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West Hartford Halloween display aims to make political statement with ‘Death of Democracy’ theme

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WEST HARTFORD - A West Hartford homeowner on North Main Street put up another elaborate Halloween display that is meant to grab your attention and the one this year is hard to miss.

This year's theme is "Death of Democracy" where there is a lot of writing on the wooden panels, so people can take the time to read the message he is trying to send which is urging everyone to believe in democracy.

Matt Warshauer is a professor at Central Connecticut State University and for the past 20 years, he has always spent hours putting on the most ghoulish displays on his front lawn. However, it was in 2003 with the start of the Iraq war when that changed.

"That’s about the dangers to our democracy. There’s the partisan divide and the cultural hate where we’re at is pretty severe," said Warshauer of West Hartford.

There are quotes from former presidents including farewell addresses. To keep its Halloween feel, each former president is represented by a bust topped with a skull.

Then, there is the one that is most noticeable. There is a President Donald Trump with smoke coming out of his mouth. Below him are words like obstruction, collusion and corruption.

"Hate, bigotry, division, I mean we are both immigrants," said Delia Tempera of West Hartford.

Tempera was one of the many people to check out the display and said she agrees with the message.

"As soon as he came to power, I had people actually making fun of my accent … yes! And it was immediate. It was really immediate," added Tempera.

Warshauer said he has heard plenty of opposition in the form of hateful emails and comments on social media.

"We’ve gotten to a place in our political culture where everybody just attacks and most of them don’t have very much depth to them. They don’t really necessarily know history and they don’t know what they’re talking about politically," added Warshauer.

Meanwhile, West Hartford mom Danielle Moghadam appreciated the message Warshauer is sending.

"It’s important to have these public displays out there. They create dialogue, they are good reminders for everyone about what’s going on," said Moghadam.

On the last panel is a board with markers to encourage people to write their own hopes and fears.

"I don’t expect everybody to believe what I believe and that’s fine if they don’t!" added Warshauer.

Whether you agree or disagree with the display, Warshauer wants you to email in your feedback tohalloweenhousefilm@gmail.com or #Halloweenhouse.

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