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Ebola-Themed Halloween Decorations Stir Up Controversy

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UNIVERSITY PARK (CBSDFW.COM) - A University Park home owner is raising some eyebrows and stopping some traffic in front his town home.   That's because James Faulk has it decorated as an Ebola quarantine zone, looking eerily similar to two real ones that developed in Dallas last week.

"It is funny in a way, but it's also a little raw," said passing motorist Tracey Deen, who admits it grabbed her attention.  "When I drove by the first time I just, 'What is going on?'  I didn't look on it automatically as a joke.  I wasn't sure."

James Faulk insists it IS a joke.   But it's supposed to be a scary one.  "And what's the scariest thing on the market right now?  Unfortunately, it's Ebola.  As you can see there's no mention of Ebola, it's just a Halloween prank, and we just went the infectious waste route and put a few things together to hit a core with everybody and have a good time, hopefully, in the end."

He chuckles at the attention.  "This could be a way to not have to give out any treats at all, but then it could go the other way that I'd have to spend a couple of thousand dollars on candy."

Complete Coverage Of Ebola In North Texas

Faulk says he and his girlfriend and some others were brainstorming about what's scary this Halloween.  He buys and sells auction equipment so he had the barrels on hand.  He bought a few HAZMAT stickers and real caution tape and he had an instant decoration...with  controversy.

The display is so convincing even police came out to examine it earlier this week.  So did startled neighbors like Jill Grover.  "The first day I drove by it, it gave me pause but later I figured out it was Happy Halloween."

But its not funny to relatives of real Ebola victims.  Saymendy Lloyd is a friend of the woman who was engaged to Ebola Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died in Dallas from Ebola.  "In Africa, this is something that is killing people," she said.  "This is a virus that is deadly.   And you take that as a joke and make that a Halloween decoration for your home?  What kind of people are those?"

Lloyd calls the display cruel.  "I just don't understand that.  And I think that is so insulting for those who have lost loved ones because of Ebola.  It is very insulting."

Faulk says he understands the criticism.  "There's negative people everywhere and they're going to give me grief about it, but it's all in good fun," he insists adding, "If they don't like it they can go to some other neighborhood that's Trick-or-Treating."

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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