And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!
It's Halloween! Which is the shorthand for All Hallows Evening. Seriously. And it is the evening before All Saints Day. I was once told it was celebrated to drive away evil spirits before the celebration of those who had achieved sainthood. I don't know how true that is. I really don't much care since I do not believe in evil spirits. But it was a lot of fun when I was a child.
Back then, the 50's, it was safer to wander around the neighborhood. Even after dark. And there were a lot of us. The Baby Boom was in full swing. So maybe it was just safety in numbers. I don't recall parents chaperoning their kids over the age of 6. We were pretty much on our own. We'd make the rounds of the neighborhood, passing tips to others ("they've got candied apples at the blue house down the street"), and filling up the pillow cases we used as bags. Very few tricks were played, the worst being toilet papering the person's shrubbery, it was all about the booty.
Returning home after a couple of hours going door to door, we'd dump our bags on a sheet or tablecloth spread out in the living room and do some trading. Swapping candied apples for bags of candy corn, taffy for hard candy (but keeping the Bonomo's Turkish Taffy), and trading the homemade cookies and cakes for just about anything store-bought. Being the youngest, I never made the best trades and often lost a lot to theft (by my brother).
Once we got past 12 years old, the fun changed to tricks over treats. Somewhere around 16, the fun went out of it altogether. That was also about the time that the stories of poisoned treats and razor blades in apples started up. These are myths, folks, and there have been several studies proving that instances are rare at worst. Still, they persist and there is no harm in checking the candy your child brings home.
I used to make my haul last a month or more.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago