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Spooks and ghosts

BY Sonny Orr Nov 10, 2021

Scary things disturb people and sometimes I give my old beating heart a little jolt when I think I see something unusual out of the corner of my eye in the darker corners of the room. I think there’s some sort of movement and I quickly look again to see what it is. It’s nothing but a shadow that didn’t move, it’s just my failing eyesight that plays tricks on me. Lately, I’ve had many more of these tricks of lights and shadows startle me, but that scary figure that pops out is just a Halloween costume hanging in the closet waiting for its annual night out. This Halloween is on a Sunday and should be a little tamer than the other years.

For the past consecutive years, winter storms have lashed those poor costumed children going door to door wishing us a scary and eventful day as they fill their bags with candy and goodies. The storm isn’t expected this year so the time to get around without having a hurricane tossing you around is a relief. In a few days, a visit to the dentist might be in order so I’m hoping that most of the goodies handed out this year will be at least healthier and won’t send you into a diabetic coma.

One notable treat is popcorn. Since corn is a vegetable and its popped version isn’t deep fried, bags of this white puffed veggie should help those who have a dietary conscious. Of course, fruits and carrots might be added to the regular fare and rebottled water tinted green or orange might jazz up the treats children are expecting. I should go around and trick-or-treat for T-bone steaks to go with the corn. But hey, it’s for the kids and the adults who don’t want to grow up.

I look back to see if there are any memorable costumes that might be recycled. But then, I remember, most of the outfits centred on some slick-looking suits that cost hundreds of dollars. I used a suit once and dressed like Lucifer and surprisingly, people bowed down to me and called me “Master”. Go figure. 

With all the latest revelations surrounding religious groups who denounce Satan and other ungodly figures, they sure have a lot of explaining to do about the latest scandals surrounding clergy and priests and their victims. Now maybe the devil is really the good guy and Halloween is his Christmas party since his opponents seem to be a lot worse than the way Beelzebub is presented.

Then again, the spirit of Halloween is becoming more sanitized with everyone wearing masks and focusing on Disney characters and other innocent icons. It takes away from the ghoulish nature of Halloween – hopefully Halloween can keep its creepy side alive. Who knows? Maybe the scariest costume will involve a white collar or a papal crown this year.

Since Halloween is supposed to scare the living daylights out of you and its intent is to keep you as scared as possible so that you don’t turn into a little devil or imp later in life, becoming someone who isn’t you might help your secret desire to be that person. 

Maybe being a deranged serial killer might perk some heads up, but who knows what they look like? It could be that sweet old lady next door, or the kindergarten teacher who seems so chirpy when she talks, or that guy who is always pushing ice cream cones at the corner store. You’ll never know until someone notices that you didn’t make it home from that giant bingo game last night. 

Anyways, I hope you don’t get too creeped out and chew on carrots for this Halloween, after all a carrot is orange and tastes way better than a slice of pumpkin.

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.