McGregor Says: The Halloween curfew

It’s scary how many puns our columnist Jim McGregor can work into 500-words

I have been reading news stories from across our country about some cities setting an 8 p.m. curfew on Halloween this year.

The intent is that the children will be able to trick or treat but with everyone off the street early, mischief and vandalism will be considerably less.

In addition to that, there was a story about a property owner who had ordered the residents to cease and desist from putting up any exterior Halloween decorations.

The property owner eventually relented, nothing like having a TV news crew in your face to clear up a misunderstanding.

But the curfews disturb me. Going home at 8 p.m. certainly takes the edge off the celebration. Also, what about the haunting? Are ghost and goblins and witches even out that early?

I decided to investigate and talk to the spirit world. I went to one of the towns that was announcing the curfew and easily found the cemetery in the dead centre of town.

I had to sneak in, they had recently put up a fence because people were just dying to get in there.

After a search, the graves are all random, not alphabetical like the obituary column, I located Casper White. Casper is the shop steward of Local 666. I asked him about negotiating the impending curfew.

“Well, we’ve reached a dead end.We prepare for this night for months by exorcising regularly. Halloween is usually a big overtime night for us and we count on that for the Christmas layoffs when we turn things over to the ghosts of past, present and future. So this is a real financial ‘sheetkicking’ for us.” He seemed to be calm, but I could see right through him.

“Normally we send out a few spooks early, sort of a skeleton crew, to tease the trick or treaters. You know, pull some clouds across the moon to create scary shadows or run past them quickly, spinning the leaves in the air and sending a chill down their spines. We try not to make it rain so we don’t dampen our spirits. But the real haunting starts late in the evening.”

“That’s when we send out the apparitions and the howlers to scare the older kids. We are trained to invoke that fight or flight response and we enjoy watching teens screaming like little girls. But at least this downtime will give the mummies a chance to unwind.”

“This is being imposed by politicians who were never allowed candy when they were kids. Their wardens already make us pay for a haunting licence.

I put them in the same no-fun zone as fire chiefs who ban fireworks or backyard fires, they just ruin Halloween for everyone.”

At this point I chose to end the interview.

Take the kids out in costumes, collect the candy and treats, but teach them to respect your neighbour’s property and the community you live in, and, be careful with the fireworks.

At least that’s what McGregor says.

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