Bewitched at the ball

Barbara Lawlor, Nederland.  Witches dominate the Halloween costume theme. Little girls in huge pointed hats with long fingernails and shrieking cackles. Most of them resemble the Wicked Witch of the West as she closes in on Dorothy.


Last Saturday night, October 28, 2017, the Caribou Room hosted a bevy of diverse witches, some were evil looking, some sweet, some goofy and some were hysterically funny. These alternate witches peopled the largest music venue in town, at last count there were 200 reservations and many more dropped in, parked their brooms and joined the Halloween fun.
The Fourth Annual Witches’ Ball was proof that adults also need their own space to be someone else for a night, and to be somewhere else.


The Witches’ Ball was inaugurated by the Five Weird Sisters: Kim Stefane, Kim Culver, Gail Eddy, Nancy Moon and Janette Taylor to recognize the time of year for Samhain, the most important celebration of the Pagan year. At Samhain, the veil between the present world and the world of the hereafter is said to be at its thinnest. “Therefore, we celebrate, remember and honor our ancestors and friends who have crossed over,” says Kim.


Janette Taylor led The Spiral Dance which celebrates the intertwining of those worlds, and the endless spiral of life, death and rebirth.

“This is a true community event, an opportunity to get to the heart of the “adult version” of Hallowe’en: celebration, love, laughter, and music in the most outstanding musical venue in the mountains, The Caribou Room.


As revelers entered the Caribou Room, they had time to shop in the Enchanted Market where vendors displayed their other worldly, and some very wordly, gifts and services. Karen Anderson, of Distant Star Astrology, read Tarot cards. The Kasbah, supplier of vintage treasures, sold the tiaras that seemed to be an overnight sensation as many of the guests displayed the unique jewels in the middle of their foreheads.


The moon and the sun, Claudia Schauffler and Mona Crowe, won second place with their extraordinary hats and matching moon rays and sun rays.


FoxFeather was the opening band, and Carly Ricks Smith enchanted the house with her sultry voice and intense depth of her body language. It was goose bumps from the beginning.
Janette Taylor, dressed like a pumpkin so she could be seen, led about 150 people in the spiral dance, which she said grew increasingly spirited as time went by.

The Widow’s Bane, otherwise known as the Gasoline Lollipops, exploded with their usual energy, setting the crowd into a dance frenzy of whirling dervishes, to end the action filled celebration.


When the music died down, the party concluded with a Midnight Ritual. The Ritual acknowledged and honored our ancestors, and compassion and comfort was sent out into the world.
An altar was set up to honor our beloved dead. Photos and other items were placed on the sacred site.


The evening was a grand success and you can bet it will be a favorite Halloween event for adults in years to come.


(Originally published in the November 2, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.