Saanich resident Teale Phelps Bondaroff marched in the student climate strike in September wearing a giant Babadook puppet. (Charlotte Ballentyne/Twitter)

Giant Babadook puppet marches in Pride parade, student climate strike

‘Baba do something about climate change,” read Babadook’s climate march sign

The Babadook is a psychological horror film from 2014 about a single mother who has lost her husband and is left dealing with her son and his fear of a monster in the house. She soon realizes there is a sinister spirit in the home.

If you attended the 2019 Pride parade in Victoria or the student climate strike in front of the BC Legislature, you may have been confused by the presence of a nine foot tall Babadook puppet straight out of the horror film.

READ ALSO: Ghostly Walks celebrates 20 years of Victoria’s spooky history

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a Saanich-based researcher and activist, built the puppet and wears it like a backpack at events. The puppet is one of several created for the Saanich-Gulf Islands NDP party, he explained. There’s also a rainbow unicorn – inspired by the television show Adventure Time – that takes five people to operate.

Phelps Bondaroff originally built the Babadook for the Pride parade because the monster has become a gay icon. Legend has it that when the horror film came to Netflix, it was labelled as LGBTQ. No such themes were seen in the movie, he explained. Viewers then decided that the monster itself must be gay.

Phelps Bondaroff thought that with its reputation as an LGBTQ icon, the “black monstrosity” would fit in at Pride and would contrast well with the colourful decorations. He then decided to bring the monster to the climate strike too.

READ ALSO: Classic creepy films on screen at Craigdarroch Castle

“It breaks up the sight-lines and the aesthetic of protests,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “Plus, adults don’t get it.”

The construction took about 30 hours and the homemade puppet was created from hockey sticks, old election signs and other reclaimed supplies. The unique expression of activism is something Phelps Bondaroff wants to encourage. He’d love to see more puppets at events and is happy to lend a hand in construction.

Where will Babadook pop up next? Phelps Bondaroff isn’t sure. However, he noted as long as there’s no rain – the puppet gets heavy when wet – Babadook will continue to march in the Pride parades.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke RCMP are looking to add more members on their force, but they will have to seek approval from the District of Sooke before doing so. They say they need five additional members to accommodate 24-hour coverage of the region. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke needs more officers to accommodate 24-hour coverage

District’s official community plan calls for 1 officer per 1,000 people

The Royal Canadian Legion kicked off its annual poppy drive in Sooke on Wednesday with the first poppies presented to Mayor Maja Tait and T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordie Planes. Legion representatives included legion president Richard Steele, second from left, and poppy fund chair Al Stuart, right. (Kevin Laird – Sooke News Mirror)
Mayor, T’Sou-ke Nation chief receive first poppies of 2020

Minimal Remembrance Day ceremony planned

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An incident on Sooke Road is slowing traffic Wednesday evening. (Courtesy of Mona Hazeldine)
Sooke Road incident snarls evening traffic

Witnesses report two-vehicle collision

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Most Read