For the past three years, the residents of Alderwood Estates Retirement Centre in Witless Bay looked forward to dressing up and scaring the kids in their town with a haunted house.
But this year, because of restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that wasn’t possible, so they decided to record a music video.
Alderwood Estates recreation director Renee Houlihan said they rewrote the song “Finnegan’s Wake” to reflect the time of year.
“(It’s) ‘Finnegan’s Wake,’ but a nightmare version,” she said. “Everything in the video is the opposite of what it would be at a wake. So, the people in it are dead, there’s snakes and worms and all sorts of reptiles crawling all over them.”
“It was just such a beautiful group effort on behalf of the shore to set these seniors up for an amazing, rollicking video. I don’t see how all of these elements could have come together anywhere else but outport Newfoundland.”
As soon as the project was thought of, members of the community were on board to help, Houlihan said.
“Right away, we had a band,” she said. “Then we had to get the keys to the funeral parlour, the keys to the hearse, we had to meet the mortician who owns the funeral parlour. He brought out these make-up kits and did the seniors' make-up to make them all look dead.”
Members of the community volunteered to film it, and families volunteered to help with make-up as well.
“It was just such a beautiful group effort on behalf of the shore to set these seniors up for an amazing, rollicking video,” Houlihan said. “I don’t see how all of these elements could have come together anywhere else but outport Newfoundland.”
The residents' sense of humour is so strong, the notion of a 94-year-old pretending to be dead in a casket, while reptiles crawled all over him, was simply hilarious to them, she said.
“They love surprising people with their competency, their humour and their vibrancy,” Houlihan said.