The St. Louis Zoo removed a Halloween display of hooded ghosts swinging from trees after some visitors thought the figures looked like Black people being lynched.
The ghosts were hooded, life-size figures with Black heads and were installed as part of an annual, family-friendly celebration at the zoo. However, the ghosts gave some an unintended fright, as they bore an all-too familiar resemblance to a scary part of America’s past.
“It was like a complete outrage to me, it was very hurtful,” Chris Burchett, a St. Louis Zoo patron, told KMOV4. “The picture appeared to be African-American people hanging from a rope.”
According to the news outlet, the zoo contracted an outside vendor to create the display and officials explained that at night the faces glow in the dark.
“The faces are black so that at night the lights inside the faces would be the only thing that you see,” Wyndel Hill, St. Louis Zoo's vice president for internal affairs, told FOX2 St. Louis. “I don’t know that it looks derogatory towards anyone, by the same token however, if someone is offended by it, it touches our sensibilities and we’ll remove it.”
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(Photo: Courtesy of FOX2)