Dear Ms. Eliza Stern,
Congratulations! You have been selected as this year’s WICKED WITCH at the Haunted Hospital Carnival at St. Joseph’s General Hospital from October 27, 2006 to November 1, 2006.
In your role as WICKED WITCH, you will be responsible for making sure that everybody who visits the carnival has a scarily fun time! While a WICKED WITCH should be scary, some of our patients suffer from cardiac issues that can be set off by surprises or fear. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1) Keep your “boo”s gentle. Before you arrive at the carnival, practice saying “Boo!” in front of your family and friends. You may wish to give some indication that you are about to say, “Boo!” such as saying “I am going to say ‘Boo!’ now.” That way your “boo”s will not be too surprising.
2) Do not touch the patients. Grabbing or physically threatening the patients will almost certainly kill them.
3) Do not threaten the patients. Ordinarily, a WICKED WITCH might say “I’m going to get you” or similar. It goes without saying that we would prefer for you not to threaten the patients or indeed to reference the future at all, since some of them may not have much longer to live.
4) Wear street clothes. This will help prevent the illusion that you are a real witch.
5) In that same vein, do not say “I am a WICKED WITCH!” or similar. Please refrain from indicating you are a WICKED WITCH in any way. Simply hand out the candy and try to smile.
We’re so excited to have you on board as part of our Haunted Hospital team!
Regina R. Curmudgeon
Chair, Haunted Hospital Carnival Board
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays here at History of the Letter Towers. Every year, we have a staff costume party and hand out fun candy-based awards for the best costumes, apple-bobbing champions, and most realistic recreation of any scene from either a classic horror movie or civil war battle (<20,000 soldiers only). It’s nice to see that other places celebrate Halloween with the same gusto. The National Haunted Hospital Committee, chaired by former Senator George Mitchell, is a perfect example.
This particular subcommittee, formed at St. Joseph’s in 1998, has been a center of controversy since their incredibly successful 2005 Carnival. Dubbed “the scariest hospital you’ve ever visited, except not in the way that you should be scared our doctors will kill you, more in a sort of haunted house for 10 year-olds sort of way” in “Country Hospital Administrator Living,” St. Joe’s, led by Ms. Curmudgeon, managed to kill 14 patients between October 30 and November 2. Most of these patients were older and died of heart attacks when confronted with Curmudgeon’s “12 minutes of Horror” show. One died during the show itself because of a mishap with an iron lung and four stethoscopes. Because of this high (though not unreasonable) casualty rate, they decided to cut back on the “scariness factor” for 2006.
Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that Eliza Stern’s “Witchnurse Catgirl” costume would cause some of the older male patients to collapse from a different sort of heart attack. The Carnival has since been suspended, although the children’s ward still has a separate celebration of terrifying clowns.