98 Museums at Night : The museum awakens – 27th October 2017

Troop Icons Ghostbuster 2015Location
Paisley Museum, Paisley 19:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Somewhere in Paisley there’s possibly a foreign student from the local university who was at a loose end on Friday night and her and her friend decided to immerse themselves in the culture of the area by attending the Halloween-themed late night opening of the nearby museum. Not only is she perhaps still vainly looking in the wrong part of the building for the wooden object associated with the Titanic to complete the scavenger hunt from that night, but she’s of the firm belief that the museum hires a paranormal investigator once a year to ensure that the artefacts on display don’t react to the build-up of psychic energy caused by visitors. This level of deception is something I should feel bad about. But I don’t.

Instead I feel really good about this event. I have to admit, even leaving aside the couple of hours I had mixed this up with the alcohol fuelled student event at the town hall the same night, I wasn’t expecting much from this troop. It hadn’t been heavily promoted on our boards to encourage anyone to sign up, the organisers weren’t expecting much of a crowd and I was wary that those who did turn up would be local mehoos just in out the cold. Indeed the first two teens I encountered fell exactly into this category, nearly prompting me to about turn and head back to the changing area to de-kit. Fortunately walking in the opposite direction brought me into the main exhibit hall was stowed to the rafters with families who had actually made an effort to embrace the spirit of the event by making costumes and taking part in the activities on offer.

While the TK drew the initial crowd (mostly thanks to the showboating way he slowly descended in the wheelchair lift while I took the stairs) I was left to wander round the display cases and framed paintings scanning them with my PKE meter, which 12 hours later when I could finally recall what the abbreviation stood for I was kicking myself, poking at the headless and armless torsos dressed in vintage clothing to ensure they were indeed solid and not Focussed, Full torso class III apparitions and receiving occasional encouragement that “[I] should check the paintings, it’s always the paintings” and reports of sightings at the opposite end of the museum, the opposite direction of which I always most assuredly made a beeline for.

I much preferred this event to the equivalent at the Science Centre as the museum lacked the constant blaring music of the former allowing much more scope for interaction with the public that simply standing still for a photo. The younger boys of one extended family, spent a substantial amount of time telling me quite seriously of the ghost they had seen recently and asking how to deal with it while their sister, older by two or three years, saw right through my façade and confidentially whispered in my ear that they were big fans of Ghostbusters.

If there were to be downsides, well… it felt kind of off for the staff to nominate myself and the Stormtrooper to be the ones to pick the costume competition winners, I’m kind of glad this didn’t crop up till the very end as there could only be seven winners and there were A LOT of kids who were going to be disappointed.

It’s a rare troop that I would say was too short by half, but this definitely was. Unfortunately the museum will shortly close for the best part of four years so the opportunity to repeat it isn’t going to come along again anytime soon.

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84 Glasgow Science Centre, Halloween Party 2016 – 28th October 2016

Troop Icons BAT 2015Location
Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Noisy as hell and twice as hot, is my overriding memory of our fourth outing to the GSC Halloween Party and unfortunately with our numbers turning up to the event dwindling year on year, it’s not going to be a surprise when one of the other local costume groups muscle us out of it altogether given the unofficial photo stand opportunity set up by a rogue TK that was present.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been meaning to Batman at this event every year since we started, but it’s always been one of the few calendar occasions when Ghostbusting has been appropriate. Having finally achieved the milestone of getting the entirety of the GB Écosse contingent together last year (and of course that movie ruining it as a costume for me for the foreseeable) though it seemed that the Bat’s time had finally come…

…or it least it would have if only I hadn’t entirely forgotten the state of repair of my capes and discovered that the sole of one of the Nike Air boots had exploded while the costume was in storage, covering the majority of parts in powered yellowy-foam debris about three days beforehand.
Fortunately after some frantic cleaning, polishing and running repairs to patch up a cape to wearable standard I was ready to go and -wouldn’t you know it- the place was crawling with mini-Ghostbusters all night!

While just the three of us and Claire Mackie from the Rebel Legion were hardly going to make it onto the TV again this year, but once again this year she did the work of four costumers, interacting with the public and showing a patience and courtesy to some of the… lets say… overly-enthusiastic… kids. And adults.

One child who was enthusiastic in good way, was a tiny little girl, dressed as Batgirl. I first encountered her at the start of the evening when we were positioned near the entrance, both to greet the punters as the arrived and I suspect in a futile attempt to cool down. With the lack of fear or self-consciousness that comes naturally at that age, she quickly approached to say hello and tell “Batman” about her costume. After chatting for several minutes, she waved goodbye and started to wander away, looking back every so often to check I was still there or watching and waving back to her. Throughout the rest of the night regardless of whether we were marching back to the changing facilities, or going upstairs on the escalator (proof right there that science is real, and heat rises; somehow it contrived to be even hotter on the first floor. Luckily we didn’t dare try going to the second, lest I literally melt into a puddle) or awkwardly positioned next to one of the interactive displays whenever she’d wander by she’d stop and have the same conversation with me before waving goodbye and resuming her business, once again looking back in my direction to check I was still waving. At the end of the night, having resumed our position near the doors for people on the way out she passed me one final time and reprised this routine again. I’m not sure she didn’t think it was a different Batman every time or that maybe I looked lonely stood slightly apart from the Star Wars costumes as I was, but I appreciate her taking the time to stop on each occasion…

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78 Glasgow Science Centre, Halloween Party 2015 – 30th October 2015

Troop Icons GB 2015Location
Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Once again it was a pleasure to attend what’s now apparently being branded as Fright Night at the GSC for the third year in a row despite yet another reduction in the number of attendees (although this was deliberate due to ongoing renovation work limiting them to 2,500 ticket sales) and costumers again, but fortunately the Rebel Legion were able to bump that second figure up slightly or it would have been a poor turn out.

As with last year we were mostly contained at the entrance area and the top of the escalators on the first floor although our newly expanded trio of Ghostbusters managed a bit of a brief wander around the place as the evening went on.
Unlike last year however I experienced no hardware disasters having given the pack a bit of an overhaul in the twelve months since.  Well…  I say “twelve months” but most of that was not doing anything then rushing to complete it the week before as usual…

Also in attendance once again with their camera were the crew of The Riverside Show.

As one of the few open face costumers I have to admit to not being enamoured of being told that unlike last year, we weren’t to just wander in the back of shot but that they were looking for an on-air interview.  Fortunately Claire Mackie of the Rebel Legion stepped up to the challenge but at one point in the video you can see me visibly panic that having introduced the Ghostbusters the interviewer was now going to address us directly!
Having learned her lesson last year about avoiding being in the camera shot Julie made sure to stand behind it this time.  Unfortunately she failed to notice that we were all stood in front of a wall made of mirrored panels making her reflection quite visible as the camera pans and so chalks up yet another TV credit.

As is fast becoming tradition the skeleton band were playing on the big screen outside the building.  Unfortunately any opportunity to get the team of paranormal investigators over to eliminate them was scuppered by the same screen looping the latest Star Wars trailer (which at least 66% of the GBs in attendance are choosing to studiously avoid) all night.

I hope the event returns again next year with a greater turnout of costumers, indeed at some point I’d like to actually attend it as a member of the public. The only lesson to be learned I think is that we need to arrive earlier to ensure the staff haven’t eaten all the food by the time we go for dinner!

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