"The police love it as much as the kids do... A policeman just shook my hand this morning when I was drinking coffee outside," Steven Novak says of his creepy lawn display

By Joelle Goldstein
October 30, 2020 11:46 AM
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Warning: This story contains graphic imagery. 

A Dallas residence has become a hot topic after the homeowner created a bloody massacre display on his front lawn ahead of Halloween.

Steven Novak tells PEOPLE that his terrifying Halloween decor has received ample attention — both good and bad — in his neighborhood, but that he's been loving every second.

The gory scene, which Novak says prompted neighbors to call the Dallas Police Department, includes dummies lying on the ground in pools of fake blood, a number of props (such as a safe, a knife, fake limbs, a wheelbarrow and a chainsaw) and fake bodies wrapped in duck-taped garbage bags.

"I am shocked that it has become such a huge deal around the nation," says Novak, 42. "I expect a lot of visitors on Halloween and cannot wait to greet them as Beetlejuice."

Steve Novak's Halloween display
| Credit: Steven Novak

Novak, an artist who owns a company that opens and repairs safes, says he first started setting up outdoor displays about six years ago.

"I’m an artist and make stuff outside all the time," he explains. "My neighbors told me I should do something for Halloween."

His first lawn scene involved flying, animatronic ghosts, lights, fog machines, skulls, speakers and cobwebs. Because it was such a hit, Novak says the kids in his neighbor have continued to provide ideas every year.

"The kids in the neighborhood told me I should put out dead bodies and blood the next year," Novak recalls. "Each year, they give me more ideas."

Steven Novak's Halloween display
| Credit: Steven Novak
Steven Novak's Halloween display
| Credit: Steven Novak

This year, Novak says the gruesome display took him a few days to set up — and was soon met by a visit from the Dallas Police Department.

When contacted by PEOPLE, a spokesperson at the Dallas Police Department confirms they received a call this month regarding the residence.

"I answered the door with glee!" he recalls of the police showing up at his M Street home, which features one dummy with a knife in its back, another hanging off the roof with a knife in its head and a wheelbarrow full of bloodied fake limbs.

"The officers thought it was cool," Novak continues. "They said that their sergeant required them to relay the complaint."

Despite having the police show up, the Dallas resident says he has no regrets about his bone-chilling set-up.

"The police love it as much as the kids do. Lots of officers come by on their own just to check it out," he explains. "A policeman just shook my hand this morning when I was drinking coffee outside."

Steve Novak's Halloween display
| Credit: Steven Novak

The only downside? Having to constantly maintain his gory scene.

"The blood is the hardest because it rains so much in October," Novak explains. "I indefatigably re-apply it every morning. I went through about 20 gallons last year."

Though he's looking forward to Halloween on Saturday, Novak can't help but begin brainstorming for next year's display.

"I plan on scaling it up next year," he shares. "I’m going to rent a wood chipper and turn it into a continuous recirculating blood fountain with a speaker so it sounds like it's actually running."