Jump to content

Memories Of Trick Or Treating


Recommended Posts

I'm sorry, last year I was really into writing about duck confit and fall soups, I swear. I don't even really like candy, but let me lead in with my little story.

One year, years ago, The Washingtonian did a story on what kind of treats bigwig Washingtonians were giving out for Halloween. I can't even say for sure if the story ran; I need to figure out what year it was and who was on the full list of houses to visit. It must have been about 1986. Anyway, somehow my crazy dad lined me up as one of the guinea pigs, in theory contributing to the story, knocking on the of door of two well- known Washingtonians (well, in those days more so):

William Safire

&

Dominic F. Antonelli Jr. (a bad ass developer, etc.)

I remember that at least one of the houses was exceptionally big and behind some serious gates... There was some unusual hiking invoved and I was growing increasingly skeptical of my dad. So, do you know what kind of candy they gave?

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's right! NONE. Both houses were completely dark and we even bothered to knock. So, not only did I fail to have a story (until now, I suppose), but we wasted the whole night scouting for candy that wasn't there. That's just one year, though.

So, jump in, and now you share some of your favorite candy gathering tales.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in a neighborhood called "North Hills" and it was aptly named. We would run up and down the hills for hours gathering candy. So my mom decided that she'd give out "Witches Blood" (that'd be the basic red Kool-Aid) to all the thirsty kids. Of course she always dressed up as a witch and we had that classic scary soundtrack lp playing out of the bedroom windows. The kids never seemed disappointed that she wasn't giving candy because they were so exhausted from hiking around the 'hood and were in dire need to liqud libation. She passed away 10 years ago, but my dad has upheld the tradition...but without the pointy hat.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a house that had a Beethoven dummy (that crazy hair and everything) in the upstairs window, illuminated by a blue light...and he was somehow perched over a piano- you could hear the music from blocks and blocks away. That's what it's all about. The guy who lived in that house was a major recluse, but once a year he did his thing and gave out king-sized Hershey bars. It really was priceless.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My Dad always liked the house in our neiborhood that gave the adults a shot of Bourbon.

Just kidding!  Never a bad idea, though!  :P

Mrs JPW tells the story of always wondering a)why her dad always wanted to be the one taking the kids out and :( why the adults always lingered behind at each house interrupting the flow of candy snatching. Eventually she realized that everybody gave the adults booze and all the dads were a little snookered by the time they got home. :lol:

May have to resurrect this tradition next year with some hard cider.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Way back when I was in law school, I lived with a bunch of my classmates in a house in Agoura, CA. One Halloween, one of my roommates and I decided to blow off studying and man the door for the trick or treaters. My buddy had a bottle of fake blood that he had obtained from one of the movie studios and we both put it to good use and we bloodied our selves up pretty well. When a trick or treater would ring the door bell, he would turn out the porch light and open the door. I was hiding in the garage and would come out behind the trick or treaters. I had a candle in my hand and a mouthfull of charcoal lighter fluid. When my roommate at the door would point to me and the trick or treaters would turn around, I would blow the lighter fluid into the candle making it look like I was blowing flame out of my mouth. The kids got a large charge out of it. The parents standing on the sidewalk were wondering just what kind of people lived in that house. And apparantly the word got out among the kids in the neighborhood because after while, we got really busy with an influx of trick or treaters.

I know, I was young and stupid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In college I worked with a four year old autistic kid doing behavior modification therapy at his house. We spent most of the month of October getting him used to wearing a costume and learning how to carry a bag without dropping it and saying trick or treat.

The big day finally arrived and he was ready to go. We went around for about two hours, the evening was a complete success. (Plus I got to take home a lot of his loot since he wasn't supposed to have candy :lol: )

The next day I showed up to do therapy and there he was at the door, in his costume, bag in hand. I came in and he said "trick or treat now?" It took until Christmas for him to give the idea up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Halloween 2003. A GW dorm room.

750 jell-o shots in the fridge, 750 jello shots. You take one down, pass it around, 749 jell-o shots in the fridge.

....two nights later....

I'm not sure how to end this anecdote in keeping with the song theme, but it takes a lot longer to go through 750 jell-o shots than you might think. And there were a lot of people at that party! I think some people went trick or treating, but I curtailed my own participation on account of 'those damn things really sneak up on you'.

Shogun's Jello Shot Party Tip #4:

You too can be the King of Town at your next Jello Shot Part by being the guy who brings the whipped cream. Nobody ever remembers the whipped cream, but it is critical as both a taste-enhancing agent and lubricant.

Edited by shogun
Link to post
Share on other sites

on halloween, during the days of the national tylenol poisonings, and around the time someone was sticking pins in the pizzas at our local giant on newark street: at the open door of one of his trick-or-treating visits our hyper-alert almost-four-year-old son screamed to his older brother, "No, don't take it!" and went tearing down the walkway back to his mother shrieking that the man had announced that he was handing out pins. actually, as the perpetrator frantically explained to my wife, he thought it would be a good idea that year to hand out pens in light of the food-tampering scare.

halloween has never been one of my favorites. i started out on the wrong foot when at a very tender age my mother decided i would be Aunt Jemima and proudly escorted me in drag and burnt-cork black face through the neighborhood. i seem to be the only one who thought it was strange at the time. i also recall almost drowning bobbing for apples at a friend's halloween party.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One year I found myself in Arcata, California, (on the misty north coast), for Halloween. With a big costume party coming up we decided to spend the morning foraging for certain mushrooms in the cow pastures, with good success, and then up into the woods for chanterelles, with even greater success. We must have had ten pounds of chanterelles, which simmered down quite nicely. I recall helping to make two gigundo frittatas for the party that night - one with each kind of mushroom. This was before the days of jello shots, with or without whipped cream for lubricant, but we managed quite nicely anyway. Besides, I wasn't of legal drinking age yet. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was born in Saskatoon, SK (which is about 300 miles north of Montana). Hallowe'en and the first snowfall usually coincided. We had our first snow storm a few days prior but that didn't deter my dad from taking my little brother out trick or treating. He was carrying my brother from one house to the other when he slipped on an icy sidewalk and broke his leg pretty badly. That put an end to my trick or treating as I had to stay home with my brother whilst my parents went to the hospital.

Fast forward a few years later. I was 12 and trick or treating with my friends (it was our last year of doing it). I remember that night because it was the first time any of us admitted that we...you know...liked girls. It was such a "Stand By Me" moment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Going trick or treating in my neighborhood in Queens, NY in the 1970s was all about taking advantage of a small window of opportunity. We had about an hour and a half to get home from school, change into a "costume" (post age 6, anything for a boy other than dressing in old clothes, rubbing a blackened cork over your face and calling yourself a bum was sneered at and mocked) and collect as much loot as possible before the big kids got home. For those guys, it was more about the trick than the treat, although they weren't above stealing your candy. Armed with intact eggs, egg shells packed with syrup, cans of Barbasol shaving cream modified with aerosol caps so you can shoot it over 30 feet and the always feared cans of Nair hair removal cream, they would turn the streets into a free-for-all zone from 4:30 p.m. on where anyone under the age of 21 was a potential target and grudges were avenged. Basically, it was as close to "wilding" as I ever saw growing up.

Oh yes, back to my "happy place": the candy. I was lucky enough to pre-date the fun-size candy era and the fullsize Hershey and Nestle products were much treasured for their trading capital. Other things dropped into trick-or treater bags: loose, unwrapped candy corns, pennies, mass cards (never hit THAT house again), apples (thrown at the big kids to slow down their first attack) and individual pieces of DoubleBubble gum, which you were obligated to jam all into your mouth, no matter how many.

Ah, youth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up trick or treating in a rural area, so it always involved an adult driving us around from house to house. My best friend Carrie's dad nearly always drove us and every year he'd hide in the bushes of one of the houses and jump out and grab us as we walked back to the car. It definitely added another level of excitement to the night because we never knew when he'd surprise us.

Unfortunately, one year, he jumped out and grabbed the wrong group of kids. :):) They were right in front of us and we witnessed it all. Dropped bags of candy, screaming, crying, running... My friend's dad was mortified and had to explain to the other parents (and the owners of the house) that it was an innocent mistake.

The worst house on our regular route -- our piano teacher. She always gave out three pennies in a folded square of wax paper. But if we didn't go by her house, she'd always very pointedly ask our parents why they didn't bring us. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went trick or treating in suburban Pennsylvania in the 60s-early 70s, and we knew most of the people whose houses we went to. I'd go out with a group of neighborhood kids, and it would take the whole night to cover maybe 4 suburban streets, in large part because the adults would want us to come inside so they could admire our costumes. A couple of my friends' families staged haunted houses some years.

There was one elderly lady who lived near the end of our street who did a big spread every Halloween, with apple cider and all kinds of homemade cookies and cupcakes and other kinds of food. This was when I was very young so memories are a bit fuzzy. It was like going to somebody's grandmother's house. She had her dining room table all set with an assortment of foods. Mrs. McClellan was her name. It was really nice of her, but I don't know how much we appreciated it. We should probably have appreciated it more, because it was the end of an era for that kind of thing, before parents worried so much about neighbors poisoning their children. As thoughtful as she was, it was kind of a drag for the kids, because it slowed you down on getting to as many houses as possible for candy :) .

Link to post
Share on other sites
That's right! NONE. Both houses were completely dark and we even bothered to knock. So, not only did I fail to have a story (until now, I suppose), but we wasted the whole night scouting for candy that wasn't there. That's just one year, though.

So, jump in, and now you share some of your favorite candy gathering tales.

sounds like your father should have sent you back in with a bar of soap and a few rolls of toilet paper. i'd still like to know who gave our kids aspergum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell me more stories.

Today in the coffee shop, I overheard a table of ladies talking about how Three Musketeers is called that beacause it's a combo of three candies that already existed. Is this true? Then they were talking about Nestle Treasures. I was actually listening in on a conversation about candy. Yucky candy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Tell me more stories.

Today in the coffee shop, I overheard a table of ladies talking about how Three Musketeers is called that beacause it's a combo of three candies that already existed. Is this true?

There actually used to be three segments of different flavored fillings, kinda like sky bars. The fillings were chocolate, vanilla and strawberry fluff - neopolitan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember the ONE TIME, once in my life that it was me that arrived at a house with a bowl of candy outside and a sign that said 'Please take one!'. And for once, I did what every other kid has done when they were lucky enough to be the first kid there -- I took it all! URP.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Questions:

1) Was there ever a time when local kids were allowed to go trick-or-treating in apartment/condo buildings?

When I first moved back to town, I bought candy without realizing that children weren't allowed to come into the building to go door to door. Not sure who is being protected most.

2) Not sure of the source, but on a recent Halloween-related story, the reporter claimed Americans eat 26 lbs. of candy annually per capita :blink: Do you do your part?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I'm a parent, I miss the days my Dad would tell me about when he took me and my brother trick or treating in Hot'Lanta in the late 70s: at every house, my brother and I would grab candy after the obligatory "trick or treat" while the host would offer my Dad a drink. My Dad loved Halloween, he reminds me wistfully.

Apparently this tradition is still practiced in Old Town but I haven't been able to convince JPW to make the trip across the river.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh, memories.

Domino's in Morgantown, WV, used to give free pieces of pizza to kids in costume. Mom took me in my Buzz Aldrin costume and Matt in whatever he had but we were too early - they wouldn't give us anything.

In High School I put a lab coat and goggles on our golden retriever and took him around trick-or-treating.

In college I tried to go as a cyborg assassin using a Phantom of the Opera mask with red cellophane and silver paint - but I wore glasses, so it was awkward. We were gathering food stuffs for a local charity, so we had to dodge the self-righteous dorm RAs and RCs at UVA to gather the stuff, then left it at some charity (can't remember who).

Then got really drunk. But that's most Halloweens. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent my early childhood in Scotland, where we have Halloween, but no trick or treating. Kids go "guising". There's a very set formula for guising; you knock on someone's door and you say "Can you give us something for our Halloween?". And then you have to perform a short skit or song for the host before you get candy. I don't actually remember what kind of candy we got, although I can probably remember all the costumes I wore. (My mother was a fan of black garbage bags with stuff on them. Garbage bag + paper numbers = calculator. Garbage bag + colored tape to make a logo, and you're a candy bar. Nobody ever, as far as I remember, had a store-bought costume.)

There are a few other traditions that I don't think are found in the U.S.

We make our lanterns from turnips, not pumpkins. And there are some very traditional games and rituals, dooking for apples being the most popular. It's done with a bucket of apples, and you kneel on a chair over the bucket with a fork in your mouth and aim to drop the fork into the apple. There's also another game which involves eating a piece of bread spread with treacle which is suspended from a string--no hands allowed. And if you can take the peel off an apple in a single piece, you throw the piece over your shoulder to reveal the first initial of your true love. Apparently sleeping with an apple under your pillow on Halloween night will cause you to dream of your future spouse, but I was a practical child, and always figured it would be lumpy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...