How would Halloween, John Carpenter's 1978 film, play out in Scotland?
Police are baffled after receiving a report of an alleged attempted murder in the quiet Haddonfield area on Halloween night, and are warning the public to be on the lookout for a potentially dangerous masked man who was described by a witness as “The Boogeyman”.
Local teenager and unlicensed babysitter Laurie Strode raised the alarm late on Halloween Night, calling 999 and claiming that a masked individual had attacked and tried to murder her. Miss Strode insists that the attacker was the folklore figure known as The Boogeyman, and furthermore, that he is supernaturally unstoppable and impervious to physical injury. Miss Strode is being held for further questioning as well as a full psychological evaluation.
Miss Strode’s bizarre version of events was later upheld by local psychiatrist Dr Sam Loomis, who named twenty-one-year-old Michael Myers as the perpetrator of the attacks. Dr Loomis, who claims to have arrived on the scene just in time to save Miss Strode’s life, told officers that Myers was formerly a patient of his at local mental health facility Smith’s Grove Sanatorium, where he claims Myers had been a resident since murdering his sister when he was six years old.
“I met him, fifteen years ago,” Dr Loomis told officers in a dramatic statement. “I was told there was nothing left; no reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, of good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized that what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil.”
Dr Loomis continued in this overly theatrical fashion, claiming that Mr Myers had in fact recently escaped from Smith’s Grove Sanitorium, but when asked how such a supposedly dangerous individual could abscond from a secure facility, he declined to comment, saying only, “I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall; not seeing the wall, looking past the wall; looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. Now, you can either ignore it, or you can help me to stop it.”
At this point, Dr Loomis produced a handgun, whereupon he was immediately judged by the attending officers to be a danger to himself and others and forcibly pacified and before being arrested on charges of possession of a firearm. He may also face charges of vigilantism, wasting police time, and will be evaluated for mental illness due to his insistence on addressing officers as ”sheriff” and his claims that he shot the alleged attacker six times to no effect. Dr Loomis’s account was thrown into further doubt when no body of the alleged attacker was recovered at the scene.
In a strange twist, however, staff at Smith’s Grove Sanitorium, verified that a patient named Michael Myers had indeed escaped the previous evening, and are still being quizzed about the apparently lax security at the facility. Pending an official investigation, the hospital may face charges of gross negligence and endangerment to life.
The incident has also generated a furore from the online community, notably from users on popular parenting site Mumsnet, who have lambasted the parents of the children Miss Stroud was babysitting for using an unregistered childminder. One user, going by the username Partick_Super_Maw commented, “See whit happens when ye use a daftie to look eftir yer weans? Either the lassie’s a pure Walter Mitty, or they near got stabbed by some big bam in a mask and boiler suit. Pure shockin so it is man!”
While police believe this may have been a Halloween trick or treat prank gone wrong, they have nevertheless released a description and artist's impression of Michael Myers (right). He is described as being six to seven feet tall, of stocky build, unkempt hair, dressed in bloodstained overalls and wearing a white face mask. He may or may not also be carrying a large butcher’s knife. If you see anyone matching this description, we urge you not to approach them, and to call 101 immediately.
Inspector Susan Gillon of Safer Communities remarked, “This incident highlights the dangers posed by opening your door to strangers prior to checking they have a legitimate reason for being there.
“Always check who is at your door by looking out your window or speaking to the visitor prior to opening your door. If you open your door please keep your security chain or bar on until you are happy with your caller and confirmed their identity. Do not let strangers into your house, if you are uncomfortable or scared phone 101.
“Alternatively if you are a ghoul out trick or treating make sure and go with an adult and/or your carer knows where you are going and when you will be back. Don’t go alone and always stay as part of the group.
“Don’t go into houses, stay on the doorstep where your responsible adult can see you. Respect people's privacy if they do not want to take part in trick or treating, only knock or ring once. Don’t go out too late at night, and be careful crossing roads in the dark. Also, take a torch or wear reflective clothing so that cars can see you. And finally, eggs and flour are for baking, don’t throw them!
“Ensure you have lots of fun and report anything suspicious immediately.”
Police Scotland would like to issue the following safety messages this Halloween
- Stay in well-lit areas and consider carrying a torch.
- Don't frighten elderly people or younger children.
- Don't enter a house unless you know the person. Young children should always be with an adult. Older children should ensure they are with friends.
- If a sign says 'No trick or treat', respect that person's wishes and move on.
- Be visible, it will be dark and it's important that passing traffic can see you.
- If you have a mobile phone, make sure you look after it so that parents/guardian can keep in touch.
- Tell your parents or guardian where you are going and what time you will be back.
- If you are given money keep it hidden away in a wallet or clothing.
- Remember that it might be raining so wear appropriate clothing that keeps you dry but still lets you show off your costume.