Halloween inspires student to create holiday spin-off

(Cara Smith/AQ)

Chad stood at the entrance of George Martin. He stood over six-feet-tall, enveloped in a black trench coat and with a ghostly white face topped with a black tuque. Someone with less than perfect vision and a paranoid head could imagine a Slenderman.

I galloped over to him and told him he was so fantastically spooky that I would in fact dress up as him for the upcoming Spookayla.
“What’s the hell is Spookayla?” he asked.

Spookayla is nothing but a childhood thing. It’s a dumb play on words my mother and I used, but I never like to pass up the opportunity to spew foolish lies.

“Spookayla is a spin-off of the event called All Hallows Eve or Halloween if you so prefer. In 1992, Spookayla was born as a small baby-sized cult in the suburbs of Toronto. By 2002, it gained some movement and ended up in Cape Breton. Although, I do believe some Spookayla followers have been spotted in Fredericton over the last few years.”

“You’re so full of shit,” Chad said as we walked to class.

I bailed out of class early to go cloak shopping. After watching a Halloweentown marathon on hangover Sunday, a long velvet cloak accented by purple and gold had become a priority.

I found my haven at a small thrift store. A bin of cloaks awaited my intense burrowing. After some convincing I put down three and only left with two. It’s hard to not be fiendish with so much hooded velvet.

On the walk home I was confronted by a mountain of orange in a grocery store parking lot. The purchase of a cloak demands its very own pumpkin.

I combed through the mouldy, oozing and deformed gourds until I found the one. I paid Craig whose name tag read “raig” and wished him a happy harvest. He seemed indifferent as I carried my pick atop my own pumpkin head.

That night while I was at work a co-employee asked me about my involvement is some cult. That goddamn near killed me.

My shift ended late and I was eager to crawl into bed. I laid there and planned out my Halloween -themed wedding, but just couldn’t shake my carving craving. I woke up my roommate.

The candles were lit, the knives were out, and Judas and Fatty Carson- the hamsters -were happily munching out of their skull-shaped feeding bowls.

As we pulled goopy guts we sang “Oh pumpkin tree, Oh pumpkin tree. How lovely are your seeds?”

I had made this brainless song last year when my friend came to visit for Halloween adventures. I forced her to stand in an obnoxious three hour line-up for a haunted house. While other girls were zipping up their form-fitting costumes, we were there in cloaks. She was hard hurtin’ to leave, but I was getting my five dollars’ worth of freak and it was not going to be from a dance club.

A few days later I was bopping around downtown, admiring pumpkin displays. Two little girls were stopped at a store-front window, pointing out a cat inspired jack-o-lantern.

It reminded me of my first act of Spookayla deviance.

I was 12 and it was pumpkin season. My friend and I devised a strategic plan to sneak onto a local farm and steal two of the biggest pumpkins.

We crawled on the ground military-style and our fingernails dug into the cold dirt of the patch. We grabbed the first ones we saw and ran like all hell into a ditch. No one was even around, but it was still a heart pumping, clammy-handed affair. We laid on the ground with leaves in our hair, feeling like we were going to throw up. It was fantastic.

There are few opportunities in a budding adult life to dress up in ridiculous costumes or hack all hell out of a vegetable or even get away with minor acts of thievery. I was asked to write a funny story about Halloween/Spookayla antics, but in actuality I think Halloween is pretty simple. It’s a holiday to celebrate lost childhood fun.

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