“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That’s what I thought. So I decided to dress up and terrorise all those little bastards who try and do it to me every bloody Halloween,” explains Barry Arboghast, who caused widespread panic in Eastleigh this Halloween by dressing as a monster and chasing gangs of trick-or-treaters. “I just got sick and tired of having eggs thrown at my house by gangs of kids – they made my life a misery. I wouldn’t have minded so much if they’d even had decent costumes, but they used to knock on the door dressed as the likes of Spiderman, Teletubbies, cowboys or Amy Winehouse, even. What have any of those got to do with Halloween, for God’s sake? Was it any wonder I told them to piss off and slammed the door in their faces?” Police were first alerted to the forty four year old cheese salesman’s reign of terror after receiving reports of a semi-naked man exposing himself to young women in a local park. “It was horrible, this maniac lurched out of the bushes moaning and trying to grope me,” claims twenty three year old Sally Whacker, describing her ordeal. “All he was wearing were a few strips of cloth! Luckily, he didn’t seem to be able to run – he just shuffled after me – so it was easy to get away from the filthy pervert.” According to Arboghast, such complaints were simply the result of a misunderstanding. “Being a fan of classic horror flicks, I decided to dress up as the Mummy, not the sub-Raiders of the Lost Ark Steven Somers version, but the proper 1940s type bloke swaddled in bandages,” says Arboghast, who is currently on police bail, pending an appearance before his local Magistrates’ Court. “Now, rather than following the conventional route of going round as part of a gang knocking on doors, I elected to go it alone, lurking in darkened alley ways, ready to jump out and terrify passing gangs of trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, chasing those pesky kids proved difficult due to the fact that it was impossible to move faster than a shuffle in those bandages.” Consequently, Arboghast found himself taking quite a pelting from roving gangs of trick-or-treaters, his nice clean bandages soon becoming egg and flour stained. “Clearly, a rethink was necessary,” he concedes. “Recalling that in some of the later 1940s mummy movies the bandaged one seemed to spend a lot of time lurking in foliage, I elected to retreat to the local park, and try lurching out of the bushes at passing trick-or-treaters.” He vehemently rejects allegations that he attempted to expose his genitals to female passers-by. “That’s absolutely ludicrous – it takes forever to unwrap enough bandages to expose your penis in that costume,” he declares. “As I found out when I had to take a leak. As for taking a dump – I don’t think I’ll ever get the stains out.”

By the time police arrived at the park, Arboghast had already moved on. Deciding that the mummy costume was too much of a liability, he’d returned home and swapped it for a more suitable guise. “The Wolfman is far less restricting – just a hairy face, hands and feet with ordinary clothes, really,” he says. “The costume was far easier to chase kiddies in, not to mention being quite a bit scarier than the mummy.” He also decided that it was time to call in reinforcements, namely his friend ‘Big Derek’ Tittler. “He opted for the classic Frankenstein’s Monster outfit, complete with bolts in the neck and asphalt spreaders’ boots,” recalls Arboghast. “Unfortunately, we had a bit of a dispute as to our strategy – ‘Big Derek’ wanted to hang around the park, whereas I favoured going back on the streets.” After half a bottle of vodka, Derek was persuaded to see reason, and the pair proceeded to roam around the town, terrorising any groups of children they encountered. “We caught one lot trying to extort sweets from an old lady – we chased them all the way back to their front door,” he chortles. “They were crying like babies, begging us to stop as we pelted them with eggs! If nothing else, they won’t be able to wear those bloody fairy costumes again next year – they’ll still be trying to get the yolk out!” By this time the police, not surprisingly, had been alerted to this new wave of attacks. “We’d had reports that a group of seven year olds visiting their grandmother had been assaulted by a gang – the old lady suffered a near fatal heart attack when she saw what was happening,” says Sergeant Ron Rugbiter. “The incident then escalated into criminal damage, when the children’s house was attacked.” Arboghast hotly denies causing any damage to property, although he concedes that ‘Big Derek’ might have got a bit carried away. “I can’t deny that he threw some pumpkins we’d taken from outside other houses at their front door,” he admits. “One of them might have smashed a window – but there was no malicious intent, and he was a bit pissed at the time.”

However, the pair were again one step ahead of the police, having retired back to Arboghast’s house by the time the police arrived at the scene of the pumpkin attack. “After spending a couple of hours leaving the bastards needing a change of underwear, we needed a break,” he explains. “Besides, ‘Big Derek’ needed to sleep the other half of that bottle of vodka off before we did the night shift.” This time they were going to take the fight to the trick-or-treaters, planning to climb up drainpipes and leer in through their bedroom windows. “Just when they thought they were safe in their beds – aaaargh! The Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster were tapping on their windows!” laughs Arboghast, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes. “The looks of terror on their faces were priceless! I’m telling you – there were some beds wetted that night! In fact, there was one kiddie who I’m sure shit himself when ‘Big Derek’ tried to snarl at him through his window and instead threw up all over the glass!” By this time local residents, tired of the police’s apparent inability to apprehend the pair, formed their own vigilante mob and, armed with blazing torches and crucifixes, proceeded to hunt down the monsters. “I thought those loonies were going to lynch us – the way they were going on anybody would have thought that we were a couple of nonces,” complains Arboghast. “They’d never have caught up with us if ‘Big Derek’ hadn’t fallen through the roof of that greenhouse. I told him that drainpipe would never take his weight.” The hapless horrors were saved by the intervention of the police, who arrested them on suspicion of indecent exposure. “We’d had a report that a prowler had been exposing himself to children,” says Sergeant Rugbiter. “Apparently he’d been displaying what was described as a ‘glow in the dark penis’ through their bedroom windows.” Arboghast has vowed to fight the charges brought against himself and ‘Big Derek’. “We’re not sex pests, for God’s sake. OK, ‘Big Derek’ did. paint his todger with luminous paint, but he was drunk at the time,” he says. “But he didn’t flash anybody with it, although he did relieve himself off of someone’s garage roof at one point.” He also remains unrepentant over his antics. “Look, we were performing a public service,” he declares. “I sincerely hope that we severely traumatised some of the little bastards. With any luck they’ll still be too frightened to go around terrorising people next year!”