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Halloween gone overboard: Man told to cancel elaborate Thriller show

It was the house you were terrified to trick-or-treat at as a child but now love to drag your kids to as an adult. Tombstones and dismembered limbs litter the front lawn. Bone-chilling music tinkles from somewhere under the porch. And the homeowner, of course, looks like he just walked off the set of Dawn of the Dead.

Everyone in a residential neighbourhood has that guy who takes Halloween too seriously. In the city of Boca Raton, Fla., municipal officials don't have much patience for him.

The local ABC affiliate in Boca Raton reports the deputy city manager sent one homeowner a letter telling him he must cancel an elaborate performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller planned for the week-and-a-half leading up to Halloween on his property.

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Though the show (to run on several nights) is free, the official points out that staging such a performance with lasers, lights and sound violates zoning regulations (it's considered commercial activity vs. residential). If the resident goes ahead with the performance – for which he's been circulating neighbourhood invitations – he could face legal action. The show has been going on for four years and any donations he receives go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but, you know, zoning by-laws are important.

Another U.S. homeowner was also accused of going too far with his decorations this year, according to a CBS affiliate in North Carolina . A resident of Salisbury, N.C., called 911 this week when she spotted what she thought was a man run over by a riding lawnmower. It turned out it was just an elaborate prop. The homeowner (who you know has watched every B-horror flick on Netflix) said he put out this seasonal "lawn ornament" last year to rave reviews and decided to up the ante by moving it closer to the road this year.

We're guessing police weren't too impressed, but can you blame them? In 2005, a Delaware woman hanged herself from a tree near a busy street but it took 12 hours for anyone to notice because most dismissed it as a Halloween decoration. Yikes.

Do you have neighbours who go overboard at Halloween?

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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