The operator of one North Carolina graveyard is in quite the bind after a planned movie night went sideways. Heather Bosher, owner of Fayetteville's Lafayette Memorial Park, has started receiving plenty of backlash from locals after trying to organize a Halloween-themed movie night hosted within the cemetery. According to ABC11, Bosher's now been forced to pull the event after the backlash got to be too much.
The ABC affiliate spoke with Sam and Monica Simpson, a couple who has an infant daughter buried in the park. According to them, the majority of the upheaval steams from a complete lack of communication. "You want to do that, take it to Festival Park, do a memorial there," Sam told ABC11. That's when his wife pointed out the fact nobody from the cemetery had contacted them.
"We're voicing our opinion because it was never asked," she said. "She didn't give us the option to vote on it."
Bosher initially planned to do a family-friendly Halloween movie on the grounds in honor of her late grandparents, a couple who used to enjoy going to the cinema. Now, the event has been shelved. Bosher's entire statement in the wake of cancellation can be found below.
"Fayetteville is a diverse community with people from all over the world. With those people come diverse traditions. We have been approached several times with the suggestion of a movie night. Since there are several cemeteries nationwide that host such events with great popularity, we embraced the idea. We have a wonderful green space with plenty of room to hold such an event without infringing on any burial spaces. We have utilized it in the past with no objections. Even so, we were concerned about how others besides us would feel, so a public poll was created and posted on our Facebook page. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive. Our online poll had over 200 responses, none of them negative.
When we were approached by a family with an extremely negative outlook, we were surprised. However, when other families with concerns started to become obvious, we decided to cancel the event out of respect to all. This all happened within a time span of a few hours. Our only wish was to provide a family-friendly event in a way that was safe and free to the public much like our other events that bring joy and peace to those that are grieving. No disrespect was intended, only an alternative way to share a positive evening with our loved ones that are no longer here.
We never want families to feel distressed over any event at our facility. We are deeply sorry for any and all misunderstandings and we will continue to proceed with respect to all our families views."