Volume 94, Issue 34

Tuesday, October 31, 2000


Bloodsucking good time

Sequel doesn't stack up

Woodstock full of Halloween treats

Harvey keeps progressing

Woodstock full of Halloween treats

Matt Pearson
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Growing up in Woodstock, Ontario, there weren't many things to get excited about. There was the Victoria Day parade every May, the fall fair every August and of course, the Woodshow every October.

But for a kid with glasses and a wide array of stuffed animals, nothing held the same excitement as Halloween. In fact, if you asked my mother Connie, she'd tell you that I started planning for the hallowed night as early as Labour Day.

My first memory of Halloween was dressing up like a witch. My parents always encouraged me to branch out, but I was quite a stubborn child. And besides, at that age, I would have given anything to be just like Cher – which, in my underdeveloped little mind of six years, I equated with being a witch.

The first year I dressed up as something else, was the same year that panda bears from China were making a rare appearance at the Metro Toronto Zoo. Me being a cutting edge young lad, I marched into the kitchen in early September and announced that I would be a panda.

When the morning of Halloween arrived, Mom woke up extra early in order to help me glue little white cotton balls all over my black track suit from Sears. Looking like a mirror image of the tender pandas from the zoo, I headed off to school.

Unfortunately, my panda never made it. On the playground before the morning bell, my evil nemesis/best friend Reagan Gibbons tripped me and I fell in the mud. By the time I got up off the ground, the white cotton balls were covered in mud and everyone thought I was a grizzly bear.

Trick-or-treating in my neighbourhood was always fun, even though the high number of apartment buildings cut down on the number of treats. The McKerrals, who lived on my street, always gave out delicious home baked goods with a label on them with their name, telephone number, a complete list of ingredients and a map of the neighbourhood, just in case we got lost in our own neighbourhood.

And then there were the people who lived on the corner. I don't think they liked little kids very much. Their front light was on every single day of the year and everyone knew they were always home because, let's face it, it was Woodstock and there was nowhere to go. Still, come Halloween, their lights were curiously turned off and despite repeated knocks on the door, they never answered.

Though you wouldn't expect it, my friends and I even managed to get into a little Halloween trouble sometimes. Like the time we decided to dump confetti all over someone's front lawn. We didn't have any toilet paper, so my friend Joey and I figured confetti was the next best thing.

As it turned out, we just ended up covered in little white circles of paper.

The people who owned the house caught us in the middle of our shenanigan and likely remain confused to this day as to why someone would confetti their house. After all this time, I guess it's safe to say I share their confusion.

Halloween was certainly something to get excited about when you were eight and the only good thing about the place you lived was the giant statue of a holstein cow. Come to think of it, we should have confettied the cow – that would have made one Halloween to remember.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000