'I found this in a box of Halloween decorations'

Simpons dvd

Year: 2013

Author: Mr Zhang

Type: letter from factory worker to consumer

Availability: image posted online. e.g. Pinterest here and here, and embedded below. CNN TV news story here.

Page reference: Hart, J. (2014) 'I found this in a box of Halloween decorations.' ( last accessed <insert date here>)

Original text


If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persecution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.

This Product produced by Unit 8, department 2. Mashanja Labour Camp. Shen yang, Liaoning, China.

People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 Yuan/month)

People who work here, suffer punishment 1~3 years averagelly, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment). Many of them are Falun gong practitioner , who are totally innocent people only because they have different believe to CCPG. They often suffer more punishment than others.

(Source: Lewis 2013, np link).


Julie Keith was unpacking some of last year’s Halloween decorations when she found the letter between two novelty headstones (Source: Malkin 2013, np link).

[Keith] a resident of Portland, Oregon … found the hand-written letter squeezed between Styrofoam Halloween decorations (Source: Anon 2012a, np link).

… the reality of where the Styrofoam headstones came from was clearly revealed to Julie Keith when she opened the packaging many months after making her purchase and found a hidden letter written by an inmate of the Chinese labor camp where the product was made (Source: Hunt 2013, np link).

[Sylvester:] The Halloween graveyard kit sat in her storage room for about a year until she dusted it off in October and when she opened it all she could say was wow. [Keith:] It was definitely hidden. The … headstones were, you know, approximately 18 inches tall, 12 inches wide and there were two of them put together and the note was slipped in the middle of them. And then that whole package was wrapped in sealed cellophane (Source: in Anon 2012b, np link).

The cry for help, a neatly folded letter stuffed inside a package of Halloween decorations sold at Kmart, traveled across an ocean from China into the hands of a mother of two in Oregon. Scrawling in wobbly English on a sheet of onionskin paper, the writer said he was imprisoned at a labor camp in this northeastern Chinese town, where he said inmates toiled seven days a week, their 15-hour days haunted by sadistic guards (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

Keith’s first instinct was to turn to Facebook to ask her friends for tips on what to do and to spread the message ‘I found this in a box of Halloween decorations,’ she typed beneath a photo of the letter. The post quickly prompted a flurry of responses (Source: Pow 2012, np link).

Inspiration / Process / Technique / Methodology

A 47 year old man told the New York Times he was the letters author (Source: ChinaForbiddenNews 2013, np link).

Mr. Zhang, a technology professional who studied English in college. His account of life in the camp matched those of other inmates who said they produced the same Halloween-themed items (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

The follower of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement said: 'For people who have never been there, it's impossible to imagine. The first thing they do is to take your human dignity away and humiliate you.' He claimed he was systematically beaten, suffered sleep deprivation and was tortured at the camp in Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning. 'Making products turned out to be an escape from the horrible violence,' he said. 'We thought we could protect ourselves, and avoid verbal and physical assaults as long as we worked and did the job well.' Mr Zhang came up with the idea of trying to alert the outside world to the prisoners' plight after they were ordered to make Halloween decorations. 'I saw the packaging and figured the products were bound for some English-speaking countries,' he said. 'I had this idea of telling the outside world what was happening there- it was a revelation even to someone like me who had spent my entire life in China (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

The man, a Beijing resident and adherent of Falun Gong, the outlawed spiritual practice, said it was one of 20 such letters he secretly wrote over the course of two years. He then stashed them inside products whose English-language packaging, he said, made it likely they were destined for the West. 'For a long time I would fantasize about some of the letters being discovered overseas, but over time I just gave up hope and forgot about them,' said the man, who asked that only his surname, Zhang, be published for fear of reprisal (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

His letter-writing subterfuge was complicated and risky. Barred from having pens and paper, Mr. Zhang said he stole a set from a desk one day while cleaning a prison office. He worked while his cellmates slept, he said, taking care not to wake those inmates – often drug addicts or convicted thieves – whose job it was to keep the others in line. He would roll up the letter and hide it inside the hollow steel bars of his bunk bed, he said (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

The author of the letter certainly risked his or her life. ... They wouldn’t even let us write to our family members. If the letter had been found before being hidden in the decorations, no one would have seen the author again (Source: Anon 2012a, np link).

'When that note popped out and my daughter picked it up, I was skeptical that it was real,' [Keith] said. 'But then I Googled Masanjia and realized, '‘Whoa, this is not a good place’' (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

'... some horrific images popped up and there were also testimonials about people who had lived through this camp. It was just awful' (Source: Keith in Malkin 2013, np link).

... she began to worry about the its author. The camp drew press attention again in April when Beijing-based Lens Magazine published accounts by former detainees, in which they described being shocked with electric batons, starved, and beaten (Source: Williams 2013, np link).

Wow, that’s daring, she thought. She imagined the desperation the writer must have felt, the courage he or she must have mustered to slip the letter into that box. If caught, what would happen? (Source: Stark 2012a, np link).

Julie Keith posted the letter on her Facebook page asking friends what should she do with it (Source: Anon 2012b, np link).

The Facebook post sparked a slew of responses. Her friends had heard of labor camp horrors. But a letter from one of those camps? Never (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

She has since turned over the letter and the box it came in to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is under investigation (Source: Anon 2012b, np link).

... the Oregonian newspaper informed the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the letter. ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations began looking into the letter, which also caused a response from Kmart executives (Source: Allen 2012, np link).

Discussion / Responses

Wow….. The ‘Other side’ of things (Source: Wrabbit2000 2012, np link).

Sylvester: ... Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed it is also looking into these allegations as well, but typically these investigations, they can take months because you have to follow the production line. A company may have a contractor who uses a subcontractor who in turn uses another subcontractor, and so it might take quite a bit of time, Candy, before we get to the bottom of all of this. Crowley That's interesting because the letter might be a hoax but the problem we know is all too real. Sylvester: The problem is very real. I mean - and it's not so much whether or not this woman, you know, made up this letter. That's not what Immigration and Customs Enforcement thinks but, you know, that somebody in the production chain, maybe it was in the packaging or somewhere else slipped this in as opposed to coming in from a labor camp. And who knows? Again, that's just going to take some time, Candy (Source: in Anon 2012b, np link).

The China director at Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson, told The Oregonian that the origin or authenticity of the letter couldn’t be confirmed. ‘We’re in no position to confirm the veracity or origin of this,’ she said. ‘I think it is fair to say the conditions described in the letter certainly conform to what we know about conditions in re-education through labor camps’ (Source: Pow 2012, np link).

... the existence of the camp itself is well documented as practicing 20 different kinds of torture on its prisoners of conscience, as the letter described (Source: Anon 2012c, np link).

Inspired by the gulag of the Soviet Union, this system was introduced in China in the 1950s (Source: Mercier 2013, np link).

These camps, formerly called laogai or ‘reform through labor,’ the facilities have been in use for decades as a means of crushing beliefs unapproved by the country’s authoritarian regime. But given the vast market and huge amounts of money that the Chinese regime has at its disposal, these prisons are not something that Americans and Europeans hear much about (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

It’s highly controversial because it enables authorities to detain people for up to four years, without ever giving them a court hearing. Today, the laojiao, as it is called in Chinese, consists of a network of roughly 350 camps. The government claims 160,000 people are locked up in these camps, but human rights groups believe the number to be much higher (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

New President Xi Jinping has vowed to abolish the system, but so far nothing has been done to begin dismantling the camps (Source: Murray and Grigg 2013, np link).

Corinna-Barbara Francis, China researcher at Amnesty International, said that abolishing or significantly reforming re-education through labor would prove daunting because it provides the police an easy way to deal with perceived troublemakers, but also because it can be lucrative for those who work within a sprawling system that includes more than 300 camps. In addition to the profits earned from the inmate labor, prison employees often solicit bribes for early release, or for better treatment, from the families of those incarcerated. 'Given the serious money being made in these places, the economic incentive to keep the system going is really powerful,' she said (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

The Masanjia LaborCamp is located in China’s northeast province of Liaoning. Cases of severe torture, sometimes resulting in death or driving the victim insane, have emerged from Masanjia over the past decade. Other cases from Masanjia reveal gang rape of female detainees as well as high-pressure brainwashing techniques meant to “break” prisoners’ wills so they swear allegiance to the ruling communist party (Source: Anon 2012a, np link).

Either this is an elaborate hoax (I doubt it) or an educated person with a decent command of the English language (educated in the West at some point probably) is imprisoned (for political / religious reasons) in the great Chinese Gulag Archipelago of factories through out the workers paradise of Communist China (Source: drake 2012, np link).

There’s no reason to believe the letter isn’t authentic - the voice and handwriting are typically Chinese (Source: Anon 2012c, np link).

... the note is genuine. I know chinese very well and I would bet my childs life on it (Source: richardson 2013, np link).

He has a better command of the English language than most here. He’s either not living up to his full potential or this is a sick joke (Source: bgill2012, np link).

The english, writing and syntax is better than most of the instruction manuals that come from China (Source: DouglasKC 2012, np link).

It would be interesting if somebody could determine whether the Chinese parts of the message are as articulate as the English parts (Source: Logan 2012, np link).

I doubt very much this news, ... how can he to write fluency in English! Here had another detail that I'm sure this letter is FAKE is in his calligraphy, when a Chinese writing English, Spanish or Portuguese, the word are more square like Chinese characters.Another thing, when a Chinese from China continental, he writes simplified characters, however, in the letter, is the traditional characters! I'm sure that, because I am Chinese come from Hong Kong! (Source: vcwc77 2013, np link).

Come on it sat for a year and she's a crazed volunteer of somesort and then it comes out just before Christmas (Source: mikell 2012, np link).

It's fake. Either the 'finder' is lying or it's a prank on her. The handwriting looks American or German. The grammar is too perfect. People who have little or no training in languages do not really know how to fake foreigners. They tend to think that misspellings and words slightly off are enough to make it look foreign. Also, I know of some top Chinese businessmen whose English is ten times worse that this. The writer would NEVER be working as a slave in a work camp. He'd be working in the foreign trade department doing very good business around the world for his company. I may be wrong, of course. Stranger things have happened (Source: DoctorPlausible 2012, np link).

I’d still wonder about Chinese who had the audacity, not just to tuck a note into a set of cheap trinkets, but who would say just where they came from, which breathless US media would flash all over the place. You just don’t DO that in China. And someone apparently taught the writer pretty good English. ... It might not be what it appears to be, even though labor conditions aren’t as nice in China as in most of the West (Source: HiTech RedNeck 2012, np link).

Omg the same thing happened in my bowl of Cheerios! It says Ooooooo! (Source: KnivesOfTheRound 2013, np link).

If Mr. Zhang’s account truly explains the letter’s origin, the feat represents one of the more successful campaigns by a follower of the Falun Gong movement, which is known for its high-profile attempts to embarrass the Chinese government after being labeled a cult and outlawed in 1999 (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

Title 19, section 1307 of U.S. Code generally prohibits the importation of all items 'mined, produced or manufactured' in any foreign country by convict labor, forced labor and/or indentured labor (Source: Stark 2012a, np link).

Even though it is illegal in the US to import products made by forced labor, the example of the tombstone Halloween decoration clearly shows that the supposed checks and balances in place to monitor such a law are loose and inconsistent, and certainly available to corruption (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

There is seemingly an unending worldwide demand for cheap plastic trinkets, and the American economy has become a dumping ground for products made by slaves in other parts of the world (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

The American Government are the worst hypocrites on earth. They have a ban on anything involving Cuba, but trade with China - far worse in human rights violations (Source: broniszewki 2014, np link).

The main reason for the Obama administration’s lack of interest in human rights in China is because China enables the U.S. to continue its wild deficit spending. They’ve bought our silence on slave labor, in effect (Source: Anon 2012c, np link).

The decisions we make here in our frenzied journeys to malls and strip-malls impact people all over the world, the environment, our local communities and our children. Perhaps while swimming in the endless sea of disposable slave-made products this holiday season, as you start in on another holiday shopping season, you could first take pause and reflect on the nature of freedom and how our choices affect the freedom of other people(Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

A very sad thing to think about this Christmas Eve. I pray one day the People of China will be Free from Communist Oppression and we can have real Trade with them instead of Ubama's Soviet Commissars (Source: KC_Lion 2012, np link).

Several years ago, there was an email going around warning people that Christmas Lights and Christmas Decorations made in China were the product of forced labor by Chinese Christians who had been arrested for their faith. Evidently, it gave the Jailers a kind of sick pleasure knowing that they could make money from American Christians by torturing and enslaving Chines Christians. I have never bought a single Christmas light set since, and my old ones are burning out. It is impossible to find ones NOT made in China (Source: left that other site 2012, np link).

I do not know if this is the case. Such people might take cheer from the idea that they are helping Western Christians celebrate Christmas, in spite of their earthly circumstance - if matters of God truly are uppermost in their thoughts, as rigorous conditions tend to do in the lives of genuine believers. In a way it’s like the Chinese-made Christmas cards I see in some dollar and discount stores. I buy them in good conscience because they’re a witness in the factory that makes them. In a way it’s like the Chinese-made Christmas cards I see in some dollar and discount stores. I buy them in good conscience because they’re a witness in the factory that makes them (Source: HiTech RedNeck, np link).

The reality is that working conditions in many of the factories in China, as well as in other countries that promote inexpensive manual labor, are not what one would consider fair or just (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

China does not value human life. China has a one child policy and subsequent children are either taken away to slave labor camps or aborted. China makes baby food that has killed American babies. China makes dog food that has killed American dogs. China makes bakeware that exploded in American ovens. China makes solar panels using toxic minerals that have killed and caused cancers in Chinese workers and their families. China makes drugs and pharmaceuticals sold in the US… beware (Source: St.Nikao 2012, np link).

The sad thing is it's very hard for the common citizens in America to do much. Trying to avoid buying Chinese made products is almost impossible, and the big corporations, and our government just don't care enough to do anything. It's all about money (Source: Sockey 2013, np link).

[T]he only way we can change things is economics. Political action does nothing... if we can have a free market then we can stop bitching about who will represent us and represent ourselves with our money (Source: brixeyb 2012, np link).

Stores like Kmart and Walmart are fine (imo). It is us who has the responsibility not to buy these goods or boycott the stores who sell them. Make them yourself if you have to. Good Lord (Source: Forever Liberty 2012, np link).

The answer is it all begins with them. They must rise up demanding change, justice, and freedom. So many of them, together they are unstoppable (Source: Swills 2012, np link).

... it’s not uncommon for U.S. workers at Target and Wal-Mart to open boxes from China with newspapers or even money left inside (Source: Anon 2012c, np link).

Impacts / Outcomes

Wow... sure will cause me to think twice before I buy Chinese decorations for any holiday (Source: Libera_me 2012, np link).

Since receiving the note, ... Ms Keith is more careful about buying products from abroad. 'It is quite ironic that it was a bloody graveyard kit that I purchased - knowing that the people who made these kits were desperate and bloody themselves,' Ms Keith said. 'Now I check the labels and try not to buy things I don't necessarily need, especially if it is made in China,' she added (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

Tree leaves were turning yellow and red in Damascus, Oregon, in late October. Competing with fall foliage for attention were Halloween decorations, which adorned almost every house in this sleepy middle-class suburb of Portland on America's Pacific West Coast. A few pumpkins sat on the steps leading to Julie Keith's house, while three fake tombstones greeted visitors in the front porch -as they did last year. 'I feel obligated to use them every year now because I feel they need to have some worth,' said Keith, 43, who lives here with her husband and their two young children. 'I am sad for the people who have to endure torture to make these silly decorations.' (Source: PENGLAIMACHINERY 2013, np link).

The letter drew international news coverage and widespread attention to China’s opaque system of 're-education through labor'. ... It has [also] triggered an unusually open public debate in China. Scores of former inmates have come forward to tell their stories (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

[It] reminded us of the laws in the US that it is illegal to import products made by convict labour and forced labour. But it’s all ok… because the US homeland security are now looking into these claims (Source: NTDTV 2012, np link)

Ms Keith, the lady who made the purchase, sent the letter she found to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which said it would look into the matter. Since then, the agency has neither confirmed nor denied whether an investigation was under way, but that such cases generally took a long time to pursue. We wait in anticipation (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

After the Oregonian informed the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the letter, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations began looking into the case, public affairs officer Andrew Munoz confirmed. Sears Holdings Corporation, which operates Kmart, released a statement on the matter: 'Sears Holdings has a Global Compliance Program which helps to ensure that vendors and factories producing merchandise for our company adhere to specific Program Requirements, and all local laws pertaining to employment standards and workplace practices. Failure to comply with any of the Program Requirements, including the use of forced labor, may result in a loss of business or factory termination. We understand the seriousness of this allegation, and will continue to investigate' (Source: Stark 2012a, np link).

Sears ... also responded when asked how products in a labor camp in China ended up on its store shelves. 'We found no evidence that production was subcontracted to a labor camp during our investigation' (Source: PENGLAIMACHINERY 2013, np link).

Sears ... declined to make an executive available for an interview. But in a brief statement, a company spokesman, Howard Riefs, said an internal investigation prompted by the discovery of the letter uncovered no violations of company rules that bar the use of forced labor. He declined to provide the name of the Chinese factory that produced the item (Source: Jacobs 2013, np link).

The camp where Mr Zhang was forced to work for long hours has since been closed down as the new leadership in China makes the first steps to reform of its 'reeducation through labor' policy. A 50-year-old Chinese farmer, who was also detained at the camp, returned to it last month with CNN after hearing that the remaining inmates had been released. ... Chinese officials have acknowledged poor living and labor conditions, but denied the use of torture. An official also confirmed that the letter Ms Keith received did come from the Masanjia men's camp. International reports about its discovery caused a stir in the camp. ... People like Mr Zhang who speak out about the cruelty of the camps can often find themselves severely punished. Journalist and former New York Times photographer Du Bin, who released a documentary on the Masanjia camp featuring interviews with former inmates has been detained by security officials since May 31, according to his sister. Most of the products are made for use in China, but inmates say they also made coat linings labelled 'Made In Italy' and Christmas wreaths for South Korea, among other items for export (Source: Anon 2013a, np link).

The recurrent exposure of individuals sent on dubious charges to reeducation through labor (RTL) is one important impetus to growing consensus about the need to reform or abolish RTL in China. Details of cases involving online criticism or petitioning have galvanized opinion against the nearly 60-year-old system of administrative detention, which central authorities indicate will undergo reform later this year. The past few days have added urgency to an overhaul of the RTL system. In its April issue (published on April 6), Lens magazine included a 14-page exposé of exploitation, abuse, and torture at the Masanjia women’s RTL facility in Liaoning Province. Based on interviews with more than 20 women formerly incarcerated there - most of whom were sent to Masanjia over the past decade as punishment for petitioning - the article documents dehumanizing treatment in an institution where power can be exercised with near complete impunity. ... The article is remarkable for its detailed descriptions of conditions at Masanjia and its corroboration of detainee accounts by labor-camp staff. Coming from Lens, a mainland publication owned by the publishers of popular financial magazine Caijing, the report arguably lends concern over RTL abuse more weight and traction inside China than reports by Western media or NGOs. Human rights organizations have reported the appalling conditions in RTL facilities before, and many of the accounts of torture at Masanjia echo allegations that have been raised for many years by practitioners of Falun Gong, banned by the Chinese government in 1999. In late 2012, Masanjia was named in mainstream Western media after an Oregon woman opened a box of Halloween decorations to find a letter apparently enclosed by a detainee at that women’s RTL facility. The letter described workers laboring for long hours with little rest and nearly negligible pay in order to avoid torture or abuse. Once online, the Lens story created an immediate sensation. A slightly shortened version of the article was the most-read item on four major Chinese news sites. According to analysis (subsequently deleted from the Internet) by the “Public Opinion Monitoring Office” of People’s Daily Online, by noon on April 8, at least 420,000 had participated in online discussion of the report. The story could be found on more than 200 news sites and web forums, and it was discussed in 16,000 microblog posts, up from just over 200 the day before. Discussion has been overwhelmingly negative and has strengthened calls for the abolition of RTL and better oversight of the criminal justice system. Based on the data, analysts predicted that the public would become increasingly incensed and warned relevant authorities to “pay close attention to the potential for further developments.” Official responses to the allegations have so far been mixed. On the one hand, authorities in Liaoning announced that they would form a special investigative team, including members of the media and the local people’s congress, to look into the charges. ... On the other hand, officials from the Central Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party reportedly issued instructions on April 9 prohibiting media outlets from “reposting, reporting, or commenting” on the Masanjia story. In response, many websites have pulled the article, although, at present, most of the Lens report remains openly available online (Source: Anon 2013b, np link).

[Mr Zhang] had been freed from the camp by the time the letter he risked his life to write was discovered, but ... told CNN he is grateful that Ms Keith helped shine a light on the appalling conditions there (Source: Anon 2013, np link).

Freed from Masanjia but still haunted by the nightmare, Zhang has lived quietly in Beijing. When his long-forgotten letter was discovered by Keith and made news last year, he was as surprised as everyone else. He sent a new letter to Keith through a friend, thanking her profusely for her 'righteous action that helped people in desperation achieve a good ending' (Source: PENGLAIMACHINERY 2013, np link).

References / Further Reading

Allen, M. (2012) Chinese labor camp worker hides letter for help in Halloween decorations sold in US. 25 December ( last accessed 3 November 2013)

Anon (2012a) Secret note found in Kmart holiday decorations reveals labor camp horrors. 27 December ( last accessed 3 November 2013)

Anon (2012b) The Situation Room. 28 December ( last accessed 06 November 2013)

Anon (2012c) Has Obama's big spending also bought American silence on Chinese prison camps? news.investors.com26 December ( last accessed 17 June 2014)

Anon (2012d) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

Anon (2013a) Labor camp inmate thanks Oregon mother who found note exposing horrors suffered by prisoners inside Halloween decorations. Daily Mail 7 November ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

Anon (2013b) Magazine exposé reinvigorates calls to end RTL. Dui Hua Human Rights Journal 11 April ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

bgill (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

brixeyb (2012) Comment on kevink (2012) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

broniszewski, s. (2014) Comment on NTDTV (2012) Woman finds hidden letter from Chinese labor camp inside Kamart product. 28 December ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

ChinaForbiddenNews (2013) NY Times interviews author of SOS letters. 13 June ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

DoctorPlausible (2013) Comment on NTDTV (2013) Woman finds hidden letter from Chinese labor camp inside Kamart product. 28 December ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

DouglasKC (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

drake, j. (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Forever Liberty (2012) Comment on kevink (2012) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

HiTech RedNeck (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Hunt, A. (2013) The holidays are coming … time to stock up on slave made goods from China? 11 October ( last accessed 03 November 2013)

Jacobs, A. (2012) Cry for help from China labor camp. New York Times 11 June ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

KC_Lion (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

kevink (2012) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

KnivesOfTheRound (2013) Comment on Rodriguez, J. (2012) Oregon woman finds HELP letter note in Kmart Halloween decorations 29 December ( last accessed 4 November 2013)

left that other site (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Lewis, W. (2013) Image: Note from enslaved Chinese worker put in product & sold in a Kmart in Oregon. elephant 13 June ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

Libera_me (2012) Comment on kevink (2012) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

Logan, S. (2012) Comment on Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Malkin, S. (2012) Woman finds shocking letter in halloween decorations. 29 December ( last accessed 4 November 2013)

Mercier, C (2013) China’s pledge to curb forced labour camps raises hopes, doubts. CBC News 31 January ( last accessed 3 November 2013)

mikell (2012) Comment on Anon (2012d) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 30 June 2014)

Murray, L. & Grigg, A. (2013) A very poor effort. Australian Financial Review 29 June ( last accessed 3 November 2013)

NTDTV (2012) Woman finds hidden letter from Chinese labor camp inside Kamart product. 28 December ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

PENGLAIMACHINERY (2013) Secret letter from Chinese inmate letter hidden in Halloween decorations a political prisoner. 17 November ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

Pow, H (2012) Plea for help from Chinese labor camp worker paid $1.61 per MONTH found stuffed in Oregon woman’s Halloween decorations from Kmart. Daily Mail 27 December ( last accessed 03 November 2013)

richardson, j. (2013) Comment on NTDTV (2012) Woman finds hidden letter from Chinese labor camp inside Kamart product. 28 December ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

Sockey, T. (2013) comment on NTDTV (2012) Woman Finds Hidden Letter from Chinese Labor Camp Inside Kamart Product,, 28 December ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

St.Nikao, (2012) Comment on Hey, S. (2012) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 26 October ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Stark, R. (2012a) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 3 November 2013)

Stark, R. (2012b) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 23 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Swills (2012) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 25 December ( carry-haunting-message-forced-labor.html last accessed 27 September 2013)

vcwc77 (2013) Comment on NTDTV (2012) Woman finds hidden letter from Chinese labor camp inside Kamart product. 28 December ( last accessed 12 June 2014)

Williams, O. (2013) 'The smell of burning flesh filled the room’: Workers reveal hellish conditions in Chinese labour camp where man hid letter pleading for help that was found U.S. store’s decorations box. Daily Mail 13 June ( last accessed 3 November 2013)

Wrabbit2000 (2012) Comment on Anon (2012d) Halloween decorations carry haunting message of forced labor. 24 December ( last accessed 27 September 2013)

Compiled by Harry Marriot, Alex Partington, William Finley, Milly Bowen, Sarah Murray, and Jenny Sharp, edited by Jennifer Hart and Ian Cook (last updated June 2014). Page created for as part of the ‘Geographies of Material Culture’ module, University of Exeter. Product photo reproduced under Creative Commons license from here.