Posted: Oct. 31, 2016


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

How nice of the two political parties to invite the country to a Halloween extravaganza.

One party nominated the Great Pumpkin for president, and the other one went with the main character in the "Rocky Horror Email Show."

Not to mention there is the shadowy presence of federal intelligence agents and spying Russian hackers lurking about. What would Halloween be without spooks?

Halloween has always been a natural for politicians. It is the one time during the year people celebrate by pretending to be something they are not and going around with their hand out.

Here in Delaware, the election has not been all that haunted, although it is not always the case.

Not every state has had a U.S. Senate race with a candidate who aired a political spot denying she was a witch. It might have been better if it had not shown Christine O'Donnell wearing black and standing in front of an eerie dark background while spooky piano music was playing.

People, think! Imagine if Bethany Hall-Long's husband had.

Dana Long was the guy the Republicans caught on videotape as he made off with their political signs on Oct. 29 during the last election, when his wife, now the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, was running for a new term as a state senator.

If Long had waited one more night, he could have tried to laugh it off. On Oct. 29, it is a political dirty trick. On Oct. 30, it could be a Mischief Night prank.

Maybe the biggest trick this campaign season came out of the election for New Castle County executive. After Tom Gordon lost his try for a fourth term to Matt Meyer in the Democratic primary, Gordon accused Meyer of failing to meet the five-year residency required for the office, but the charge went nowhere.

It made for the most unusual Halloween costume, Gordon as a sour grape.

Actually, Delaware politics always has a little Halloween in it, no matter what the time of year. This is because of Woodburn, the governor's house in Dover.

There has been talk literally for centuries of Woodburn being haunted. Tales are told of the ghost of an older gentleman, outfitted in the colonial garb of knee britches and a ruffled shirt and powdered wig, and the apparition of a little girl, dressed up in a bonnet and gingham dress.

Probably the most famous Woodburn ghost story is the phantom who takes no visible form but helps himself to bottles of wine, uncorks them and drinks them dry. Nobody knows who this swilling specter is, or was, but it certainly sounds like a legislator.

With Halloween and Election Day, this time of year is just scary. There is always the threat of the October Surprise that goes bump in the night.

Did it ever. Listen, is that a banshee shrieking? EEEEEEEEEEE-mail.