“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!'”

I never understood why the nuns expected us to work and pay attention to lessons on Halloween. We were on a silent countdown to the trick or treat hour when our mothers would let us out so subtraction or English just didn’t matter. The challenge all day was to look interested without caring a whit.

We had chosen our costumes weeks ago. On the walks to and from school, my friends and I discussed the possibilities. The costumes would be homemade, and in those days they weren’t too sophisticated. We thought about being ghosts, but that was just too easy. A hobo was okay. We’d use make-up for a beard and carry a stick with a bucket at the end for our candy. Our mothers could sew patches on the pants and shirts. A scarecrow mostly just needed make-up and straw. With a few curlers and a robe, we could be our mothers or grandmothers. Paint a couple of pieces of cardboard, wear one in front and the other on the back, and you’re an ace or a two. Costumes just took imagination.

My mother would buy us masks, if we needed them, and trick or treat bags. Sometimes, though, we’d use pillow cases as bags hoping for a big haul. Halloween day was almost as long as Christmas Eve. We’d get dressed early and beg my mother to let us out. We’d keep watch hoping to see a trick or treater as proof it was time. Finally, my mother would let us out. We’d do the neighborhood first. It took a while as the neighbors oohed and ahhed and guessed who we were, as if it were difficult. After that, my brother and I would do the town. The 5 cent bar houses were our first stops. We hated the apple houses except the ones which put pennies or a nickle in their apples. I was never fond of candy corn or popcorn balls. We’d wander the town until the outside lights went dark. On the way home we’d go through our bags and eat a favorite candy bar or two. When we got home, my mother would give us each a big bowl for our candy. We’d sit on the floor and trade.

We could stay up late because the next day was a Holy Day, and we didn’t have school. We did have to go to church, but it was worth it to have the whole day.

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12 Comments on ““Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!'””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Our home is ready – I replaced burned out bulbs on the walkway lighting, Costco has been demolished of their candy, and Maggie will be retiring to the boudoir (otherwise the laundry room) as the onslaught begins.

    The twins, both girls, across the road told me yesterday that they will be over between 6 and 6.30 so we are looking forward to their arrival. They are three now and very happy to wave and chat

    We live in a subdivision surrounded by homes on rural (dirt) roads which are less conducive to efficient trick or treating. So kids get dropped off and on a decent night we will get over 100 requests for candy

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,

      It is dark and damp here just the way Halloween should be.

      I give out nickel bars but really dollar bars now. I am honoring those houses from my youth who gave big bars.

      In the last few years, the number of kids has been growing. One year I had about nine or ten. Last year I had in the 30’s. I best have a lot or I’ll be stuck with Reese’s and Kit Kat (as if that were a burden).

      Gracie loves to peek. I hold her back with my knee, and she is happy just to be at the door.

      Happy Halloween!

  2. Birgit Says:

    8:40 pm, my Halloween statistic so far:
    Trick or treat kids: 1,
    Chocolate bars I already ate myself : 3.

    Happy Halloween!

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I had to laugh! Your statistic is like mine, but it isn’t even time for kids yet. I had two bars last night and 2 the night before last: 2 Reese’s Cups and 2 Kit Kats.

      Happy Halloween!!

    • Hedley Says:

      Birgit – I am a bit surprised, I thought that you have Halloween beer in Bochum ?

      • Birgit Says:

        Hedley,
        Halloween beer in Bochum: 0 🙁
        Dawn Of The Dead will be on TV later, Halloween beer would perfectly fit.

  3. Bob Says:

    When we lived in a private home neighborhood we had an onslaught of trick or treaters beginning early in the evening. Our upscale neighborhood was visited by kids from the apartment complexes nearby because we and our neighbors gave out better candy. The little kids came first then followed by the older kids. The teenagers came last. I always accompanied my daughter as she went from house to house. When we ran out of good candy we would raid my kids bags for the cheap stuff to recycle to the last trick or treaters.

    So far tonight not one kid has come to our door. Living in a condo complex has its advantages besides not having to mow the yard or clean the pool. 🙂

    When I was a kid my sister and I were ready to rake in the goodies right after school. My mother, like yours, curbed our enthusiasm until later in the evening.

    Today was another clear breezy dry day with highes in the 80s.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I only had about 15 kids. 8 of them came from 2 houses on the street. I never got any teenagers. I think the oldest were 10 or 11. They all wore great costumes.

      I gave out the Necco Wafers first, the full size Necco’s.

      We were always so eager to get outside to start, but I figure my mother was right.

      It was warm today-in the low 50’s.

      • Bob Says:

        I had never heard of Necco Wafers so I Googled them. Are they sour or sweet? My favorite are Milky Ways followed by Snickers and Hershey bars.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        They are sweet as opposed to sour. The wafers are different colors and have different flavors. The chocolate was always the favorite so they sell just chocolate wafers as well.

        I also have Milky Ways and Snickers. There are still some of those left-I like them too!!

  4. olof1 Says:

    Halloween is mostly popular in the bigger cities here but then again we have our easterr witches. Back in the days we all dressed like witches no matter if we were girls or boys, well a few guys dressed as wizards but they were few.

    Today with Harry Potter it’s another thing 🙂 Out here in the middle of nowhere though no one does anything, too few children and the ones we have are way too shy 🙂

    I hope Your Hallowen was a good one!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I always think you celebrate Halloween all year long with you witches and gnomes and so many other magical creatures. I understand why you’d all be witches.

      I didn’t have as many kids as I’d hoped. Gracie had a great time at the door greeting everyone

      Have a great day!


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