Hopefully people are not using real corpses as Halloween décor. But sometimes corpses end up out in the open for passersby to see. And when this happens around Halloween, people may unfortunately assume it's just a really good prop.
In October 2005, residents of Frederica, Delaware, noticed a woman's body hanging from a tree about 15 feet (4.5 meters) above the ground alongside a moderately busy road. It took three hours before someone called police; most people assumed it was a Halloween joke. It wasn't. The corpse was a 42-year-old woman who apparently committed suicide [source: NBC News].
Similarly, four years later in October 2009, a California man killed himself on his apartment balcony, police believe, by shooting himself through the eye. His lifeless body then slumped over his patio furniture. Those who spied the man thought it was a dummy set out for Halloween. It was five days before people realized the "dummy" was a corpse [source: Cathcart].
More recently, in October 2015, a Chillicothe, Ohio, woman was murdered and left hanging on a chain-link fence, her left hand sticking up. A neighbor who spotted the body thought it was a holiday decoration — a zombie. Luckily she took a closer look and discovered the chilling truth [source: ABC13].
This Halloween, pay close attention to any corpse you spot.