Mum Receives Death Threats After Posting Photos Of Kids Dressed Up For Halloween
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Featured Image Credit: Caters
It's fair to say the blood and gore that comes with Halloween is not to everyone's taste - but one mum found herself at the receiving end of death threats when she dressed her young daughters up for the occasion.
Photographer Carlee Thomas was told to kill herself and that she should have her children taken away after posting a horror Halloween shoot with her kids October, four, and Coraline, one.
The 25-year-old from Decatur, Alabama, does many different types of photography, but horror is her favourite, and her two young girls are always more than willing to join in.
The girls do spooky photo shoots every year, but Carlee rarely shares them online, until this year when the mum decided to share some photos from her 'Zombie Kids' shoot on Facebook.
Carlee's post soon went viral receiving over 14,000 shares 5,000 comments online. But what she didn't expect was for her inbox to fill up with so much hate.
'You're going to burn in hell. Kill yourself,' read one of the messages.
'Do you want to kill your kids since you made them look dead?' asked a second.
'Take that sh*t down. No one wants to see dead babies. You waste of space. How can you be a good mother when people can't have children is beyond me. Those poor babies," penned another.
While most of the messages Carlee received were positive, praising her shoot, she also received over 200 angry messages from people.
"I knew that posting them online was a bit risky, as it's not everyone's cup of tea but I never thought people would be that angry about them," said the mum-of-two.
"I started doing horror photography back in 2016 when my oldest daughter was a baby. We do horror shoots throughout the year, but I don't normally post them.
"I was a bit nervous about it, but I showed my friend and she said how good they were. So I thought why not, it's October, let's do it.
"I never expected it go viral like it did. And then the hate messages started rolling in, I got a minimum of 200 angry and hateful messages.
"I had people tell me I should kill myself, that they hoped I'd die in my sleep, that I'm a bad mother and should have my kids taken away from me.
Photos from the shoot show one-year-old Coraline sitting in a bucket of fake blood (made of red jelly and melted chocolate) while holding a fake plastic brain.
October, 4, posted with the 'blood' smeared on her face.
"The actual blood part, is strawberry jello, water and chocolate syrup. It tastes like chocolate covered cherries, so both the girls love it," explained Carlee.
"The blood on their faces is a mix of strawberry syrup, chocolate syrup and some thickening agents so that it looks more realistic. The brain is plastic, and I painted it to make it look more real.
"Most of the horror effect is from editing. If you saw the photos straight from the camera, Coraline just looks like a happy baby in a tub.
"I've had 20 people message me to ask how I got contact lenses in their eyes and I have to tell them I didn't, that it's all editing.
Carlee says her husband Benjamin, 28, is really proud of what she does and loves seeing the photos.
Despite the backlash, she says she won't be taking the photos down, and can't wait to shoot again.
She said: "I'm not going to take the photos down. I don't let their negativity bother me, and I wish those people all the best.
"They might need to find a hobby or something instead of taking time out of their day to send hateful messages on the internet.
"I got loads of positive feedback. For every mean message I've got, there are about 15 others from lovely people who tell me how much they love it and how creative it is.
"It was all a bit of fun and no one was harmed. I do it because it makes me happy and my girls enjoy it.
"I'm not going to stop. I'm never going to be able to please everyone. I'm sorry if some people don't like it, but we do. And that's the important thing really.
"It's making memories with my girls. And I'm going to keep doing it, no matter what they say."