A spine chilling symphony of humour and horror!

By Gihansa Kurukulasooriya

Halloween-themed meeting! This was one of the most awaited gavel meetings of this year’s Gavel calendar. It was not only a Gavel meeting; it was also a funny night filled with terrifying howls and frightening wails of scary monsters. This amazing night was filled with scary and spine-chilling moments that everyone could remember for the rest of their lives which took place at night on November 1, 2023.

At first, Gavel Senior brothers and sisters formed an organising committee. I myself and Manindu Pavan were appointed as table topics master and toastmaster of the meeting, respectively. And also, we had five game masters, who were Yutharsan, Rashini, Illampoornan, Muftee, and Sharukshan. We were so excited to organise this special meeting in an interesting way.

A week before the meeting, we had a few meetings to prepare for this special event. First, we decided on a theme. Even though it is a Halloween-themed meeting, there are still various ways to have the meeting. So, we decided to have the meeting as a monster conference, and we got it as our theme.

Day by day, we gathered ideas from our organising committee members and Gavel seniors. We got ideas under three main sections: PR, games, and decorations. Simultaneously, we decided the flow of the meeting and did all the work according to that.

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On the meeting day, we went to the hall, one hour before the meeting with the decoration items we had already made. Then we started to hang them in the hall. After some time, the participants in the meeting started to come in. So we jump-scared them. They were dressed up creatively as various kinds of ghosts and characters, which reminded me of the Halloween parties I have seen before in videos. Soon, some of the other participants joined us to hang those decoration items. At last, we were able to create a spooky atmosphere in our meeting hall.

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By that time, the starting time of the meeting had arrived. Now, we could see our conference hall filled up with various kinds of monsters. There were vampires, witches, pirates, famous ghosts, and also anime characters. Soon, our president, Umesha Thilakarathne, who came as ‘Wednesday, Adams’, started the meeting. And then she handed over the meeting to the Toastmaster of the day, Manindu Pavan, who came as ‘Moratu Yaka’. He addressed all the gaveliers and then started the round-robin session. During the round-robin session, participants had to introduce themselves and convince themselves as monsters. Participants introduced themselves in a very funny way, and sometimes it was a little bit scary. The whole round-robin session was filled with creativity, and at last they all convinced themselves as monsters, so we gave them welcoming ribbons, which indicate their relevant groups of discussion.

Now, we could start our long-awaited monster conference. Moratu Yaka introduced me to the monsters as ‘Mohini’ the character I dressed up as. As the table topic master, I conducted the conference. I started the conference by giving a warm welcome to all the monsters. Then I explained to them what we intend to do at this monster conference. In horror movies, we can see that monsters are shown as scary characters. So, in this conference, we monsters showed how we actually are. We chose movie topics using a new method. One person from each group was asked to make an evil laugh. So, according to the rating of the evil laugh, groups could choose movies that they would like to act out. We had various kinds of laughs that were filled with horror, fun, and also craziness. Our monsters were laughing to tears and pointed out other monsters to give an evil laugh too. So, almost all of the monsters had to make evil laughs at last.

After having a crazy, evil laugh session, we moved on to our drama session. So, after a while, we could see a whole bunch of monsters acting out in funny ways, and the audience was laughing their heads off. We had a painfully funny depiction of zombies, which showed us a funny vibe about zombies. Again, we had an awkwardly interesting Annabelle parody, which reminded me how hard I watched Annebelle movies. Also, we had a dark comedy, which was unforgettable.

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After all the drama,we gave places to groups and also a little treat from the wicked witch, Rashini. By the time, we reached the end of our spooky Halloween meeting. And then we wrapped up the meeting by getting a lovely group photo filled with crazy poses.

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Everyone was having a wonderful time, and I’m sure that this was a memorable meeting for our gaveliers. I happily mention that this is one of the moments that I felt gavel is not only about public speaking; it is also about having fun at its maximum level.