US & Canada

'Decapitated man' Halloween display in Tennessee sparks 911 calls

Tennessee Halloween decoration Image copyright Greene County Sheriff's Department
Image caption Officers investigated, only to find it was a puppet stuffed with straw

A local US police department has urged people not to call 911 after reports that a man had been crushed by a garage door.

The supposed victim in Greene County, Tennessee, turned out to be a scarily realistic, early Halloween decoration.

The department said it had received calls about a "suspicious person lying in a driveway with bloody handprints on the garage".

Officers investigated, only to find it was a puppet stuffed with straw.

Greene County TN Sheriff's Department wrote on Facebook: "ATTENTION EVERYONE!!! For those of you driving on Chuckey Pike in Greene County: THIS IS A HALLOWEEN DECORATION!

"Do NOT call 911 reporting a dead body. Instead, congratulate the homeowner on a great display."

The display provoked plaudits on the department's Facebook page.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionHalloween traditions around the world

"Literally congratulations to these people making something look so real!" one user commented.

Someone else wrote: "Can you imagine how many break-ins it could prevent...?"

But not everyone was impressed.

One user wrote: "What kid [sic] of picture does this paint for young children!!!!!"

Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays in the US.

Americans spent a record $8.4bn (£6.2bn) on the celebration last year, according to the National Retail Federation.