Long time ago, disco was king (for a few years at most) and for the elite dressers and high-kicking, split-sticking-to-the-floor-dance moves, fluffy hair-dried plumed shaggy-dog bangs, chest-hair-revealing dance suits, you name it, anything went, except for jeans. Jeans was the absolute no-no for fashion, anything denim was sinful to the boogie woogers, as us guys like to call those disco people. We knew that somehow dancing was cool in a way, but the suits were just out of our league. Try to buy anything for the $10-a-month going-to-school money from Indian Affairs and forget it. Cigarettes always won over buying anything fashionable and was way cooler.
As this completely out-of-sync music and thankfully short-lived era was peaking, and nearing that silly music period of the ’80s, something about a certain disco bar led to a weird ending and disco died soon after this absolutely scary story behind the fabled “Disco Viva” of Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec.
The Disco Viva, known as “the place” to be on Friday nights, was comparable to being at Studio 54 except much more rural compared the real one in New York where anyone wearing anything flashy was allowed on the dancefloor. Coming to the entrance of the bar was like being greeted as today’s airports, with more security, except for being dressed in cool Miami Vice get-up, would check you for hidden weapons, just in case.
On arrival with our hopefully soon-to-be girlfriends, we were rudely shoved aside by the bouncers, who pointed out our slightly worn jeans. “No jeans allowed,” they gruffly announced, while whisking our dates out of sight, into the doorway of pulsing music and flashing lights. Completely dejected, we took off to spend our money on pizza and pool, while waiting for our bus and talked about those thankless goons who never heard of Hendrix or The Who. The bus took us back as close to home as we could get and hoofed it for the last half mile. After all, it was the last bus.
About a week later, after the long, albeit boring weekend with nothing to show for it, our landlady called us out of our rented rooms. She was clearly spooked, and sat us down to hear the latest gossip from woman land. She asked us if anything weird happened to us that night out and we said yeah, we lost our girlfriends. Our landlady asked us if we got in, and we replied, uh… no.
Well, she continued, apparently the Disco Viva used to be a church and was recently removed from the list of lands that are declared sacred just before the Easter weekend. As usual, the bar was full on the pay day, being Thursday, which was the night we tried to get discoed. She lowered her voice and looked around to see if there were any shadows around that might hear her and told us that at the stroke of midnight, that Good Friday morning, the doors slammed shut and trapped everyone inside.
The bouncers on the outside couldn’t budge the door open, and soon, the screams became louder and louder. Inside, all the lights went out, and a slow sound, moaning and getting louder and louder as a jet engine with a low growl, came from the ground and into the former church. A terrible stench filled the dancefloor and soon the smell of people defecating and pissing their white pants become as apparent as the sulfuric odour of rotting death all mixed together, overcame the now beyond terrified dancers.
A half-hour later, the doors opened while frantic people, some with white hair, scrambled over each other to leave the place. Our landlady was too scared to continue with the story and that’s all I know about true scary stories.
Today, the grounds are overrun with weeds and bushes, and it always seems to be dark there, even on sunny days. The story of the Disco Viva is too scary to retell, so please, don’t tell anyone else.