Halloween, fun and horror

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Halloween was quite an event when my generation grew up and one that only a child who was there can feel the excitement — and sometimes absolute horror.

There will always be and have always been bad apples in the bunch, certainly in the kids’ world, too.

We young’uns had a tough time putting up with our older peers, particularly at Halloween.

On certain occasions the bad apples were worse than just bad, they were rotten. Youngsters in my day usually made their own costumes and some were rather creative.

Each neighborhood had its group of similar ages gathering at a central point on Halloween and then as a group going house to house with their trick or treat chant in harmony.

There never was any fear of tainted candy, needles or other things.

It was an event that most of the participating adults at each house expressed as much excitement as the trick or treaters.

There were also groups of teenagers roaming everywhere throwing eggs at passing cars, writing on cars and businesses with soap and simply being a pain to everyone with their rowdy ways.

I suppose it was their way of fun, but only to them.

No one else saw it that way.

Often, after the youngest ones had gone home for the night with their paper bags full of goodies, several others in the group went further than the neighborhood and into some of the affluent areas of town.

Still, if caught by the roaming teens out with their trickery, it often became an event that left a lifelong memory of how cruel our older peers could be.

It was always fairly cold on Halloween and got colder as the night progressed.

When the time to head back home and call it a night came, we were always hurrying along with heavy bags of goodies.

However, on one particular Halloween as I approached my house, a dark figure stepped out from behind a tree and snatched my bag of candy and then took off running.

There was no way to catch the varmint and no way to tell who it was.

A night of knocking on dozens of doors all across town and receiving a treat went sour in a single moment.

It has been an event that has stayed molded in my mind for more than 65 years.

Surely, that heavy bag of candy weighed several pounds.

The following year I carried two bags — one I kept under my sheet and out of site when it was not being filled with candy.

The other was canned dog food I opened and dumped into the bag, and some other foul-smelling treats.

I carried both bags the entire night, daring the bag snatcher to come out.

He never bit the bait again.

William Holloman is a staff writer for the Mount Olive Tribune.

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