Fake Richmonder visits the fortune teller in City Hall’s basement

Fake Richmonder relays information learned from a recent visit to a fortune teller about Richmond’s spooky future.

It’s the end of October, and with the crisper air comes one of Richmond’s very favorite times of the year: Halloween.

You may not know this, the City of Richmond has had a fortune teller on retainer for about a century. Her office is located in City Hall’s basement right next to the Falconry Department, and she’s occasionally called on to suggest who would be a good draw for Friday Cheers or to speculate where an HVAC unit is about to break down. It’s a little known fact that as a citizen of Richmond, you’re legally allowed to visit her whenever you like.

I, Fake Richmonder, went down there to get some spooky predictions for what a Richmond Halloween will look like in the future.

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After a group of preschool-aged bandits take over the area’s biggest pumpkin patches, parents will ultimately mobilize a force to keep the children at bay (the force will threaten to remove Minecraft apps from all devices), but it will take a few seasons of careful farming to get the pumpkins back to their original numbers. In the meantime, people will plant pumpkins on backyards, medians, rooftops, and abandoned growler stores. Richmond will be forced to rely on what will be known as “Pumpkin Patch Pop-Ups.”


Almost every elementary school in the Richmond Public School system will ask for community volunteers to help with their Harvest Parades. Schools will ask that parents and volunteers not bring chocolate, nuts, or sugar. So, basically everyone will have to bring pencils to hand out. But not #2 pencils. That will be a thing, too.


The Haunted Virginia Capital Trail event will feature people dressed like zombies and monsters who jump out and knock over people on their bikes. It will not come back for a second year.


The Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival will grow in size until it’s actually a permanent village, much like those condos behind Whole Foods Market in Short Pump. Residents will enjoy food trucks, beer vendors, and dressing up their dogs like people year-round. Children will only know a life that takes place inside a bouncy castle.


Kids will start trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods again. Just kidding, they’re still going to the Fan or to a bunch of cars in a church parking lot.


At least two public schools in the southside will be sold to event planners to be used as haunted houses for four weeks of the year, still somehow costing the city $40 million.


We will tell our grandchildren that Harvest used to be called “Halloween,” and kids walked around their own neighborhoods without their parents and went to any house with an outside light on for candy, and all those kids knew their neighbors’ names. Our kids will be like “Sounds cool, but now my favorite show can be beamed directly into my brain.” And we’ll be like, “Crap, you’re right, that is better.”


A teenage girl will finally ask “Why are we calling things Harvest Festivals and not Halloween parties?” She’ll be vilified and run out of the city, only to be taken in by the Peoples Halloween Alliance, an underground group trying to reclaim the holiday. Actually, I’m not sure if that was a prediction or the gist of a YA novel the fortune teller is writing. It was really hot in that basement and hard to pay attention after a while.


Thanks to a new law that allows us to elect local officials through a Best of Richmond survey, the next mayor will be a bucket of oysters wearing a Richmond 2015 hat.

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