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There's One Item Many Haunted Houses Are Removing This Halloween

"...giving in and letting the terrorists win."

Image via Shutterstock

Faux decapitation is a staple of the gory American Halloween display.

But you might see a lot fewer severed heads around your neighborhood this year, for one simple reason: People don't want their spooky decorations to remind trick-or-treaters of the Islamic State's brutal beheadings.

Image via David Kent/flickr Image via David Kent/flickr

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, might be the most high-profile recent demonstration of the Islamic State's impact on Halloween.

The theme park sparked outrage after a picture of its "Howl-O-Scream" attraction, complete with five fake severed heads, ran in a local newspaper last month.

Busch Gardens quickly removed the severed heads, and apologized on Facebook for having possibly reminded park-goers of Islamic State beheadings.

Surveying four major Denver-area haunted houses, the Denver Post reported Sunday that three out of the attractions would feature neither severed heads nor headless bodies, while the fourth would show a few decapitated bodies — but no beheading scenes.

In Newport News, Virginia, the Daily Press reported similar moves, as local charity haunted houses nixed disembodied head props.

In Dayton, Ohio, and Worcester, Massachusetts, on the other hand, newspapers reported that local shop owners and haunted house operators were aware of people's concerns, but so far, plans remained to sell and show severed heads as Halloween decorations.

Image via Shutterstock Image via Shutterstock

As Halloween approaches, Americans will continue to wrestle with the issue.

Are traditional Halloween decorations an affront to the memories of such beheaded journalists as James Foley and Steven Sotloff?

Or, by changing Halloween displays, are Americans handing the Islamic State a propaganda victory?

As one commenter noted on Busch Gardens' Facebook apology, "By removing the props you the park are giving in and letting the terrorists win."

Take the poll below and let us know what you think.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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