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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Witches and warlocks paddle across Newman Lake, ‘because who doesn’t love Halloween?’

Newman Lake got a little spooky Saturday afternoon as about 20 witches and warlocks rode the water on kayaks and paddle boards.

Dubbed the Newman Lake Witches and Warlocks Ride, the group of area residents set out on the water for fun, exercise and unseasonably warm weather.

“You couldn’t ask for a better day,” said Felina Merrill, a Newman Lake resident who wore a black cape and pointed witch hat.

Most of the water enthusiasts were women and donned black clothing and witch hats, like Merrill did. They gathered at the Newman Lake boat launch with kayaks and paddle boards before setting out on the water under partly cloudy skies.

Ashlee Torres, Merrill’s friend who also lives in Newman Lake, said the witches ride has been catching on the last couple years across the country. She said she and a friend had been talking about organizing a ride at Newman Lake, so they created a Facebook event about it.

Torres said the idea is to get into the “October spirit,” with women dressing as witches and men as warlocks. Costumes are optional.

“We just go out and try our hardest to not fall in the water, because I’m sure it’s really cold,” said Torres, who was pumping up her inflatable paddle board to take on the lake.

Torres said the weather was “absolutely perfect” for the “fun and goofy” event, which they hope to make an annual occasion.

“I’m just thankful that the community was so excited when we first brought this idea out to all get involved and dress up and show up today,” she said.

Merrill, who said paddle boarding is one of her favorite water sports, also was pleased with the turnout.

“I was really excited that some people wanted to join in on such a fun event and such a fun activity,” she said, “because who doesn’t love Halloween?”