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Tricked up Halloween

October 30, 2013

Halloween simply isn’t what it once was — and that’s a shame for today’s ghosts and goblins.


We Baby Boomers remember a time when the spookiest of holidays was highly anticipated, perhaps taking a back seat only to Christmas. We got to morph into our favorite action hero, vampire or a pirate, and canvas the neighborhood for sweet treats, anxious to score more Baby Ruths and Butterfingers than stuff that was actually good for us, like an apple, which we didn’t worry might be booby-trapped with a straight-edged razor. In those days, there was no need to X-ray the candy.


We kept close to home and in our neighborhoods, but that was less out of concern than convenience, and when we knocked on the doors, more often than not a smiling familiar face would appear with a bowl filled with miniature Hershey bars, Kisses and those harmonica-shaped wax-like treats that you could actually play before you ate.


Tonight there will be trick-or-treatrers going door-to-door, but not nearly in the numbers that they once did, and too many of them will be teenagers who are looking more for free stuff than a good time. How many of us have opened the door on a Halloween night only to look up at a trick-or-treatrer?


Understandably, parents today are reluctant to send their children out on the streets, where there is simply too much uncertainty. Gone are the days when egging a house was considered a felony; if a house gets egged today, the homeowner probably is thankful when considering what it could have been.


For many young people today and tonight, Halloween will be celebrated in a controlled environment, at a church, mall or what is now known as a “trunk-or-treat.” Yesterday, The Robesonian published a list of events that offered a controlled environment for your children, as well as some advice from a local police officer on how to make sure that all the scare in Halloween is contrived. If you missed it, the information is still available at robesonian.com


We suppose that all this is just another sign of the times, but we find it regretful.


Halloween used to be such a treat. Now it’s too much of a trick.