CT attraction faces backlash for Halloween prop depicting murdered police officer

People search for the perfect Christmas tree during their annual visit to the Fairview Tree Farm in Shelton, Conn. on Sunday, November 25, 2018. The farm's Legends of Fear attraction is facing backlash for a prop depicting a murdered police officer.

People search for the perfect Christmas tree during their annual visit to the Fairview Tree Farm in Shelton, Conn. on Sunday, November 25, 2018. The farm's Legends of Fear attraction is facing backlash for a prop depicting a murdered police officer.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Shelton-based Legends of Fear's haunted hayride was called out on social media and has received numerous complaints about its use of a prop depicting what was described as an executed police officer.

Many people were angered by the display, especially following the recent deaths of two Bristol police officers, who were shot and killed while on duty. 

The complaints began pouring in after a social media post by Marissa Cullen, who stated that she learned about the “prop” from a group of friends from the Bristol Police Department who visited the Fairview Tree Farm's Legends of Fear — a haunted hayride and trail attraction during the Halloween season — last weekend.

Cullen said the friends "decided to take a break from the atrocities of the last 10 days.

"They made the mistake of going to Legends of Fear," she stated. "The last haunted house they entered there was a 'prop' of an executed police officer, wearing body armor. Furious does not begin to explain or express how I feel right now. I have included my initial message to Brad."

Fairview Tree Farm’s Bradley Wells, in a post on the Legends of Fear Facebook page Monday, apologized for the display, saying the haunted attraction is intended to be a fun place, "not a place of hate.

"We deeply apologize for having this prop in our scene due to the recent loss of our Hero Police Officers in Bristol, CT,” Wells posted. “The foam prop has been removed from the Farm. Purchased in February 2022, the foam prop was installed into the scene in the early summer months of this year. It was not our intent to promote police brutality in any shape or form.

“We regrettably overlooked the removal of the prop after the recent events," Wells said. "Fairview Tree Farm, Legends of Fear, and my family have always had a close working relationship with the Shelton Police Force. We support the Police Force to the highest level and currently utilize them here at our Farm every single operating night.”