Ohio City Tries To Sue Homeowner For Halloween Decorations In His Front Yard

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

One of the best parts of Halloween is driving around the neighborhood to check out which houses have the best decorations.

And every year, there are some homeowners who go REALLY over the top. Like this house in Parma, Ohio, whose owners set up an entire haunted maze in their front yard.

Every year, the house attracts thousands of visitors. But this year, the city of Parma threw a wrench in the works by suing the owners for having junk and debris in their yard.

John Douglas has owned the house since 2002, when he first moved to Parma.

“I started decorating, and I always loved Halloween,” John told Fox 8.

For the past 16 years, John has turned the house into Douglas Manor. He doesn’t make any money from the attraction; instead, he passes any donations along to charity.

“Last year, I did something for the Cleveland Food Bank,” John explained. “We took donations and had several totes of nonperishable items. We did have some monetary donations, and I gave them the cash. It’s something I enjoy doing; I’ve always liked Halloween ever since I was a kid.”

Almost two weeks ago, still in the beginning stages of setting up Douglas Manor, John came home to some surprising news.

“I came home the 24th and I had a notice from the city; my wife got one as well,” he said. “It was a summons to appear in court for a city ordinance violation for junk and debris in my yard.”

Far from junk and debris, the items were decorations for Halloween. John went to the inspector himself to try to explain, but his defense fell on deaf ears.

However, once John’s dilemma made local headlines, the city began to change its tune.

Footage provided by WJW Cleveland

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