Halloween Comes A Haunting

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

Halloween is quickly approaching and next week you will see goblins, ghosts, princesses, and superheroes roaming the neighborhoods in search of the ever elusive candy. Though there are lots of exciting Halloween events around town and in downtown Atlanta all month long, the actual night of Halloween brings the most excitement for us all. I believe it is the thrill of actually going out into the dark night and wreaking havoc and having innocent fun. It does seem though that Halloween has tamed over the years, and people are being supremely cautious these days.
When I was a kid children roamed the streets of our neighborhood freely, without adult supervision until all hours of the night. You could see hundreds of children at your door in one night holding everything from pillowcases to plastic pumpkins to hold their precious loot. The holiday was a day of true fear. My father got great joy out of trying his best to create the perfect environment that would scare the wits out of the unsuspecting children who came to our door, and my brother never passed up a moment for a scary prank that would practically make you pee your pants. My mother on the other hand made the holiday fun and exciting through the die-cut decorations she put on the walls and the homemade pumpkin and ghost shaped sugar cookies we decorated and passed out to the neighborhood children. It was all good old fashioned, innocent fun.
I remember at the end of the trick-or-treat evening we would dump our bags on the kitchen table for inspection by our parents. They always made sure we didn’t eat anything that was open or looked suspicious. I think that was a way for them to pilfer our candy stash first, but really the only thing we might have to fear is that old tale of someone putting a razor blade in your apple. The greatest thing about emptying our stash for inspection was being able to view what we had collected. It was never an odd thing to find a homemade popcorn ball or freshly baked cookies and even the occasional apple.
Now I find that we get fewer and fewer children coming to our door and always in controlled groups. No one even dares distribute anything that isn’t store bought and safely sealed. As the years have gone by, I find that people are becoming more and more cautious about Halloween.
I don’t even think it’s just at Halloween. It seems they either don’t know their neighbors or don’t trust them. The idea that you can have a convicted rapist or child molester living next door to you and not even know it is scary. It just proves that the ideals of the past are slowly fading away as our society of self-indulgence progress. Now instead people to people contact and talking to your neighbors, everyone just seems to mind their own business and bury their faces in their phones. At Halloween we have begun to see less door to door trick or treating. Instead you see businesses providing treats for kids and churches hosting trunk or treat events because those are safer and more controlled environments.
As much as I would like to get back to the old spirit of Halloween, we must progress with the times. As Halloween comes a haunting this year keep up with the age old adage that there are evil spirits that walk the night on All Hallows Eve. Keep a close eye on your children and make sure they have a good time but be careful because you never know who you will run into.

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