Holiday hosts more trickers than treaters

By Abbi Overfelt

October 30, 2013

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

At one time, the spookiest of holidays was highly anticipated, perhaps taking a back seat only to Christmas. Kids got to morph into a favorite action hero, or vampire or pirate, and canvas the neighborhood for sweet treats, anxious to score more Baby Ruths and Butterfingers than the healthy stuff, 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.

When kids 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-treaters 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 only to look up at a trick-or-treater?

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.” There are several churches, as well as the county Parks and Recreation, that are offering a controlled environment for your children, as well as some advice from the local police on how to make sure that all the scare in Halloween is contrived.

We suppose that 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. Be careful out there.