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Halloween Billboard Stirs Controversy On North Side

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As many as 70 billboards have gone up in the area promoting a place called the Haunted Hayloft.

It’s an attraction in Somerset County, where they re-enact a double-hanging that occurred there in the 1890’s.

But, one of the billboards on Perrysville Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Side has its critics. The reason is the billboard shows a shadow-like figure hanging from a tree.

“I know that billboard is not representing Halloween and it’s in a neighborhood that is 99 percent black – right in front of project housing where there is no whites,” Brandon Humphrey told KDKA-TV. “I think it’s offensive.”

Other people say they didn’t see it that way.

“My honest reaction when I first saw it, I thought it was like a Halloween thing, but I could see how some people could take it the wrong way – they might take it racially when it’s not meant that way,” Angela Robins, a North Side resident, said.

“People need to grow up and realize it’s Halloween and stop taking stuff so serious,” Latonir Gray said.

As a result of the complaints, the owner of the Hayloft, Elizabeth Svonavec, told KDKA -TV that the billboards, which cost about $10,000 to display, will all be coming down in the next few days, adding, “They’re done, forgotten, as far as I’m concerned.”

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Haunted Hayloft

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