In America, it's not unusual for houses to be covered in creepy and realistic Halloween decorations. And in these cases, it meant that these terrible accidents and tragic deaths went unnoticed when people didn't know that what they were seeing was real...
1. Hit-and-run horror
In 1997, a woman was knocked over in a hit-and-run outside a Connecticut haunted house. People on their way to a Halloween display, saw the woman lying there, covered in blood, and thought she was part of the act. One eyewitness told local police that she reached up to him from the ground and he just passed her off as one of the performers. Tragically, the poor woman died from her injuries. It was discovered to be an accident and no-one was convicted of causing her death.
2. Haunted house hanging
In 2011, a haunted house attraction in St. Louis, Missouri, famous for its elaborate Halloween displays, was the scene of a tragic accident. A teenager working as an actor accidentally hanged herself in a scary bathroom display. Visitors passing through the house thought it was part of the show. Eventually a co-worker doing the rounds found her unconscious and she was whisked off to hospital where she remained in a coma for three days. She recovered but thankfully she has no recollection of the incident…
3. Tree terror
In October 2005 the American state of Delaware saw a true Halloween tragedy. A woman had sadly killed herself by hanging from a tree on a busy street near some houses. She was left there all day because passers-by thought she was a realistic Halloween trick.
4. Death on display
In Los Angeles in October 2009, a decomposing corpse lay over the balcony of a house for days because neighbours thought it was a realistic dummy. So convincing was this Halloween display that no-one reported it to police for four days. One witness said: ‘The body was in plain view of the entire apartment complex and they all didn’t do anything. It’s very strange.’
5. Dead on the doorstep
A day after Halloween 2013, a poor chap collapsed and died outside his front door in Denver, Colorado. His body lay just next to the postbox on his house and the postman doing his rounds that morning was the first person to come across him. Thinking he was a Halloween trick, the postie ignored it, and was upset upon learning the truth.
6. Fence from hell
In October 2015, a woman’s dead body was mistaken for a Halloween decoration whilst hanging off a fence near a construction site in Chillicothe, Ohio. The woman, 31, was mistaken for a fake zombie at first, until the terrible truth was revealed. A man has been arrested and charged with murder.