Hallowe’en throughout the ages has been a time for both celebration and superstition, candy and costumes, and revelry and high jinxes. But for me it has always been a time that is a reminder of some Hallowe’en fun that almost awry.
It was the fall of my first teaching assignment and my first year of living in the community which would become my home for the next 44 years. Some of my new friends and colleagues felt we should venture out for some adult fun and treats, but it was paramount that no one should recognize us. After all, we were in a small community and word would quickly spread that the teachers were out having fun when they should be home planning lessons.
To avoid detection we wore nylon stockings pulled over our heads (which meant I couldn’t wear my glasses, an unfortunate miscalculation on my part). We also cut a small hole for our mouth, not for speaking purposes (that reveal our identities), but for the purpose of using a straw to sip our drinks. Our sign “Drinks or Tricks” said it all!
Off we ventured on foot to visit some homes where we felt the inhabitants would be receptive to our request. After an hour or so of some good-natured fun and with our secret identities still intact, we decided to call it a night. Little did we know that the real excitement was just about to begin!
As we crossed a street, a vehicle’s headlights suddenly snapped on, catching us all by surprise. This was followed by a flashing red light. It was the constabulary! Everyone scattered as we still wanted to avoid being identified.
Unfamiliar with my surroundings and unable to see without my glasses, I became separated from the group and had no idea in which direction to proceed. Somewhere off in the distance the screech of a wire fence being stretched and then snapped by the stampeding force of panicked revellers rang through the cold night air.
Meanwhile I headed for the first haven I spied, an old garden shed. I scrambled to the far side where I planted my back against the wall, panting like some convicted criminal on the run from the law. My fear escalated when a spotlight began to beam erratically about the yard searching for culprits. I almost fainted when a low male voice boomed through a megaphone, “Come on out! We know you’re out there and we have you surrounded!”
As fearful as I was, I wasn’t about to give myself up and face humiliation. So I didn’t move, I didn’t flinch, I scarcely dared to breathe.
After what seemed to be an eternity, the local “town cop” and his sidekick got tired of waiting and left, which allowed my husband and my friends to pick me up.
The next morning at coffee row, the story circulated that the local law enforcement had successfully chased some hooligans from a neighbouring town out of our community before they could do any damage.
For many years after that night, our group chuckled about our escape from the law and kept our secret to ourselves. But now the rest of you know what happened one Hallowe’en night many years ago in a sleepy little Saskatchewan town.