Happy Halloween! In honor of Halloween I wanted to share a fun story I found in the Sisters’ Monrovia diaries from 1950. The entry showcases the joyful spirit of the Maryknoll Sisters who took some time out of their busy days of helping tuberculosis patients to have a little fun.
At evening recreation we had a Halloween party. We met on the convent porch and proceeded in a body to “Nazareth.” The room was in total darkness, save for the decorations. Sr. St. Dominic [Kelly] conducted the tour, telling us of the characteristics of each spook. Over the television set was a large ugly face: none other than Grumpus Wumpus himself. His long arms (the “soaker” from the garden) extended about ten feet on each side. His huge hands (garden gloves) bore suspicious red stains that looked like blood. At the fireplace we met two more eerie creatures: a small skeleton on one side, and “Marley’s Ghost” on the other.
Further on, Bluebeard and his wife awaited us. She had an ugly gash on her otherwise beautiful face. Bluebeard’s face was square in shape (a small-sized pillow). His eyes, (painted on cardboard with the use of phosphorous paint) stared horribly. Two mop heads, one attached to each side of his “head,” sufficed for “hair.” His beard was of blue yarn. He was not the kind of creature that one would care to meet in the dark.
From beneath the table came “the old boy himself,” wearing a black costume with paper flames pinned to his suit. His false face was “the real thing” – satanic to say the least. He carried a noisemaker (reminding us of departures at the Motherhouse) that squawked raspingly. The door prize was won by Sr. Catherine Cecilia [LeBlanc]. We played games and drew for the stunt that each of us had to do, as well as our fortunes. After eating our share of doughnuts and yellow and black candy, we drank cider and munched peanuts. Everyone said it was a very good party.