Witches of Goodland: Spooky coven parades through village pre-Halloween

Lance Shearer

In Spain, the city of Pamplona has the Running of the Bulls. On Marco Island, Goodland has the Carting of the Witches.

A very Goodland event took place on Sunday evening. Dozens of local ladies, revealed as witches, dolled themselves up in their spooky finery and paraded around the village, going from watering hole to watering hole. The Goodland Witches have been doing this for many years, although exactly how long the tradition has extended is shrouded in the mists of history.

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Basically, the outing amounted to a pub crawl with pointy hats and broomsticks – “girls dressing up and having fun,” said participating witch Noreen Seegers. While not using their brooms for transportation, a surprising number of the witches seemed to have one hand for the broom handle, and one for a cold beverage.

The coven consisted of about four dozen witches of all ages, in a wild variety of styles and colors, although black predominated, as one might expect for a Halloween prequel. In addition to decorating their outfits with spiders, skulls, tattered lace and black cats, the witches tricked out the golf carts they used to make the rounds in with appropriately spooky decorations, including full-sized skeletons.

One golf cart had a skeleton, apparently drinking a Margarita, riding in a lawn chair atop its roof. Sherri Morrison, in a witch outfit somewhere “My Fair Lady” and a pink flamingo, also included the skeleton of a cat next to its equally bony human on the back of her cart.

The group made their first stop at Stan’s, where the regular Sunday afternoon blowout was in progress. They made quite a splash with their entrance, doing the “Oh–Eee–Oh” chant from “The Wizard of Oz,” took over the dance floor, and did a little witchy dancing. “Head dance witch” Angie Moore, who teaches dance even when not in witch mode, led the dances and gave the group a few pointers ahead of time.

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From Stan’s, they paraded over to the Crabby Lady, followed by Paradise Found, before finishing up at the Little Bar. At Paradise Found, servers brought out Fireballs for the group, and the Little Bar, where the group took over the street for a major dance number, furnished the ladies some sort of potion in test tubes.

Margie Fortune denied the group had anything as formal as a leader – that independent Goodland streak coming out – but did confess to acting as “Mother Witch.” Laurie VanDorn and Amanda Tessarzik went with purple as their dominant color, Loren Seaman was a blue-haired Egyptian witch, and one good witch, Carol Lewandowski, was garbed all in white.