boo bravo

Historically a Halloween dancefloor freak, this year I sat it out. Downtown Vic’s a piece away with no night buses and sparse, expensive taxis, and the only party that looked any fun at all was a whole thirty dollars. That, and/or I am getting old, content to let last weekend’s zombie walk satisfice my ghoulish dress-up bones.

So I jockeyed for some last-minute trick-or-treat sweets then began to panic in the pumpkin-less produce section: the same grocery store selling Christmas pudding mid-September, out of the traditional gourd on Halloween. I wanted to carve a pumpkin, dammit—a front-stoop beacon for candy-frenzied children, salty seeds burning teardrop holes through my stomach.

In the past month I’ve been experimenting with squash, filling them with brown sugar, garlic and five Chinese spices, double-fisting oven mitts on Sunday afternoons. Stalking to the section, an adorable ambercup all but leapt into my arms, begging for the chance to pretend to be a pumpkin.

I am naturally biased, but oh, my lil jack-o-lantern squash turned out gorgeous. Its seeds weren’t bad, either.


Such a happy little squash.

On my way to work I pass a house on the edge of a park. It’s where I shot the lichen on the hood of a camper, otherwise notable for its early morning chimney sending homey scent my way and the one side flanked by blackberry bushes that made me sick with deliciousness all last summer.

Walking home from work yesterday, I learned this house hosts an annual haunted yard—I could see it tricked out with gravestones and elaborate displays, its awesomeness confirmed by a couple with young children debating in the driveway whether or not it was too scary, even in daylight. The adults wanted in. Their toddlers were whimpering.

I came back later, Hallows’ Even proper, to a full-scale spooky bash. Latex rotting bodies flew out of coffins, professional fireworks filled the sky, a chainsaw-wielding Leatherface tore the screams out of tweens and they handed out popcorn, coffee and hotdogs like it was… Halloween? Wow.









I’ve never seen anything like it, and asking around, I guess it’s not uncommon in BC for some crazy neighbor to go all out. There were hundreds of people there—in the yard, spilling into the street, in the adjacent park ooo and ahhing the fireworks, dashing about with sparklers, shrieking at ghost pirates and animatronic severed hands, anxious in line for fruit punch with eyeballs floating innit, with yelps and squeals and laughter peals, terror, astonishment and the occasional crapped pants.

Hell yeah. Bravo.

I hope your day was bright with dark.




  • ben

    November 4, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Nice squash! I did no carving this year.

  • Kelsey

    November 15, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I love the squash… and I had no idea the haunted yard was THAT elaborate. Awesome:)

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