Man terrorizes neighborhood with hostile holiday display

(ABC News / 20/20)

Mention "Christmas display" and most people envision a jolly scene with lights, a few reindeer and maybe an inflatable snowman. But for the residents of Fairley Road in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, it means a beheaded choir and a light up urinating Santa Claus -- the anti-Christmas nightmare displayed by one of their neighbors.

"Any opportunity he has to make our life a hardship, he does," resident Chris Hebda told ABC News' "20/20" of his neighbor Bill Ansell.

For the past six years, neighbors say Ansell has displayed the unpleasant decorations in his front yard, which falls in the center of the street's cul-de-sac, making it almost impossible to ignore.

"There was a Virgin Mary here, and he placed a knife through her head, right there on the edge of our driveway," Joanne Hebda told "20/20." "I thought it was a terroristic threat."

Ross Township has repeatedly fined Ansell for code violations and has ordered him to clean up his yard and take down vulgar signs posted on the property, but the orders have been ignored.

Years ago, Ansell was known for his dazzling light display. But he apparently soured after a neighbor requested that he tone down the lights. Now his neighbors feel trapped in their homes, unable to sell and with friends and family unwilling to visit.

"You're a prisoner on your own street right now," neighbor Tom White said. "It may come down to just leave the house empty and move."

Watch the full story tonight on 20/20 at 10 p.m. Eastern | 9 p.m. Central on ABC.
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