Halloween Spirit Triumphs over Gloom

The weather was determined not to cooperate on Halloween, but I was not about to let some rain dampen my spirits. We were forced to scale back our plans of  a multi-yard haunt and withdrew to the relative safety of the porch. Our disappointment with the weather quickly abated as we discovered we’d be able to adapt our act for this stage quite nicely; with the added bonus that we’d be able to keep ourselves dry.

The trick ‘r treaters were a mere trickle between 5 and 6 pm but as the annual rite entered the second hour the revelers began to multiply in number. A blue police beacon cut through the fading light, informing the masses that there was candy, and perhaps a good scare, to be had.

HALLOWEEN HORROR SHOW

The dreadful duo of Gerkins and Pere held court, using the initial wave of trick ‘r treaters as a warm up.  Children, teenagers, and adults alike were all made to ascend the stairs in order to collect their holiday treat; some were reluctant while others simply refused altogether. Once on the porch the unassuming rubes were subjected to a litany of strange behavior, the likes of which included passive aggressive threats, innuendo and word play, and a bizarre dance performed by Pere.

The gruesome twosome stared silently into the eyes of trick ‘r treaters for uncomfortably long periods of time and were often seen sniffing them as well. In one instance, Pere held her cane to the throat of a nervous teenager; not to be outdone, Gerkins repeatedly informed young children of his desire to keep their mommies.

In another memorable moment, Gerkins harnessed the power of the occult and correctly produced one young man’s name. When his name fell from Gerkins’ lips the boy’s eyes bulged from his head, he backed down the stairs and began to walk to the next house; all the while his face was a tapestry of bewilderment and fear.

THE FREAKS COME OUT

Nightfall had now fallen proper which afforded us more opportunities to scare and startle trick ‘r treaters, it was then that Gerkins unleashed the full force of his macabre cabal — a tall, stalking scarecrow and a statuesque harlequin with horror in her heart.

Intermittent blasts from a fog machine shrouded the area in a dense mist, a strobe light pulsed against the wispy vapors. The Scarecrow guarded the candy with a fierce greed, he often bellowed threats at those who dared indulge. It also gave him great delight to surprise individuals and groups from behind bushes, tombstones, and idle cars.

The Clown applied a more subtle technique in her attempts to spread fear. As a mute she had not the use of speech to intimidate her prey, but was able to use this handicap to her advantage. She sat silent and still upon the stairs that led to the porch, stirring disquiet and fear in the hearts of those who dared to pass. Expertly, she lulled them into a false sense of security and when they had passed she would deftly wrap an ankle in a stone-like grip.

GERKINS, HORRIBLE GERKINS

The moonlight served to intensify the actions of Gerkins, who memorably cornered one teenager on the porch. The girl shrieked and begged as Gerkins blocked her path, her gaze momentarily fell upon the porch rail and she contemplated the jump. Gerkins would eventually relent, but mere minutes after the departure of the girl’s party the barker of old decided that he wasn’t done. He called out to her, begging her to stay and play. The girl and her friends quickly piled into a mini-van but this did not stop a determined Gerkins who pawed at the vehicle and traced a smiley face into the rain water of one window.

The creatures of the night terrorized and amused the neighborhood until the last piece of candy had been claimed, and Gerkins made sure that the trick ‘r treaters worked for each and every morsel. He chased children, admonished a foul mouthed teenager, and regaled passersby with stories from the carnivale circuit which included a memory from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, as well as a rather salacious tale that detailed his trysts with bi-sexual siamese twins.

REFLECTIONS AND PROGNOSTICATIONS

What began as a simple yard haunt mutated and took on a life of it’s own. Everybody seemed to genuinely enjoy the experience, regardless of age. It reinforced in me that desire to haunt and perform and bolstered the notion that somewhere in time I will produce a bona fide haunted attraction where guests will come to scream and be merry.

The Irrepressible, Pere.

The Irrepressible Pere.

Gerkins & Pere welcome you kindly.

Gerkins & Pere welcome you kindly.

Gerkins & The Nightmare Fuel Carnivale.

Gerkins & The Nightmare Fuel Carnivale.

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