THINGS I REMEMBER ABOUT HALLOWEEN

Halloween was a big event around my house when I was a kid. It meant that the day after Halloween we could start begging mom to put up the Christmas tree early, and it meant candy.

Mom didn’t allow costumes that were about killing or death, so we dressed up as normal things like football players, firemen and hobo’s. Halloween wasn’t about satan or evil, it was simply about candy. Candy was something we didn’t get a lot of at my house. We had a family of nine and my dad was the only one that worked outside the home, so on a single income the budget didn’t include extras such as candy.

I remember spending hours trick-or-treating up and down the blocks for a medium size bag of hard candy. If someone was giving out chocolate, word would spread throughout the neighborhood and we’d get there as fast as we could. No one usually gave out chocolate, so when you got some, it was a big deal.

We were always reminded, “Only go to houses that have their porch lights on and never eat anything until you bring it home to be inspected.” We were always warned that bad people put needles and razorblades in apples, so never eat an apple with out inspecting it. I always thought, “Who’d want a stinking apple anyway, bring on the candy.”

One of the big Halloween events was watching the show Great Pumpkin – Charlie Brown. I remember our family gathering around the television to watch it. I’ve seen that little cartoon about a million times, and yes, I still think Lucy needs a good punch in the nose by Charlie Brown. She’s such an evil little girl.

So tonight, my youngest two will dress up and go trick-or-treating for about an hour before church starts. They’ll get twice as much candy as I ever got with only half the effort. Seventy percent of the candy in their bags will be chocolate, and I can guarantee you that they’ll be unwilling to share any of it with dear old dad. But that’s okay, their bed time is much earlier than mine, and I know where they hide their candy bags. :)

What do you remember about Halloween when you were a kid?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
23 Comments Post a Comment
  1. lisa says:

    I remember getting home & spilling all the candy out of my pillow case onto the floor or table & sorting it out — what I liked/didn’t like, chocolate/non-chocolate, etc. I remember going trick-or-treating with a friend who lived in a neighborhood because we didn’t lived on a busy street & my parents didn’t want us t-or-t’ing on it. I remember our cool church “fall party,” bobbing for apples, toilet paper relay races. I remember all Mom’s help with our costumes.

    Just curious, do you think skeletons, mummies, & zombies fall under the category of evil costumes? I’ll be honest, that’s what our kids are being. They sure don’t look very evil, being the young-uns they are, but I got to thinking about it & now I feel guilty. Too late now, though!

  2. Greg says:

    Great memories. Since you’ll need to fulfill your parental responsibility to check all that candy, you could end up with quite a little supply of chocolate for yourself!!! I certainly would not hold that against you. It’s better for your child’s teeth if you eat the chocolate, anyway.

  3. TREY MORGAN says:

    Lisa – I remember that church Halloween parties were called festivals or anything other than Halloween parties.

    And your kid’s costumes aren’t bad costumes. Your kids can’t make them look scary. They are too sweet. If you want to see a costume that made me say, “WHAT?” copy and paste this:

  4. lisa says:

    Yeah, that one’s a little weird, Trey.

  5. Monalea says:

    Those were the good ole days……thanks for a walk down memory lane.

    Moalea aka www

  6. Tim Archer says:

    I remember school carnivals!

    And I remember the warning. Thought you might appreciate this excerpt from the book Made to Stick (www.madetostick.com). It’s on their website:

    *****
    In the 1960s and 1970s, the tradition of Halloween trick-or-treating came under attack. Rumors circulated about Halloween sadists who put razor blades in apples and booby-trapped pieces of candy. The rumors affected the Halloween tradition nationwide. Parents carefully examined their children’s candy bags. Schools opened their doors at night so that kids could trick-or-treat in a safe environment. Hospitals volunteered to X-ray candy bags.

    In 1985, an ABC News poll showed that 60 percent of parents worried that their children might be victimized. To this day, many parents warn their children not to eat any snacks that aren’t prepackaged. This is a sad story: a family holiday sullied by bad people who, inexplicably, wish to harm children. But in 1985 the story took a strange twist. Researchers discovered something shocking about the candy-tampering epidemic: It was a myth.

    The researchers, sociologists Joel Best and Gerald Horiuchi, studied every reported Halloween incident since 1958. They found no instances where strangers caused children life-threatening harm on Halloween by tampering with their candy.
    *****

    Have a great day!

    Grace and peace,
    Tim

  7. lisa says:

    That’s interesting, Tim. Someone told me recently that there is all this hype over poisoned candy and that there has only been ONE reported incident of poisoned candy since the 60s, when people first started worrying about it. I wasn’t sure this was a claim that could be backed up, so I enjoyed your little excerpt. (Glad I got to comment on that, since there’s no comments on your other blog.)

  8. jel says:

    I don’t remember that much, it was to long ago!

    but I do remember mom making candied apples and popcornballs :)

  9. Tim Archer says:

    Lisa,

    The “Made to Stick” guys say there were two cases, but each turned out to have been done by someone known to the victim. I remember one case of a doctor who poisoned his kid, then made it look like it was from candy from trick or treating.

    —Tim

    P.S.–Yeah, there’s no comments on Tumblr. I should quit using it.

  10. TREY MORGAN says:

    Tim – I do remember the X-raying the candy and just all the bad stories that went with Halloween. All myths for the most part. Too bad snopes.com wasn’t around back then.

  11. David Kirk says:

    I remember how much fun it was to do the spook house at school. And trick-or-treating was always fun. I remember the first time the Great Pumpkin special came on TV. But then I’m an old coot.

  12. Cornelius Crew says:

    I remember alot but one thing that I think is strange that i remember is that Louise always gave out apples and #2 pencils, I guess it was the teacher in her but i was never too upset if her porch light was out before we got there! and ya’lls next door neighbor to the… i was always afraid that HE would come to the door or that i might step on his grass( don’t know why i didn’t just skip that house) Of course Aunt Jo’s house was always and STILL is so decorated up. I always thought it was funny that we had the same old fragile skeleton hanging on our front doors. strange the things that stick with you isn’t it! I remember Darrell and ya’ll going trick or treating you must have been 16 and him wearing some silly ‘frank sinatra’ type hat! don’t know what he really was. guess it didn’t matter as long as you got candy! Don’t eat too much of your kids candy!

  13. preacherman says:

    I watched that last night last night with my boys as we carved pumpkins. My wife took the boys trick or treating tonight while I had to work (didn’t cancel church for halloween). The boys got me lots of candy though. :-)!

    I remember going as yoda one year.
    One year my brother going as E.T.

    I have a few great tricks for those treaters. Carmel Onions instead of apples. If you want extra candy put ice in the kids that have paper sacks, the ice melts and the candy falls straight through. :-). I have repented of my youthful pranks.

    Oh, I remember one year going as a missing Kid. I was a milk carton with the missing kid and details on the side: age, wieght, etc.
    Another year I went as Mr. Pink for all you who like Reservior Dogs.

  14. Shane Coffman says:

    I always hated getting popcorn balls and Tootsie Rolls.

    But that’s just me…

  15. NB says:

    I remember the older ladies at the retirement home always made popcorn balls that were too hard to eat. Even now, I can recall the names of the people who always gave out chocolate bars!

    I remember when it was still safe to trick-or-treat door to door.

    I remember the 11-12 year old crowd being allowed to go trick or treating in groups without parents. Those days are long gone!

    I remember when we were still allowed to have Halloween costume parties at school. We could bring toy guns, knives and swords without worry and without the threat of suspension.

  16. DJG says:

    My memories are much the same…me and my brothers usually some cousins all dressed up and hitting the neighborhood. We lived in the country so someone had to drive us from house to house but it was a blast. We never gave any thought to how “scary” our costumes were and most of the time they were home made. Much better than the cheesy bought ones (at least the ones we could afford). Later years may have led to rolling yards and hayrides…simple harmless fun….and lots of chocolate and I never “got a rock”

  17. preacherman says:

    My boys did a great job getting me candy last night! mmmmmmmmmm….
    :-)

  18. Jeanne M. says:

    I can’t believe you guys eat your children’s candy. Didn’t you have any left over from what you gave out? We always buy candy that we like so when it is left over, we can enjoy it. Don’t know how we missed the “Great Pumpkin – Charley Brown” show. I know I would enjoy it. Still a kid at heart.

    I remember a couple of Halloween parties, and that in our neighborhood, the stores stayed open and handed out candy to us. I remember allowing our children to go door-to-door in our neighborhood without a chaperone, but would never allow that today.

    We have to leave home last evening before any children came, but had a father and three children come after we got home from Bible class. No tricks for which we are grateful. My husband remembers overturning an outhouse, and putting a car on the school roof (one story bldg.)

  19. Cornelius Crew says:

    Hey! just saw on FOX that some kid found a razor blade in a 3 musketeer last night!

  20. Zach Detwiler says:

    I remember my parents loading us in the car after mom made our costumes for about a month.. She was so nifty at things.. We would go to only houses we knew..and my poor twin sister..I had to drag her up there with me.. We were scared to death that someone would scare us some how some way… then we thought we were doing good when we made it back to the car.. Open our bags and realize the lady gave us that nasty candy.. it is wrapped in orange paper or black paper.. Now people get gold fish crackers and Caprisuns… Wow.. times change and I’m just 21!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t the trick stealing the kids candy? We always minimize the amount they eat and avoid teeth rotting by stashing some away for later.

    anon

  22. Timbra Wiist Owner/Photographer says:

    we watch the great pumpkin TOOO!!! Was it dangerous to leave town the night after taking our little one out to collect candy (for us) and leave my husband with an unattended (unsorted and counted) bag of candy while i’m away for six days? Do you think he’ll eat it all? Now I’m all stressed out. . .ha! Thanks for the memories. I had a British friend say the opposite of you. . she hates that it’s all about candy because when she was growing up in England her mom made it about evil. . . . ha!!!!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • good list. Don't forget Nickelback, OJ, ISIS and beer-throwing Blue Jay fans.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
  • As crazy as it might sound, Chris Collinsworth just might be worse to listen to than the song Christmas Shoes.
  • Please remember that some Christmas music is incredibly offensive to people with grandmothers who actually were run over by reindeer.
  • Unfortunately, not a great night for "bobcats." :)

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