“What are you gonna wear tonight for Halloween?” I asked my neighborhood buddy, Steve, who lived on Audubon Street not far from my Broadway and Spruce house in New Orleans.
Steve blurted out, “I don't know yet, “Keiffa,” - the old nickname that had been given to me by the dad of Jubi, another neighborhood buddy – “but I sure want to scare any ghosts and loonies that may be at that leaf-strewn haunted house on Audubon Blvd that has all kinds of grime and dusty cobweb on the doors and windows, as well as overgrown tree branches with Spanish Moss!
Back then as 10-year-olds, Steve and I would explore many nearby neighborhoods on weekends and summers, and had come to find out that there were some spooky things going on at an eerie looking mansion near to S. Claiborne.
As a newspaper delivery boy, I used to deliver the daily paper to this strange dude who never answered the door when I would go to make my monthly subscription collections – after the fact back then, unlike nowadays, when people have to pre-pay for home delivery.
The first time I went to this wacky scientist “Morgus'” residence on a Sunday afternoon, which just happened to be the weekend before Halloween – his full name was listed as “Momus Alexander Morgus” or “Morgus the Magnificient,” as he was known on television – his assistant, “Chopsley,” answered the door,
My Newspaper Supervisor had told me that a “Mrs. Alma Fetish” was the actual owner of the haunted house, but never could be contacted and made weird sounds when they called her to try to get Morgus to pay his bills.
Chopsly nearly grabbed me and seemed unable to talk as Morgus, with his wild bushy hair and dressed in scrubby bloody marked up rags with a broken stethoscope, then popped out to the house to scream, “I can pay you for the papers by giving you brain surgery to advance your intelligence, Ha, Ha, Ha,” in a scary tone.
Talk about being scared, as I ran away and nearly got hit on Claiborne by a car as Chopsley - with his brown scrubby clothing and with a hood over his head, as well as holding a big ax in his hands - and Morgus both retreated back into the creepy haunted house.
I told Steve all about what had happened, so we were getting psyched to do a real “Trick and not a Treat” on Morgus and Chopsley for Halloween.
So on that Halloween night, after having carefully thrown newspapers to Morgus' house during the week using my Banana Bike, Steve and I dressed up as zombies on skateboards and headed down Pine Street to Claiborne Ave.
Steve and I slowed down the skateboards as we got closer to Morgus the Madman's house – so he and Chopsley couldn't hear us – and we snuck around the back. At first, a few black cats scared us, but we proceeded to knock hard onto one of Morgus' back windows to distract them.
Next, we quickly snuck up to the front of the house and put a gooey brain-like looking mesh of actual mud-soaked pasta with white sauce in a plate near the leaf covered threshold – and this was connected to a clear fishing line, which connected to my mini-Ronco fishing pole.
Then, we rang the doorbell yelling, “Trick or Treat?!” and fled away on our skateboards holding the fishing pole with the disengaged line.
How fun it was to watch from a hidden distance while Morgus and Chopsley kept reaching for the plate that mysteriously kept being taken away from them by us ghosts!!!
Too bad we couldn't have been on one of the actual "Morgus The Magnificient" shows!