Kathleen Duncan leads a double life.

By day, she’s a mild-mannered member of Edmond Public School’s Board of Education.

But on one night each year, the spookiest night of the year—Halloween—she twitches her nose and turns into her alter ego, “The Mulholland Witch.”

Each year, for the past four years, Duncan’s yard and house, her “haunted” house, are transformed during the weeks leading up to Oct. 31. She began her new career after she retired from her position as an assistant district attorney.

Duncan really gets into her character, dressing up like a witch from head to toe, complete with ghoulish green face paint.

“The first year, I dressed up as a witch at Halloween and stood on my front porch, stirring my grandmother’s old black iron wash pot, it was such a hit with the children that the neighborhood parents requested that I do a repeat performance the next Halloween,” Duncan said. “I am now considered the local resident Halloween witch for our addition.”

By early October, neighborhood residents begin driving by to take a gander at the Duncan house.

Over the years, she has kept adding a skeleton here, a skull there.

The interest has gotten eerily higher.

“If I am late putting up the decorations, I start getting complaints from the neighbors,” she said.

Duncan said she has always enjoyed working with children, especially during holidays.

She estimates that well over 170 children visit her “haunted” house each year.

“On Halloween night,” Duncan said, “I stand next to my pot, stirring my witch’s brew, beckoning children up to the door in a witch’s squeaky voice saying, “Come here little children, would you like to taste my witch’s brew or eat some bat wings or frog eyes or lizard tails?”

Children who are brave enough to come up to the porch get treats from Duncan’s daughter, Heather Hoffhines, Duncan’s “Assistant Witch in Waiting.”

As part of her ongoing campaign for healthier lifestyles, Duncan offers the little ghosts and goblins healthy treats like apples.

Hoffhines, pursuing a master’s in nutrition, suggested the fiendish idea.

“Since I’ve been ‘nagging’ the school district about healthier foods, I thought it would only be fitting to carry the trend over to Halloween,” Duncan said with a devilish glint in her witch’s eye.

Joining Duncan and Hoffhines in the production is Hoffhines’ husband, Adam Hoffhines.

The children go ape over his gorilla suit, Duncan said.

He said he enjoys watching their reaction to the spooky surprises.

“It’s a real spectacle,” he said. “People gawk at it.”

Duncan said that all year long, neighborhood children call her “The Witch.”

In spite of the creepy sound effects and the usual Halloween decorations, only one child was scared into a blood-curdling scream, Duncan said.

Tonight, when the moon is full, and the dog barks twice, look for “The Mulholland Witch” and have a safe and haunting good time.

(Education reporter Mark Schlachtenhaufen may be reached via e-mail at ms@edmondsun.com)


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