For Gerri McDonald, the bigger fright came after she finished watching the horror film “Poltergeist” early Wednesday morning.
“Bang! Bang! Bang!” Something was being thrown or fired at the side of her home on the main road in Holyrood.
She jumped out of bed and rushed to a front window.
She pulled up a blind and was greeted with another bang.
“My God, I didn’t know what it was,” McDonald recalled, sitting at her kitchen table less than 12 hours later.
She ran outside to see what was happening, but she didn’t see anything out of the ordinary — until she turned to go back inside. The house had been peppered with more than two dozen orange splatters from what appears to be a drive-by paintball shooting.
“I was kind of actually relieved to see it was paintballs and not something scarier,” McDonald admitted.
She called the Mounties and the responding officer told her she wasn’t alone. Other houses in Holyrood had been hit, and properties along Route 60 in Conception Bay South had also been targeted.
Because there were other victims of the vandalism, McDonald said she believes it was a random Halloween prank. She says no one has a reason to target her.
While she was relieved it was paintballs and she’s confident it wasn’t personal, McDonald is not happy and she figures her landlord will be even more rotted. The paintballs left holes and the siding will have to be repaired.
“I’m lucky they didn’t break out the windows because the force (with which) they hit was really strong,” she said.
McDonald also wonders how the incident would have affected her young son if he had been asleep in his bed and not staying at his grandmother’s house.
“The sound was really scary hitting the house, it really was.”
McDonald hopes whoever did it — she assumes it was young people who didn’t know any better — is caught and “taught the difference.”
If the paintball perpetrators get away with it, she fears others will copy them as Halloween approaches.
Sgt. Will Dwyer of RCMP’s Holyrood detachment says they patrolled the area but didn’t find anyone.
If the culprits are caught, he said, they could be facing jail time or a substantial fine.
The police investigation is continuing.