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A Mental Asylum Halloween Decoration Has Been Pulled From Shelves In Morrisons

"Are we really still stigmatising mental health as scary Halloween fodder?! Again?!"

Originally posted on
Updated on

Supermarket chain Morrisons has removed a Halloween decoration from its shelves after complaints on social media that it made light of mental health issues.

Many were horrified at Morrisons' £3 Creepy Door Curtain, on which the words "Asylum – No One Leaves!" are shown between two meat cleavers, with the second half of the phrase styled as a bloody scrawl.


The display, at the store in Keighley, West Yorkshire, was brought to the attention of Morrisons on Wednesday by Twitter user, who asked, "are we really still stigmatising mental health as scary Halloween fodder?! Again?!"

Morrisons responded that it was not making fun of mental health issues and that the display was in the spirit of Halloween.

@clbnolan Hi Claire,we appreciate your comments this is by no means make fun of Mental Health Issues.This is in the spirit of Holloween.Raj

Morrisons also described the costume as "just a bit of fun for the kids", but many believed that was a poor justification for the product, especially as it coincided with #WorldMentalHealthDay on Monday – a day dedicated to creating awareness of the stigma around mental health.

Wow, so this is @Morrisons justification for 'asylum' Halloween display? What is wrong with these people? & Monday…

Dear @Morrisons - when was the last time you stayed somewhere & weren't allowed to leave? Is that ok, just in the spirit of things? #asylum

On Twitter Claire Murdoch, boss of a London NHS trust and the national director for mental health in England, urged the store to consider "fun vs social responsibility".

@Morrisons @clbnolan As the national director for mental health in England, I invite Morrisons to consider 'fun' vs social responsibility.

Others called the display disgusting, prejudiced, and harmful.

@BayviewSC @Morrisons Yep, and I won't be buying any of it until they remove the Asylum signs. Disgusting. Prejudiced. Harmful.

And some accused the display of perpetuating mental health stigma.

For goodness sake @Morrisons Sort it out! Perpetuating #mentalhealth #stigma is not okay!

Faced with this social media backlash, Morrisons announced that the display had been removed.

@Morrisons @TheWordRabbit @ClaireCNWL @clbnolan thank you for response about display - are you removing product fro…

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Morrisons spokesperson apologised and confirmed that the display has been taken down.

"Our Keighley store has taken the display down," the spokesperson said. "We are very sorry we have caused offence as this was not our intention."

Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Fiona Rutherford at

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