In a stunning break from tradition, the Portsmouth Halloween Parade today announced that it would be changing its route significantly in the run-up to the parade this evening.

“I know it’s last minute, but Halloween is about making ghosts happy, so we’re going to put the Halloween right where the ghosts are,” said parade Grand Marshall Diana Kirkpatrick. “Specifically Gates Street. That place is super haunted and these ghosts want to get in on this hot, wet Halloween Parade action.”

After leaving Peirce Island, the parade will veer south onto Marcy Street, then turn right onto Mechanic Street, then loop back to Marcy by way of Gates Street. The parade will repeat the loop until everyone is too tired to continue.

South End residents expressed dumb concern over the change, citing a lack of sidewalks for spectating, noise and potential damage to their historic ghost-filled homes. City officials were overwhelmed with emails Monday, but admitted they are powerless against the Grand Marshall.

“It’s actually in the City Charter that the Grand Marshall can do whatever they want,” said Police Commissioner Brenna Cavanaugh. “There’s very little we can do about it. The Grand Marshall can even commandeer your vehicle if they want to, and they don’t have to be nice about it. Bullets can’t harm them. Trust me, we tried.”

Paranormal watch dogs expressed approval of the route change.

“These ghosts are going fucking wild,” said Roxie J. Zwicker, paranormal watch dog. “Just straight-up, balls-out excited.”

Ben Anderson could not be reached for comment.