A Halloween Prank to Remember

There’s a lineup of mourners in Bay Bulls. An older crowd from down the shore, dressed in black, pulls up by the vanload to the funeral home.

They make their way inside to pay their respects to the man lying in the casket. The thing is that Bernard King, 94, is still very much alive.

King, like all the others at Ryan’s Funeral Home, is pulling off a very different kind of wake — though one that many in Newfoundland and Labrador might find familiar.

“It’s culturally appropriate,” said Renee Houlihan, who’s worked to put all of this together as the recreational director for the Alderwood Estates Retirement Center in Witless Bay.

With the help of filmmakers Keegan Battcock and Michael Hann, Houlihan and the senior residents at Alderwood are filming a rendition of the iconic Irish folk song Finnegan’s Wake, this time reimagined in frightening Halloween form.

Renee Houlihan says the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to offer another haunted house to the public, so new plans needed to be made for this Halloween. (Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril)

“Last year we had a haunted house [at Alderwood] which was very, very popular; we had almost 600 children come through,” said Houlihan.

“Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we weren’t allowed to do that again this year, so I thought okay guys, let’s do something else.”

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people celebrate a lot of things, Halloween included.

As parents and children across the province work out the safest ways to enjoy the season, the Alderwood residents are taking the tricks and treats of last year’s haunted house right to their screens.

The popular folk song Finnegan’s Wake was the inspiration for a music video shot in a funeral home in Bay Bulls. (Rodrigo Iniguez Becerril)

As they prepare for their roles, the seniors take turns getting their faces painted in ghoulish colours, complete with dripping red blood and frizzled hair. They make playful jabs at each other’s appearance, some remarking as they…

This article was sourced from CBC.ca.

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