats and cartoon scariness – lots of green orange and purple. Not just…………..a massacre. It’s terrible and I don’t find it at all fun or funny.

    • Nikki* says:

      Yeah, we have little kids in our neighborhood who would be seriously upset by this. I know because I needed to bring in my battery operated severed hand.

    • coolspray says:

      This is going too far and poor taste. Halloween is still supposed to be fun and light-hearted – this is just gross and frankly inappropriate.

  3. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    We did a low key Halloween too but I finally bought a skeleton pirate in a pirate ship that I have had my eye on for years, but I’ve never been able to snag in an after Halloween sale. It was worth the investment because I saw so many people come by our house to take pictures so It gave a lot of joy to grown-ups and kids in the neighborhood even though they weren’t able to do the usual Halloween.

  4. Lucy2 says:

    To each their own, but to me it just looks gross and violent.
    My neighborhood is a very popular Halloween destination, and one of my neighbors really goes all out with the scares. But most of the kids that come around are pretty young, and it’s too much for them.

  5. Josie Bean says:

    I loved Halloween when I was a kid including the scary costumes and decorations. But by that I mean scary monsters, ghosts, witches, etc. It was fun to decorate the house with cobwebs, spiders, pumpkins etc. But this particular style of display is totally different. It is not what I would want a child to see on Halloween at my home – too much violence.

  6. Chlo says:

    I don’t know. I would be extremely bothered if I had to look at that every day. It’s really disturbing.

    ETA: I wouldn’t call the police though! I’d peek out from my window and grumble like a normal neighbor. 😂

    • schmootc says:

      Yes, that’s what you’re supposed to do! Especially in this instance, where it’s pegged to a holiday, so you know it won’t be up forever. I wonder if he does anything for Christmas.

  7. Bambilee says:

    Oh man! I admire the skill, time and dedication it must’ve taken to carry this out, but I feel really bad for any unsuspecting adult or poor kiddos who saw this. If this were a house in my neighborhood, I’d definitely take the long way home! But I respect artistry haha

  8. Jessie says:

    Doesn’t scream or even whisper Halloween to me tbh

  9. Doodle says:

    Nope. My kids are 10 and 12 and even at those ages they would be freaked out by that. And am I the only person wondering how hard it would be to clean off the goo from the sidewalk afterwards? Yuck.

  10. Snowslow says:

    This is not your typical Halloween decoration and it’s way too graphic. It’s actually horrifying thinking of all the violence we have nowadays with all the terrorist attacks and alt-right violence…
    And I say this as someone who made a kid cry last year. I forgot to check their age before I opened the door because we toned it down for the little ones. When I looked at them they were shaking and starting to cry! I opened the door very slowly, was disguised as a witch, with my kids playing spooky piano in the background, my husband wearing a horrifying pig mask behind me and another one of our kids yelling ‘save me’ from upstairs…
    Ah the good old days pre-covid19.

  11. Amelie says:

    I read about this on the news a few days ago! Points for the creativity, though I’m also in the camp of “way over the top/too much.” I enjoyed reading the story about it but I wouldn’t want to be staring at that the whole month of October either so I get his annoyed neighbor (though I wouldn’t have called the cops, though maybe I would have complained on Nextdoor had someone started a thread lol). It kind of looks like a robbery gone wrong, like the homeowner surprised them in the middle of the heist (the safe) and went full chainsaw massacre to get revenge. Other than that, I can’t really see a theme, just an excuse to decorate his front yard with lots of blood for fun. Halloween is mostly a kids’ “holiday” and this is too scary for most young kids.

    I’m into true crime and all, but I’m not the kind of person that seeks out photos of gory crime scenes.

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    There’s nothing Halloween about that. Halloween’s history dates back to bonfires and harvest rituals and impending winters. Celts, Druids, Romans, saints, angels and devils… This is only attention-seeking.

  13. JC says:

    As a horror fan, I think this is super cool. It’s uncomfortable, creepy … I love it.

    • Winechampion says:

      Me too. I think it’s right in keeping with the Halloween spirit. Fun stuff *shrug*

      I disagree that Halloween is “mostly a kids’ holiday”. Adults freaking LOVE Halloween. At least in my city, they do. It’s a big deal.

  14. Marigold says:

    I hate that kind of stuff. I think it’s gross and sort of psycho.

  15. Veronica S. says:

    It’s well done but a bit much. Not so much I’d call the police about it, but ah, closer to R-rated than PG-13 that’s for sure. If it’s a kid heavy neighborhood, I can see why people were put off a bit.

  16. Eva says:

    Nooo this is like that one person who always takes the joke too far and makes everyone uncomfortable.

    Read the room, Steve.

    Ghosts & vampires = fun scary Halloween
    Murdered bodies = non-fun scary real life America

  17. GrumpyDespot says:

    I know it’s a lot and not for everyone but I love it.

  18. TyrantDestroyed says:

    I’m not a fan. It’s lazy and cheap (even if he spent a lot of money ). We have already too much real violence in this world. I would had gone for a more classical horror theme.