ONDBEAT: All things Halloween can really be a scream

Whether you believe in trick-or-treating at this most October time of year, to me Halloween means that one special day to slow down and ponder some of the scary things out there, real or imagined, and maybe play some pranks.

Beacon editor Jackie Torok, for example, is afraid of clowns.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Howdy Doody, Bozo, “It” or Ronald McDonald, she immediately disses any and all references to clowns. This of course only inspires her colleagues to do any and everything they can think up to litter her path with ghastly buffoons.

Week before last, for example, “JT” returned from a trip to Cleveland to find some of her thoughtful coworkers (not me) had welcomed her back by placing a clown doll under her desk and a clown mask over her bust of Nefertiti.

Just last week, someone festooned the ladies’ room with an evil rubber clown mask with sinister grinning teeth. Everyone except her saw the humor.

Last Friday night, a group of us took the Haunted Swamp Boat Tour at Shallotte River Swamp Park.

I claim reporter’s confidentiality as to whether there were clowns or anything else that “jumped up” along the tour, because that would spoil the surprise for others who might plan to take one of the available trips through Halloween Eve. Suffice it to say there are surprises around the marshy bend and Jackie survived them.

Just six miles away, an abating number of us brave souls decided to follow up our spooky boat trip by checking out the latest offerings at the ninth annual Grissettown Longwood Fire & Rescue Haunted Trail, where there are still plenty of clowns, weird critters and scary likenesses from the movies through Halloween night this year. Jackie opted out.

“Hi, Jason,” I called to one of the latter covered with a white mask as we moseyed along the trail lined with assorted spooks.

“I’m Michael (Myers),” the Evil One muttered through his mask.

Oh, yeah.

Then to get even for my unthinking mistake, he crept up from behind and stalked me as I continued along the dark and spooky path trying to catch up with my dwindling number of friends. I won’t ever forget his name again.

At the end of the journey, we caught up with a chainsaw-wielding clown clad in red-streaked coveralls and posed for a photo to post on Jackie’s Facebook page.

She later posted on Facebook she just knew “this bunch (was) going to send me a photo with a clown later tonight, And, lo, it did indeed come to pass.”

That’s how the clowning around goes at this most special time of the year.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.