SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS — Trick-or-treaters got more than just candy this Halloween when stopping at Debbie Bower, aka Madame Zelda’s, house. To entertain and amaze the youngsters, Madame Zelda offered some personalized “fortune telling.”
“It was just so much fun,” Ms. Bower told The Coast Star. “I try to gain a sense of what an after-school activity would be. So, I would say ‘I see sports’ and they’d say ‘soccer!’… The kids are like; ‘How did you know that?’”
Madame Zelda can also see if the children have messy bedrooms, or if they’re acting goofy in school.
“I try to encourage them to do well in school,” Ms. Bower said. “Mostly my objective is to try to encourage them to be good kids.”
A children’s entertainer by profession, Ms. Bower created Madame Zelda back in 1995, when her daughter had a school Halloween party. However, this is the first time she told fortunes in Spring Lake Heights, since she just moved back into her childhood home on Wall Road this last year.
“It brings me lots of joy because it brings the children lots of joy,” Ms. Bower said. “It was really a thrill, to think back on when I was trick-or-treating in that neighborhood, and then to be back as an adult.”
Ms. Bower has been performing for children since the early 90s, doing shows at schools and parties. She’s embodied everyone from Ms. Claus to the Tooth Fairy. “You name it, I’ve been it,” she said.
Ms. Bower focuses on teaching children proper social skills. She also made it a point to visit schools after the 1999 Columbine tragedy to reassure kids of their place in society.
“Mostly my characters are developed for shows … to teach kids the values of caring and trustworthiness,” Ms. Bower said. “Just basically to teach kids good character.”
Ms. Bower is taking a break from performing in schools, due to COVID-19 risk. However, she told The Coast Star she “Can’t wait to get back to it, I miss it so much.”
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