We never wore scary costumes. Kids didn’t dress with blood and gore back then. A white sheet over your head was about the spookiest thing you might see. No one decorated houses, no lights. Jack-o-lanterns had triangle eyes, not too creative. My mom often made me a costume. I’m on the far left, dressed as fraulein Deila. Then there’s Pam and Pam and Mary Lee.
When I got married and had kids, I made costumes and handed them down to the next born. All five were a leopard when they were 3 or 4. We moved on to Dick Tracy, poodle skirts, Zelda and clowns. But I couldn’t let them wander the streets for candy. By then we had the razor blade scare, so my kids didn’t get to canvas the neighborhood. It had become so bad that hospitals opened their emergency rooms for x-ray scanning of your kids candy. In our neighborhood, parents would follow their kids around from house to house.
That’s when our church began to sponsor a “trunk or treat.” Everyone shows up in the parking lot and hands out candy from their car trunk. Not the same as the good old days, but safe.
Halloween became not so much fun. Costumes became more evil-looking and evil people were tampering with the candy. I became kind of a Halloween Scrooge. I buy my small size candy, eat it, carve a pumpkin, and wish I had an elaborate witch costume. Yea, a nice black hat and cape and magical power (I’ve always wanted to be Samantha of Bewitched.)
And how about some Halloween, not too-scary movies to share with the family? I’m thinking, “Witches”, “Young Frankenstein”, “Ghostbusters”, “Beetlejuice”, “Frankenstein”, “The Adams Family” and maybe some from my youth — we were always tormented by “Night of the Living Dead” ”Psycho,” and “Wait Until Dark.” I might prefer “Vertigo” or “The Birds.”