When I was a young lass at St. Joe’s grammar school, kids would sometimes tease me by calling me Patti Scary.
Now, I never took offense because I love scary things. Creepy B horror movies were enjoyed year round and I never missed an episode of The Munsters or Dark Shadows.
I grew up listening to early Queen (none of that Another One Bites the Dust stuff!) and painting my nails black – only on one hand though, à la Freddie. My room had not a stitch of pink or yellow or blue or any other color that felt bright and obnoxious. My favorite Star Wars character is still Darth Maul. I’ve always loved crows…a murder of crows, even better.
Although a few of the nuns took issue with my fascination with all things on the darker side, I gotta hand it to my parents. They never freaked out or lost sleep over my proclivities. Shrinks were not consulted, priests were not summoned. I wasn’t a bad kid, I just liked to eat my lunch in the cemetery (still do!)
Growing up surrounded by brooding Victorians, massive lumbering trees and plenty of weird Navy Base secrets to explore, I always knew Alameda was pretty goth. I never bought in to the quiet little island town reputation the city touted. When I grew up and moved away (London, New Orleans…but of course!) I would sometimes miss Alameda, and always around Halloween time.
Living back here as an older person, I felt driven to recapture this magic time in October on the Isle of Beguile and do my part to keep the city as haunting and slightly odd as I remember it.
In my opinion, the charms of this town rest heavily on the golden light of fall casting shadows on church towers and brisk bay breezes rustling the leaves down Central Avenue.
It’s my hope that the city will someday embrace the idea that Alameda is just plain spooky. It is my quest that Alameda should be officially deemed the Most Haunted Small Island Off the Coast of California.
For six years now my friends and I have organized and sponsored the Alameda – Haunt Your House! house decorating contest and canned food drive for that very reason.
I understand some residents worry that we already get too much “outside” attention at Halloween but some day, in a perfect world, come October all Alameda homes will be cobwebbed, pumpkined and ready to greet all kinds of ghosts and goblins.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
It’s not too late to join in the fun. Go to www.alamedahaunts.com for all the gory details.