The United States Postal Service acknowledged on Friday that one of its mail carriers did not report a corpse at a Denver home because he mistook the body for a Halloween display.

“We do know the carrier delivered mail to the house that day, and he remembered seeing something he thought was related to Halloween,” it said.

“When the carrier learnt that was not the case, he was shocked and extremely upset.”

The local ABC News affiliate reported that the dead man, Dale Porch, collapsed and died on November 2 on his porch steps after returning home from his night shift job.

Relatives of Porch could not be reached for comment.

The postal service called the incident “an unfortunate situation” that probably would not have happened any other time of year.

“Our carriers have a long history of assisting customers in neighbourhoods across the country each and every day, and that holds true for our letter carriers here in Denver,” the postal service said in a statement.

The company said that the unidentified carrier was a “conscientious and dedicated employee” who remains on the job, the post office said, and any action that might be taken against him would be handled internally. – Reuters