Murderous Santa display outside Manhattan mansion draws stares
NEW YORK (AP) - It'* usually easy to tell where a person stands in the culture wars, but whose side is someone on when his Christmas decor is a blood-spattered Santa Claus holding a severed head?
Joel Krupnik and Mildred Castellanos decked the front of their Manhattan mansion this year with a scene that includes a knife-wielding 1.5-metre-tall St. Nick and a tree full of decapitated Barbie dolls. Hidden partly behind a tree, the merry old elf grasps a disembodied doll'* head with fake blood streaming from its eye sockets.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Krupnik explained that his family thought it would be a fun way to make a comment about the commercialization and secularization of Christmas.
"It is a religious holiday, but they have turned it into a business. And it shouldn't be," he said. "We didn't put it up to offend anybody. It was just something that came out of our imagination."
More than a few people passing by the brownstone were a little puzzled about the message behind the massacre. There were a few signs the macabre theme is a year-round thing - the facade of the building was covered with leering gargoyles. A statue of Death, hooded and grim-looking, stood outside.
Peter Nardoza, 81, of Manhattan shook his head and chuckled.
"Sick, sick, sick," he said. "What kind of a world is this that we live in?"
Deliveryman Ronnie Santiago speculated that something bad must have happened once to the homeowner at Christmas. A few spectators wondered whether the campy gore would bother children.
But despite the home'* gruesome exterior, some visitors appreciated it.
Bucky Turco, 31, of Manhattan, said the display captured how he felt when watching someone costumed as kiddie cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants promote products at Rockefeller Center.
"This is brilliant," said Turco.
Walter Garofalo, a musician from Brooklyn who wandered by wearing a black bandanna covered in skulls, was awestruck.
"I wonder if these people would let me use this as our next album cover," he said. "It'* perfect!"