By BRIAN GRAVES
The downtown branch of the Bank of Cleveland might now be called the "BOO-nk of Cleveland," at least till the end of the month, as the spirits of Halloween have taken over.In what used to be a movie …
The downtown branch of the Bank of Cleveland might now be called the "BOO-nk of Cleveland," at least till the end of the month, as the spirits of Halloween have taken over.
In what used to be a movie theater which probably saw the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Mummy in its heyday, the witches have now taken control of the lobby decor.
Senoir Vice President Christy Goza said the bank is keeping with a spook-tacular tradition that goes back to a dark and stormy night long, long ago.
"We decorate every Halloween and we've always done that because of the annual block party downtown," Goza said, brushing away the cobwebs as she walked through the lobby. "It's always been a very big deal for all of the businesses downtown."
She said there is always a display in the window, and the elementary schools are invited to participate in the yearly Painted Pumpkin contest. This year's winners will be tricked ... uh, rather treated Thursday, Oct. 26.
"All of the kids that participate come to the party we throw for them here on the week of Halloween," Goza said, interrupted briefly by a bat swooping down from the ceiling. "There are usually 100 kids here for that. They like the cobwebs and the decorations, and we usually throw popcorn all over the lobby."
She said the theme changes from year to year.
"This year, our lobby has been cursed by a group of witches," Goza said as the eyes in the portrait of Tall Betsy followed her every move.
Goza said the "ghosts" who haunt the bank usually dress like staff members who help with the decorations and bank business.
"Some of them are better at cobwebs than others," she said as a wolf howled in the background. "But, it's a little more colorful usual this year."
She added sometimes the "ghosts" have some fun by swiping the witch's hat or "putting the scary mouse in somebody's office chair."
"They show back up, eventually," she said.
Goza said the spirits always depart just in time for the bank's iconic Christmas train to make its way down the track, with this year's departure time scheduled for sometime in November.
Bank of Cleveland Chairman and CEO Scott Taylor was not available for comment. He was rumored to be on a business trip ... opening the new Transylvania blood bank.
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