Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid: The “Ghost Horses”

We haven’t had Sheriff Bart and the Waco Kid as guests here for a while, and this story seems like an appropriate one for their illumination. I know I keep saying that The Great Stupid has reached Peak Stupid only to find something worse, but I don’t know how one gets dumber than this. The tale out of Lake County, Ohio is even more ridiculous than Biden’s speech last night.

For some reason known only to the rogue neurons involved, the Lake County mounted police decided that it would be a grand Halloween gesture to costume their horses as “ghost horses.” Never mind that nobody knows what a ghost horse looks like. My only clue is the various versions of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” in which the ghostly Headless Horseman rides a black steed with red glowing eyes. Then there were the ghost horses in Disney’s “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” which were just horses you could see through. It would never occur to me, if I were asked to imagine a ghost horse, that one would look like a normal horse under a sheet with little eye holes cut in it. Nonetheless, that’s what those whimsical cops came up with, as you can see:

Now, since the ghostly steeds made their appearance on Halloween, I admit that was a big clue to the cognitively engaged regarding what the cops were going for.  Nonetheless, many residents, we are credibly informed, were alarmed because they thought these were Ku Klux Klan horses.

“That was poor execution for a ghost,” said one offended resident. “You go back and look at pictures of the Ku Klux Klan, it’s like the exact replica of what the horses looked like.”

Well, now, that’s not exactly accurate. It is true that the Klansmen sometimes had their horses in white sheets…

…but often they did not:

Moreover, the most essential part of a KKK horse ensemble is the robed Klansman in the saddle. You see, horses never join organizations, racist or otherwise.  Occam’s Razor applies here, not that anyone in Lake County appears to be likely to have ever heard of it. You see a horse in a sheet on Halloween in Ohio, with a police officer riding it, and what is the more likely explanation: that the Klan has risen again, or that it’s an ill-conceived Halloween stunt?

Unless, of course, you want to be offended.When was the last time the Klan used horses and rode through Ohio?

Another resident said,  “A sheriff’s office should be out there protecting people, and if I saw that on my street, I would be terrified.” Wait, terrified of what…of KKK horses, or of the fact that the police department is apparently capable of a silly thing like this?

To be fair, Sheriff Frank Leonbruno made a cogent point in defense of his horses, noting that the pumpkin lights around the horses necks should have been enough to identify them as ghost horses and not racist horses.

Ghost horses have pumpkin lights? I did not know that.

Commenter Jeff, who brought this idiocy to my attention, commented.

“It occurs to me that, as a society, we may have gotten too stupid to be allowed to have a holiday like Halloween anymore. Might be time for a hiatus for a generation or two.”


How about voting?

At least the cops didn’t dress their horses up as Hitler.


9 thoughts on “Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid: The “Ghost Horses”

  1. Actually the first thing that popped into my head was barded horses like the various crusaders and other knights rode, although those usually had at least simple designs on them. Never mind, though, if the horses looked like that we’d still be hearing how offensive the designs were.

    • Right. Horses during the Crusades wore white robes with red Christian crosses on them. And these days they would likely have bee deemed more offensive then any quasi-kKK draping on the horses alone.. Religion signalling seems to be far worse an offence these days than just about anything else.

      Actually, being as it was on Halloween, I get kind of a kick out of the mounted police getting into the spirit of things and since they were fully uniformed as regular police as they sat astride the horses, there could not have been any KKK mistake, except by idiots.

      And I don’t want to hear any crap about the ‘poor horses’ having to ‘dress up.’ Mounted officers are bound to one horse, and one horse alone, whom they name, and love and care for — a relationship that lasts until either the officer or the horse retires or dies. Mounted horses are the best cared for equines in this country. (Sorry, an aside.)

      Finally, just how many mounted officers does this County have? We there 5 or 6 doing their regular patrols, even talking to trick or treaters? Any evidence that 25-50 shrouded horses galloped up and down the streers of Lake County at great or threatening speed?

      I think it was a slightly misguided attempt by the police to relate to their community. They are being told over and over and over again to be the friendly law enforcement part of the community, and were I a kid who had a chance to pat a “ghosty” horse, I would have loved it. As I do every time I manage to meet a mounted policeman and his horse.’

      Much ado about nothing. And lots of ignorance about the KKK. So here we go again: jumping to conclusions without facts. Blah blah blah.

    • There’s a good example of that sort of thing. Probably best if you use closed captioning (unless you’re a Polish(?) speaker).

      Barding is actually the armor for the horses, but the blankets they wore would be decorated so that people could tell what company the knights belonged to. You know what they say, you’ve seen one knight in armor you’ve seen them all. They do tend to look alike unless you have some sort of decoration. Like, say, a uniform in modern parlance.

      Infantry uniforms, or badges, or headgear serve they same purpose — you point to them and say “There is the Old Guard!” As well, since soldiers are people too, to tends to fortify the essential esprit de corps that armies need.

      I did find it interesting that, during a part of the battle, we see little groups of foot soldiers crouching behind shields and holding pikes. Perhaps that was simply intended to be symbolic but my immediate thought was — the cavalry will ride past them, circle back and lance them in the back. Shield walls were very effective versus cavalry charges (when manned by steady infantry), but they would either be deployed in a square, or a continuous line that couldn’t be flanked. Because horses are a bit more mobile than an infantryman holding a long, heavy pike.

  2. I thought there was nothing wrong with the idea of a horse with a sheet on it.

    When I saw the photo, I immediately saw the problem. (Not that I think that it was a real problem, but I knew what was coming.) For what it is worth, it is kind of an ambiguous costume because of the Klan association.


  3. As kids, my brother and I both wanted to be ghosts one Halloween. My mother (not a creative sort), cut a bedsheet in half, cut holes for eyes, handed us each an ice cream pail, and turned us loose on the unsuspecting neighborhood. Our kind neighbors said over and over “Oh my, a pair of ghosts!” and doled out candy. Not once did they screech in fright and cry about the KKK. We were too poor to have a horse, so that may have helped a bit.
    Perhaps it’s a mid-west thing, but I knew the horses were “ghosts” right away. Not good renditions, but the overall idea was there. I do suspect only the extreme left can participate in Halloween going forward, the rest of us aren’t nearly sensitive enough for this delicate holiday.

  4. If they were male horses, the cops could have given them skirts and large prosthetic teats and everything would have been cool. Better yet, if they were geldings, the officers could claim they were transitioning.

  5. The most amusing part, to me, is the comment that the ghost horse costume (I can’t believe I live in a society where I have occasion to use the phrase “ghost horse costume” – we are truly doomed) is an “exact replica” of the KKK horse accouterments. Given the general shape of a horse, there is literally no other way to adorn one. If you drape a sheet over a horse, it’s always gonna look the same.

  6. Some things are truly just too silly, inane, stupid, and absurd to comment on. Like the fact that the hammer slayer of Paul Pelosi. Who we find out is an illegal homeless, nudist, pot-smoking immigrant squatting in Berkeley. He has the bona fides of a chairperson of the Democratic party.

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