Monday, August 27, 2012

The Morals Of Fear

I've mentioned it before on the blog, and this photo got me to thinking about it again. I saw that Slenderman in the woods there and wondered what it would be like to leave a tall figure like that unattended in an area with some foot traffic. Like what would rational people do when seeing something like this? No hidden cameras or anything (though that would be GREAT). But then my mind always wanders to folks with weak hearts. Or police getting called and wasting resources/time/money on discovering that it's just a hoax. Not to mention the fact that I might be breaking some laws of some kind.

Image source.

I joked at work a year ago that I wanted to be responsible for the next great legend in Pennsylvania. The Legend of the Stick Man. I'd build some scary figure out of sticks and put him by the side fo the road, and pull him back in if the car stops. But then I thought of a car going off the road due to the shock of seeing something that shouldn't exist.

So I guess the question is: Is it illegal to frighten people?

Buzzkill Update (I guess it is illegal):
S 240.20 Disorderly conduct.
A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause
public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk
1. He engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening
behavior; or
2. He makes unreasonable noise; or
3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or
4. Without lawful authority, he disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or
5. He obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or
6. He congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or
7. He creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.


Gloom said...

A while back, I asked the same question of my friend who is a police constable in Ontario.

His answer was a complicated one, if I recall correctly.

Here's the skinny: If you're gonna do it, don't do it on public property or in an area that can clearly be seen from public property, such as an adjacent road or street.

He said while the police probably wouldn't lay charges (at least in Ontario) unless you persist after being told to knock it off, there are several sections of the Criminsl Code that could come into play. He didn't go into specifics but I would assume "tresspasing" and "public mischief" could come into play.

Happy Hauntings, Rot.
PS -forgive my spelling, it's early!

Rot said...

Thanks. Interesting.

Ryan said...

240 dollar fine for "obscene language?!"

Rot said...

Oops. sorry. my bad.
That's just the Section and article number of the code.

Unknown said...

That would be fun and memorable even to find it to be a hoax!

But yes I can see your point about the possibility of someone getting hurt. That would prey on my conscience, if it were me.

Ryan said...

Ohhh. Wow, I'm so glad I misread that. 240 dollar fine for "language" would piss me OFF. Especially in this country.

Shani said...

Whew! I'd be out of a lot of cash if that were the case. I have my truck driver days for sure ;-)

Autumnleaf said...

Remember Christo's umbrellas? That was a physical display that served no purpose but it was considered art. I'm not knocking his work but at what point does art become 'offensive'? And many people are 'offended' by a public nativity (at least according to the state) So ..stickman, I consider you art...but I'm sure I'm in the minority.

Rot said...

That's a good point.

Sara said...

You're such a rule follower! ;)

I agree with Autumnleaf.

Aron said...

I always wanted to do this with a bigfoot costume by the highway at night. It wasn't the law that stopped me, it was that, knowing my luck, I'd end up with some redneck hunters chasing me through the woods with rifles. That would have won me the Darwin award for sure!

Anonymous said...

Do it anyways. Pennsylvania and their stupid laws.

I found an old empty house along a road in my area I thought would be pretty good for you to do a photo shoot sometime. I will have to send you some pics.

Aron said...

WHOA I freakin' knew it - the timing on this couldn't be better (or worse for the poor Darwin award winner):

NoahFentz said...

There are three things that slow traffic down along the FDR Highway or Westside Highway and that is rain, construction and Otis. If you have the time google Otis Houston Jr or Black Cherokee. Alot of the stuff he does is off the wall but its hilarious...I always thought that when I retire I want to stand on the side of the Westside Highway with a sign that reads," Don't slow down to read this sign" payback for all the years of being late to work.

Another idea I had was making plaster skulls and write the address or website of my haunt and place them around town in the month of October. Leave them on buses or hide them amoung the produce at grocery stores...

I say Do it, Rot!!

Wikkedmoon said...

Hmmm, I guess that technically, you could cause a public alarm. But they'd have to know you did it. I say go for it. But then I'm sort of a bandit. Slenderman, btw, scares the bejeebers out of me.

JHMDF said...

Damn... I really wanted to see you do that one day. oh well :)

Mr Black said...

The police stopped at my house once due to a corpse I created and hung in a tree. The officer in question was a rookie and called in a possible suicide/murder whatever and then when he exited his car and looked closer he discovered it was only a prop. I knew a few of the other officers and they said that the rest of the department picked on him relentlessly for the mistake. No one ever said anything to me about being in violation of any laws.

K.O. said...

Such an interesting and thought-provoking post! And I am in love with that photograph you chose to accompany it.