The family of Mark Loveday, a 38-year-old Jehovah’s Witness from Lewisham, South London, was today regretting his ever having opened the front door to trick-or-treaters after he became embroiled in a painful three-hour discussion about the true meaning of the festival and its significance to modern society.
‘He should really have known better,’ said his wife Abigail, today. ‘It’s not as if they don’t stand out the way they dress up especially to go door-to-door, and there’s always at least two of them, though only one ever does the talking. Poor Mark thought he might be able to talk them out of a few of their misguided beliefs, but his ‘Have you heard the good news about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ was no match for their dogmatic chanting of ‘trick or treat’.’
Abigail tearfully relayed that as the conversation progressed, her husband cautiously suggested that the callers’ shortage of confectionery may be a sign of God’s disapproval at their way of life. ‘But they simply threatened to egg him and smash the car windows,’ she said of the two nine-year-olds. ‘They had an answer for everything, but then I don’t suppose you go out walking the streets in the dark and the cold unless you passionately believe in the truth of what you’re doing.’
After several hours, the discussion finally began to take its toll on Mark. ‘I could see him thinking, ‘This is my house. I shouldn’t be a prisoner in my own home, afraid to open the front door,’ all the while smiling patiently and periodically checking his watch. He even tried to give them a copy of The Watchtower, anything to get rid of them, but they just wouldn’t take the hint.’ The siege finally ended with Mark agreeing to buy the trick-or-treaters two giant packets of Haribo each from the all-night garage, but by the time he returned the boys had been collected by their parents and grounded for staying out way past their bedtime.
But the experience proved to have a lasting effect on Mark. ‘As he sat there eating his way through those sweets instead of the dinner that had gone cold,’ recalled Abigail, ‘he began to think that maybe the encounter was a test, and only the 144,000 bound for Christ’s kingdom would pass. And by the end of the fourth bag of Haribo, his face filled with a heavenly glow, he was certain that the ghouls and witches openly walking the earth and buying rizla and crisps from the Texaco must be the coming of Armageddon.’ Sadly the heavenly glow proved to be glucose poisoning, and Mark died shortly afterwards when his wife refused to allow him a blood transfusion.