Do Witches Breast-Feed?

If there was one thing we didn't want to see the Wicked Witch of the West (search) do, it's this.

A Halloween display of a scarecrow witch nursing a green baby witch doll with her gourd breast is haunting Brattleboro, Vt., residents, according to the Boston Herald.

"I would hope if witches have babies and the witches would have to feed their babies, they would nurse," Lauren Petrie, who erected the display on her front lawn with husband David, told the Herald. "I am also advocating being comfortable with nursing in public."

But the spellbinding sight stirred up a cauldron of controversy in the town after a photo of the breast-feeding witch mommy appeared in the local Brattleboro Reformer.

Kym Goodnow, a mother of four from West Brattleboro, wrote to the Herald that she was not ready to explain nursing to her 4-year-old grandson.

"I figured eventually we would cross that bridge, but to have to do it now because someone felt they had to shove it in our faces, it's just rude," Goodnow told the Herald Wednesday. "Halloween is supposed to be for kids. It's not for you to impose your beliefs on everyone else."

— Thanks to Out There reader Kathy G.

Cops Called to Nearly Naked Photo Shoot

A Maxim photo shoot involving a model posing in clothes from a billowing dress to pasties and panties in a residential neighborhood resulted in 911 calls to police.

Some University City, N.C., residents called police, others took pictures of the shoot to use as evidence and many told that night's neighborhood meeting that they were afraid to take their kids outside because of the nearly naked woman, according to The Charlotte Observer.

When the cops arrived at the scene, they told the crowd that the shoot was legal because the model wasn't completely nude.

The angry neighbors sent outraged e-mails to the mayor, City Council members and even to Rep. Sue Myrick (search), R-N.C.

"I do not need this trash brought to my front door," University City resident Benn Hill said in an e-mail to City Councilman John Tabor.

— Thanks to Out There reader Sharon F.

Police: Man Re-Enacts 'Halloween' Scene

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — Police say something bad was bound to happen when a butcher knife, the movie "Halloween" (search) and a group of drinking men came together at a Rogers motel room.

John Hetzel, 40, was charged with aggravated assault and second-degree battery after attacking a man who checked on him in his motel room after a night of drinking, police spokesman Cpl. Kelley Cradduck said.

Cradduck said the victim had gone to the motel Tuesday night to look in on Hetzel after they had been drinking at a bar.

Hetzel and his roommate were watching the horror movie "Halloween" and, when the man knocked, Hetzel opened the door and slashed away with a butcher knife, Cradduck said.

The man, whose name was unavailable, raised his right arm to ward off the blows and was stabbed in the hand.

Police they had trouble interviewing Hetzel because he was drunk, but Hetzel told officers that he should have killed the victim, according to Cradduck.

Police said they could upgrade the charge to attempted murder.

Cradduck said Hetzel has served time in a Nevada prison for attempted murder and kidnapping.

Many in Europe Turn Up Noses at Halloween

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — It's almost Halloween — and all those ghosts, goblins, tricks and treats are giving Hans Kohler the creeps.

So the mayor of Rankweil (search), a town near the border with Switzerland, has launched a one-man campaign disparaging Halloween as a "bad American habit" and urging families to skip it this year.

"It's an American custom that's got nothing to do with our culture," Kohler wrote in letters sent out to households.

By midweek, the mayors of eight neighboring villages had thrown their support behind the boycott. So had local police, annoyed with the annual Oct. 31 uptick in vandalism and mischief.

Although Halloween has become increasingly popular across Europe — complete with carved pumpkins, witches on broomsticks, makeshift houses of horror and costumed children rushing door to door for candy — it's begun to breed a backlash.

Critics see it as the epitome of crass, U.S.-style commercialism. Clerics and conservatives contend it clashes with the spirit of traditional Nov. 1 All Saints' Day (search) remembrances.

And it's got purists in countries struggling to retain a sense of uniqueness in Europe's ever-enlarging melting pot grimacing like Jack o' Lanterns.

Halloween "undermines our cultural identity," complained the Rev. Giordano Frosini, a Roman Catholic theologian who serves as vicar-general in the Diocese of Pistoia near Florence, Italy.

Frosini denounced the holiday as a "manifestation of neo-paganism" and an expression of American cultural supremacy. "Pumpkins show their emptiness," he said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Aimee H.

Bridge Begins Raining $20 Bills

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — It was a clear morning in Green Bay (search) — and then it began raining money.

Traffic came to a halt on the congested bridge Wednesday after $20 bills from a money bag that had been accidentally dropped from an armored truck began blowing around and down to the Fox River banks below.

Commuters jumped out of cars, hopped dividers and nearly caused accidents trying to catch the flying cash, police said.

By the time officers arrived at around 7:34 a.m., some 10 minutes after being called, there was chaos on and below the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge (search).

"People were stuffing handfuls of money into their pockets and running back to their cars and speeding off," police Lt. John Balza said.

Of the $80,000 in the bag initially, some $72,000 was recovered, but almost none of it willingly, he said.

"No one was like, 'Oh here, I'm collecting this for police,'" Balza said. "They were basically seen jamming it in their pockets."

Police said they are not sure how the money bag fell out of the armored courier owned by Badger Armor Inc. There was no immediate response when The Associated Press phoned the company and left a message seeking comment.

Police Capt. Greg Urban called on people who picked up the money to be "honest and ethical" and turn it over to police.

"Technically, it's the crime of theft, not finders, keepers," he said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Peg K.

Church Bans Swallowing Goldfish

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — The First Assembly of God Church has agreed to discontinue its practice of swallowing live goldfish as part of its Fear Factor ministry.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (search) has asked for a ban on the practice.

Spokeswoman Amy Rhodes said the organization was flooded with calls earlier this month after a story about the program was published in the TimesDaily.

PETA contacted the church seeking confirmation of a ban on the activity.

Pastor Greg Woodall replied to PETA's request in a letter.

"I do appreciate your concern and just wanted to let you know that this will never happen again," Woodall wrote. "My views are a reflection of yours. We love God's creatures and would never want to show them harm."

As part of the Fear Factor ministry at the church, teenage participants were asked to swallow live goldfish. No one reportedly became ill during the goldfish phase of the program that concludes this week.

Youth minister Anthony Martin said earlier the goal of the exercise was to teach teens about fear.

PETA thanked the church for the ban by sending a gift basket of vegan Swedish fish, a gummy candy, as an alternative to live fish.

— Thanks to Out There reader Aimee H.

Compiled by's Andrew Hard.

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