Posted by: TomA | 1 November 2006


The other day Becky and I ventured to Chinatown for a meal. Chinatown, apparently the third largest in North America (after San Francisco and New York) is to the east of most of downtown, a block away from West Hastings and Main. This is the somewhat dodgy end of town – in fact probably the only dodgy block in central Vancouver anyway (the daily newspaper reports of fatal shootings, stabbings, kidnappings etc all seem to be in Surrey or Richmond or somewhere, which are cities in their own right and just happen to be adjacent). Anyway, all the nastiness congregates around the needle exchange on this corner. While the majority of the homeless are quite happy in the background, you get the feeling round there they like to let you know they exist. A block away however, you can see the fun, but it all feels perfectly safe.

So walking back from the Chinese, glancing down the side alleys towards the crossing of these two streets and – without exaggeration – its like a scene from a zombie movie. Abandoned shopping trolleys, flickering street lamps, sparking power lines and probably about 6 or 7 people stumbling about slowly, going no where in particular, in an undead fashion.

Having been to the somewhat disappointing Halloween party on Saturday, we headed off to Stanley Park for the ghost train for Halloween proper. Just outside there were 4 raccoons upstaging most of the people who’d dressed up. Although wild, they were rather interested in people’s shopping bags having smelt food. Caution was required though – on Saturday on the radio we heard a story about how an American woman in Washington state had been attacked by a rabid raccoon and how it had taken 5 minutes of hitting it with a shovel and several minutes of stabbing it with a kitchen knife for it to give up the fight and remove it’s teeth from this woman (who then discovered the joy in the USA health system in trying to get the required rabies jabs before she, well, died).

So that is a raccoon. The one below appeared to be sitting and waiting for a bus. Or maybe a rabid old lady to wrestle with.

Before the ghost train, we went around the Haunted Farmyard. A cunning idea, which consisted of turning the petting zoo into something Halloweeny, by adding some decorations.

The raccoons made further appearances by jumping, unscripted, from a plastic coffin before hiding in a bin, waiting for small children to terrify.

There were also evil red geese (maybe).

Becky was suitably unfazed.

The ghost train itself was very fun. The ten minute ride was based on a B-movie theme, so had great cheesy music and lots of screaming.

There was the woman from outer-space, mutant frogs, an evil moose, killer bees…

… one of which proceeded to chase and attack someone…

… as well as King Kong…

… and lots more silly things that were hugely entertaining. I had feared it might try and actually be scary and end up being really rubbish, but the only scary bit (when someone hiding beside the train jumps out in a frog costume) made me laugh, and Becky missed it entirely as she was looking the other way…. pfft!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: