Home / National News / ‘Body’ on Detroit Woman’s Lawn Spooks Onlookers in Long-running Halloween Prank

 

(DETROIT) — Each morning LaRethia Haddon makes her coffee, sits in her window and watches as passersby gawk at the prone figure on the lawn of her Detroit home.

Some call the police. Others even approach and attempt to perform CPR — only to discover the figure is a dummy.

Haddon has been pulling the Halloween prank for 20 years, but this time it has really taken off, she told ABC News on Sunday night.

“Oh, it is hilarious,” she said of people’s reactions. “They do CPR — they turn him over real fast, you know, then they realize it’s the dummy. It’s hilarious.”

Since her husband’s birthday falls on Halloween, they celebrate the holiday in a big way in her family.

“And I’m a holiday person. … I’m just into decorating, you know. So I made a dummy and he does — he really does look lifelike,” she said.

The figure is dressed in pants, white sneakers, a dark coat and a shirt with the hood pulled up. After she makes her coffee in the morning, Haddon takes the dummy — she laughed as she revealed that she calls it Derrick, after her husband — and puts it on a new spot on her lawn.

Crystal Miller

Then she sits back, relaxes and prepares to be entertained. Since she lives in a busy area near two schools she doesn’t have to wait very long.

“All day I have a stream of people coming by taking pictures of it,” she said.

Detroit Police didn’t respond to a message from ABC News on Sunday afternoon, but an officer told The Detroit News that the department was “repeatedly called to the area” last week for reports of a man down. They responded to find Haddon’s dummy.

Officer Shanelle Williams told The Detroit News that the dummy wasn’t illegal but suggested that placing a sign letting people know the figure was a display could help prevent unnecessary concern.

“If we get a call, we are still responding. We can’t take the chance,” Williams said.

Haddon, 55, says she always alerts emergency services before she pulls her annual prank.

“Every year I let them know, and I’ve been doing that for like 20 years so it’s not like I just throw it out there and here we go,” she said.

Haddon said she’s been facing some financial trouble recently and the popularity of her display has boosted her spirits. She and her grandchildren put the dummy together every year and the family enjoys the activity, she said.

They’re apparently not the only ones.

“I just like to let everyone know that when I made it I didn’t mean it with bad intentions, I was just trying to bring a little laughter to the neighborhood and my neighbors and everyone have been coming by and saying just that, ‘thank you for bringing a little laughter to the neighborhood,'” she said.

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