A Louisiana woman’s unusual Christmas decorations have gone viral after igniting a flare up with a neighbor who's reportedly afraid the woman might be involved in a “demonic cult.”
Diana Rowland, a former police officer turned fantasy writer, has set up inflatable dragons in her yard to celebrate Halloween -- and Christmas -- for at least four years.
She told Fox News during a phone interview on Tuesday that her husband got her the first dragon for her birthday several years ago and they put it up on Halloween.
“As a fantasy writer, they are right up my alley,” she said, adding the dragon was taken down after the holiday.
That year, they decided to put it back up after Thanksgiving and included some more Christmas-related decorations around the dragons.
“People loved it…my immediate neighbors love them,” Rowland said. “They come up and take their picture...We are the 'Dragon House.'"
Some love it so much that one of Rowland's elderly neighbors even told her she should put a spotlight on the dragons so that people can see them better.
But this year, she's also dealt with other points of view. One of her neighbors apparently had enough with the "inappropriate" display and sent Rowland an anonymous letter asking her to consider taking it down.
“Your dragon display is only marginally acceptable at Halloween. It is totally inappropriate at Christmas,” the letter said. “It makes your neighbors wonder if you are involved in a demonic cult. Please consider removing the dragons. May God bless you and help you to know the true meaning of Christmas.”
Rowland shared a photo of her dragons and the anonymous letter on Twitter late last week and it has since gone viral with more than 9,400 retweets and more than 36,000 likes.
“I had to read it twice and thought ‘really?’” she said. “I then ran to my daughter, who is 14, and told her, ‘Look, we have hate mail!”
She added: “The first line of the letter really set the tone for all of this.”
Not one to back down, Rowland added two more dragons to this year’s display -- with some of them sporting halos.
“I don’t want to call it a war, but I can say that I won this round,” she said.
Rowland said she is “a little famous” from her books, but the last few days have been a different level of fame.
“It’s been interesting,” she said. “My family has been supportive. My daughter thinks it’s hilarious.”
Since the posts went viral, Rowland has been inundated with offers of donations to help her buy more dragons. Instead, she asks that people donate to charity.
“I can buy my own dragons,” she said.
At least one person has taken her up on her request, donating to a penguin rescue in honor of Rowland’s dragon army.
“It’s about spreading the joy – finding joy with the dragons,” Rowland said.