Halloween Hauntings

US Wealth McCarthy |


Trick or Treat?  Halloween is almost here; grab your candy now before the shelves are cleared of all the good stuff…the ones you’ll want to munch on if you have leftovers!

Halloween always evokes some fun memories.

My daughter’s first Halloween was when she was two, going on three.  She was dressed as a pumpkin with a plastic pumpkin treat bucket.  There was an older group of kids making the rounds (first and second graders), and my daughter joined the pack.  Or at least she tried.  The older kids ran from house to house, and Meara’s short legs simply could not keep up.  She was just heading for the door when the older kids were already on their way to the next house.  Her strategy became to dodge them or risk getting run over.  Nothing malicious, just excitement.  By the time Meara arrived at the door, the homeowners took pity on her and loaded her pumpkin with candy!  She kept up this torrid pace for about 10 houses, and then exhaustion set in.  Try as she might, it was time to end the quest and head for home.   When she got home, she was surprisingly not interested in eating any of the candy.  She liked to sort and arrange it in categories, saving it for another day.  This habit persisted through her many trick or treating journeys.  Her friends knew they could always find a stash of candy in her bottom drawer—Halloween all year for them!

My own experiences with Halloween were a bit different.   I lived in a city on the North Shore of Boston.  The surrounding streets were straight out of Leavitt Town – closely packed individual homes on small lots.  We could easily manage 200 stops without getting more than a street away from my home.  That is why we all carried pillow cases…maximum carrying and storage capacity!  Those were the days when you got a real candy bar – the big nickel version, not the “snack size” we hand out today.  Like Meara, I was not much of a candy person.  I loved collecting a large pile, but I would rarely eat much of my loot.  My sister and Mom enjoyed my candy bounty for quite a while.

The past few years I’ve been solo in the doorbell duties, and I’ve got it down to a routine.  I set up my chair and a lantern at the top of our driveway with two large bags of candy (preferably Snickers bars), and I sit and wait and watch.  The last few years have been sparse—not more than five trick-or-treaters in each year.  Our neighborhood is getting older.  We need a transition to younger families with young children eager to run from house to house!