October 31, 2016

"Is this the year Halloween — traditional, neighborhood, door-to-door — died?"

"We have only had 3 doorbell rings so far. And I have an old-school jack-o-lantern out on the stoop to say we are here and we have candy."

I wrote (on Facebook) 18 minutes ago.

1 minute ago, I added: "Oh, great. Four boys came by. I encouraged them to take big handfuls of the mini candies. One was a generic clown but I asked if he was Pagliacci. The others were specific characters, but I couldn't tell because I don't watch the right TV shows. Scorpion? Never heard of it!"

80 comments:

MisterBuddwing said...

This year? My parents, who live in a house in lower Westchester County, New York, are lucky if they get two or three trick or treaters, and it's been that way for years.

Rusty said...

How many kids you get depends on how many school age children are in your neighborhood. From the look of your neighborhood there aren't many children.

Unknown said...

Here in North Georgia, I've had hundreds of trick or treaters. It's really nice out and has been tons of fun.

traditionalguy said...

The small and cute kids were out Saturday night here. Who knows? Maybe the 10 and ups are all too busy Social Internet to scam some kiddie candy these days.

fivewheels said...

A couple of decades ago, I was Scorpion for Halloween.

Mrs Whatsit said...

Maybe Halloween has died in Madison, but it hasn't in upstate New York. We had our usual 100 to 150 kids. (I never manage to keep an exact count, though I try every year, in hopes of making the candy-shopping easier next year). As always, they were polite, charming, respectful, protective of their younger siblings and lots of fun -- even the looming teenaged boys who are arguably too old for costumes and goodie bags, but still smile if you make a joke with them and thank you sweetly for their peanut butter cups in their gruff new men's voices. It's almost enough to give a person hope.

Hunter said...

This year we had more than the past 3 combined. Probably 15 or so. Past years it's been less than a handful, and one year -- one. Our neighborhood is, I think, turning over to young families. Good for property value I hope.

The difference since I was a kid is obvious in that most parents seem to be driving kids house to house in the minivan. Gone are the days of swinging flashlight beams.

rcocean said...

In our neck of the woods, it died out 10 years ago. It seems to have been 3 things. One, the greater affluence of kids in the 21st century. Getting free candy just isn't a big deal for them. Two, parents afraid of poisoned candy, razor blades in apples, etc. Three, lots of "cool" Halloween parties. Maybe, "snap apple" is a big attraction.

As a Kid, I can remember when dressing up and getting all that free candy was the highlight of the time from the beginning of school to Thanksgiving.

Mark said...

Depends on the neighborhood. Absolutely huge here in the suburbs. Decorated yards,kids everywhere .... really good time.

Almost no political yard signs this year too, nice to enjoy neighbors without having politics intrude into a kids holiday.

Allison said...

Very cute kids here. Not that many, maybe four bags of candy gone in 90 mins. Less than 100. No one other than toddlers before 7, and no one after 8:30. No hoodlums nor teenagers, just kids and parents in the street behind them.

Sydney said...

We live on a busy street and our house is set back quite a ways from it, hard to see through trees at the front of the yard. I light up several jack-o-lanterns and turn on the porch light. For the past 15 years we have had zero trick or treaters. But this year, we had six!

Rockport Conservative said...

I moved into town from the country where no one trick or treats. I was told not many come to my neighborhood, we are mostly older folk. I was surprised at how many we had, not a huge amount, and some real cuties. I had no idea jellyfish would eat candy. The cute one that showed up here does. I was glad I bought more than one bag, and also glad I wasn't inundated with too many kids at one time.

Curious George said...

I thought you copied my sisters Facebook post, eerily similar. She also lives in a white liberal college town...Northfield MN.

holdfast said...

It's alive and well here in southern CT - lots of cute kids running around. Had a great evening.

Big Mike said...

Lots of young families in this neighborhood with lots of kids so we handed out almost all our candy.

Darn it!

Emmster said...

We had a ton of kids come by but almost every house in our neighborhood has school-aged children. I think it all depends on the demographic make-up of your neighborhood.
We allow our kids (10 & 11) to go trick-or-treating on their own, but they're not allowed to cross major roads. We're probably the exception as pretty much all of the other kids were trick-or-treating with their parents following them. No-one was driving this year, but it was a beautiful day. Much better than the past few years where we've had snow and rain!

Darrell said...

Pagliacci. Right.

gspencer said...

My memories of Halloween mirror those of AA. In the 50s and 60s my neighborhood had wall-to-wall kids. Go out after supper, or on Saturday mornings, and you'd be certain to find someone to play with.

So Halloween was a fun time of crowded streets and sidewalks. And safe too. Only later did the dangerous stuff, like razor blades in apples, come along.

Today in our later years we avoid trick/treaters; no lights on the porch. Our neighbors do similarly.

The memories are good enough.

heyboom said...

Back in 2000 while flight training in Oakland, my roommate and I prepared a big bowl of candy for Halloween. Got ZERO kids...not a one the entire night. So, no it's not the end, just an anomaly. And an epidemic of coulrophobia.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Depends on the neighborhood. In our affluent neighborhood it's like 1967, mostly from folks driving their kids in to trick or treat in a friendly, safe neighborhood. Over in Dogpatch, where we rented a house when we were between selling and buying, maybe one house in ten is lit up to welcome trick or treaters.
We made out like bandits when I was a kid, and I figure karma demands that I offer the same chance to kids today. Screw those lazy, cheap assholes hiding in their darkened houses.

Unknown said...

Santiago Ballerini

future star - write it down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUUn_IV2RCk

The Cracker Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n said...

Passing out candy, we got overly generous just after sunset.
We realized we might run out of goodies for the T or Ters.
I scrounged the pockets and piggy banks for shiny pennies.
Got out a BLUE permanent Sharpie marker and started inscribing blue W s on them.
Made the offer to kids...more candy OR... a lucky penny?
Go CUBS.
Is it a felony to use permanent marker on US coinage?

Renee said...

100+ Urban neighborhood.

Laslo Spatula said...

I've read stories like this, but I never thought it would happen to me...

It was Halloween and I was handing out candy to the Witches and Ghosts and Superheroes and Harry Potters when this beautiful girl dressed as a princess knocked on the door. She couldn't have been more than five or six, with golden blonde hair and riveting pale blue eyes.

Stop it: that is NOT where I am going.

I looked behind the Princess and saw her mother, and -- Holy Shit -- her Mother was HOT.

I asked the little girl if her mother was a Princess, too, and the little girl just laughed and said "I don't know, she's just my Mom."

The Mother laughed at this, and I dropped some candy into the Candy Bag of the Princess.

"A long night?" I asked the mother, and she smiled and nodded.

"Would you like a glass of white wine?" I asked. "It might help the rest of the night go easier."

The mother paused, then shrugged and said "Sure -- a quick glass would be lovely."

Suddenly the Princess squealed in delight: she saw my cat, sitting back from the door.

"Would you like to pet my kitty?" I asked, and she broke into a huge smile. "Come on in, my kitty's name is Bundy: he's very friendly."

So -- to make a long story short, the little Princess came in and petted the kitty while I fucked her Mother in the ass in the bathroom.

It was the best Halloween ever.

And that Princess is going to be a real Heartbreaker in five or six years.


I am Laslo.

Sean said...

My neighborhood in NC was packed. No joke prob 300 or so kids out trick or treating. Lots of parents in costumes too...

YoungHegelian said...

My neighborhood in the Maryland suburbs of DC has "turned over" in the past ten years, with the oldsters moving out & young families moving in.

Every year: more kids, more dogs.

Good turnout this year, with lots of little kids & fewer older kids/teenagers.

rcocean said...

Y'know, Laslo. I don't know how to put this... But sometimes, I don't think you're telling us the whole truth.

Big Mike said...

Very few of the parents were in costume. We had a bunch of real little ones come by with their parents just at dusk, then as the night wore on the age of the kids went up and after a while the kids were in their early teens and no parents in sight.

I'm kind of glad we moved out to a relatively rural area. Megan McArdle can keep Washington, DC; I prefer to live among real people. She needs to spend a month or two out here living in my neighborhood, and she might want to rewrite a couple of her columns. The real world is not bounded by the Washington Beltway, nor can you reach everything worth reaching on the Acela or via flights to LAX or SFO. I'm only 90 minutes west of Washington but I might as well be on a different planet.

Donald Douglas said...

Haven't had a single trick-or-treater tonight.

Of course, since we moved into an upstairs apartment a few years ago, we don't get too many Halloween kids any more. Our old neighborhood, a track of brand-new town homes, etc., had lots of kids and a great trick-or-treating scene. Not so much at my new place though.

Big Mike said...

@rcocean, I don't know how to put this, but the rest of us a well aware.

Scott M said...

Our street is out of the way in our town so we never get trick-or-treaters, but we take our kids over to the neighborhoods by their elementary school. Not only is that neighborhood lousy with trick-or-treaters, but there are a ton of parents out too. Quite a few fire pits going in driveways, coolers of frothy beverages, and porch lights on.

Michael K said...

Two kids tonight and that may be all but we are on a dead end street,

Richard Dolan said...

Always a crowd of trick or treaters in Brooklyn Heights, and most of the kids travel a bit to get here. We had 150 candy bars and ran out after an hour or so. People don't ring doorbells here very much. Instead the tradition is for those giving candy to sit on the stoop, usually in a costume of some sort, with a bowl of treats. Garden Place, a one-block long street in the Heights, draws a huge crowd of kids every year, and the residents of the block make an effort to show the kids a good time. A nice, neighborly thing to do.

It's another religious holiday that in its contemporary observance is completely cut off from its origins. Without the religious context, it's all a bit bizarre as celebrations go. More's the pity, that.

David Begley said...

Not enough young children in Althouse's neighborhood in Madison. Liberal demographic death spiral. Demography is destiny. See, Spain and Italy.

Michael K said...

The problem here is that young families can no longer afford these houses.

My son bought his house ten years ago and they have seen it double and more than double in price.

Single story, like ours, sell for the same price as larger houses with two stories. Know why ? Old people.

veni vidi vici said...

Lots of little children in my neighborhood this year. Sounds like the kids in your 'hood have grown up.

Richard Dolan said...

Always a crowd of trick or treaters in Brooklyn Heights, and most of the kids travel a bit to get here. We had 150 candy bars and ran out after an hour or so. People don't ring doorbells here very much. Instead the tradition is for those giving candy to sit on the stoop, usually in a costume of some sort, with a bowl of treats. Garden Place, a one-block long street in the Heights, draws a huge crowd of kids every year, and the residents of the block make an effort to show the kids a good time. A nice, neighborly thing to do.

It's another religious holiday that in its contemporary observance is completely cut off from its origins. Without the religious context, it's all a bit bizarre as celebrations go. More's the pity, that.

Mac McConnell said...

Lost count of trick of treaters, had to send nephew out to Walmart for more candy. Northland suburbs of Kansas City, Mo.

Unknown said...

I would have to say there are a lot of old folks in your neighborhood and few children. We have had a ton. But we also have quite a few homes where the home owners still sit outside greeting the kiddos.

DavidD said...

Our rule is that the outside lights have to be on--porch light, garage lights; a jack-o-lantern on the stoop doesn't cut it.

G-S. said...

40 kids at least. I know only one kid who was shipped in to visit the grandparents two doors down.

openidname said...

Suburb outside Los Angeles here. For me, it died last year, when I got three groups of kids (maybe 12 kids total) all night.

It's become a holiday for adults. The adults buy their Harambe or slutty nurse costumes, wear them to work, then wear them to a Halloween party at night. The West Hollywood street party is huge. Wouldn't want to take your kids to that.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

I'd guess about 70 kids tonight on Madison's far west side. A bit off from recent years, I think. We have a lot of kids in the neighborhood, but maybe they are getting too old for trick-or-treat. Good fun though for me and my young ones.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

I'd guess about 70 kids tonight on Madison's far west side. A bit off from recent years, I think. We have a lot of kids in the neighborhood, but maybe they are getting too old for trick-or-treat. Good fun though for me and my young ones.

Birches said...

Probably not many kids in Madison these days. We had a usual amount of kids, probably about 50 or so. We're at the end of a culdesac, so we always have a little bit less than the other streets. We have quite a few families that drive in from less desirable parts of town.

bagoh20 said...

Suburban LA here. Best year ever. We did up the house and yard with spiders, skeletons, and creeps. Built a fire in the front yard. Many more kids than normal. Some were missing their souls, and others appeared to have just done something incredibly violent and terrible. I suspect a few neighbors are lying in pools of blood tonight, but that's cool. You know what scares the hell out of even the packs of ghouls that come to our gate. A big pit bull that comes charging out the front door. You hear "trick or treat" and then "oh shit!" and lots of screams. I bet we're the only house in the neighborhood that provided real live scares. Great Fun!

Terry said...

Wait . . . Hallowe'een?
I thought this was Purge Night.
My bad.

Original Mike said...

We're over in the Hoyt Park area and we usually have like 5 kids all night. My wife said this year we had 20+. There are more kids in the neighborhood lately, as the oldsters are passing away.

Howard said...

The kids trickertreat in the town because the lion still rules the Barranca.

bagoh20 said...

Make America Treat Again!

John Sellman said...

Not dead in central California. Kids are out in droves. To be visited, a house needs serious decorations, many houses are decorated in halloween lights, much like Christmas decorations.

Paddy O said...

Crazy crowded in eastern LA county, down here for work and so we drove out and trick or treated with friends. The streets were packed, lines at some houses 10 kids long, no room on the sidewalk, people walking in the streets. My impression is that there are known neighborhoods, and people go to them. Lots of parked cars on the street. We used to live in that neighborhood but it has gotten even more crowded over the last five years.

It was also very busy at our Sacramento neighborhood last year.

Lots of families in both places.

Christopher said...

Arlington VA. neighborhood, 300+ kids.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Tell City, IN.... 300+

eddie willers said...

Another North Georgia suburb here. Went through two and a half $10 bags of candy.

The good stuff too. All Snickers, Hershey's etc. No candy corn crap like I got when I was young.

And Laslo...not a word about Hershey's, OK?

...or corn.

Jon Ericson said...

@YH: BOO!

firstHat said...

In NJ near Philadelphia, three hours steady stream of halloween kids!

Rusty said...

Blogger Darrell said...
Pagliacci. Right.

I laughed when I read that.
Right, Althouse. Because every suburban middle school aged boy listens to opera.
Here's a tip.
It's Halloween. Think Pennywise.

Curious George said...

"Deirdre Mundy said...
Tell City, IN.... 300+"

I actually know someone who lives in Tell City.

Bob Ellison said...

No trick-or-treaters at my house, but the houses here are really far apart, so that's no surprise. At my son's elementary school, though, even the fifth-graders showed up in costume. The charming young guy at the bus stop was dressed as a panda! That's good stuff. And his buddy down the street came by in the afternoon with a big stars/stripes hat on, declaring he was going trick-or-treating as "America".

As Mrs Whatsit said, it gives one hope. The kids will carry on despite us.

Mary Beth said...

A clown because it's edgy this year - http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-schools-ban-clown-halloween-costumes-after-scares-pranks-1477678546

LCB said...

There's a cycle in my neighborhood. Lots of kids for a few years; fewer and fewer as they become teens. Then when the teens move out the parents sell, move to a smaller home, perhaps. New young families move in and the whole cycle starts over.

Next Adventure said...

I had 600 kids in costumes come by my house in Cincinnati, near Cheviot

Pettifogger said...

How many kids you get depends on the cycle of the neighborhood. My neighborhood was built out in the 50s and 60s. In the 80s we had lots of kids come by. They gradually tapered off as the kids grew up. Now the parents of those kids are moving on, and new families are moving in. Two families with young children have recently moved onto our small cul de sac. We had a fair number of kids last night.

Freeman Hunt said...

Our neighborhood is pretty popular for trick or treating, but we drive to a neighborhood where the houses are closer together because we go with another family that has younger children. The people who come to our door usually aren't from our neighborhood, so driving somewhere else seems to be popular here.

Freeman Hunt said...

How many you get also depends on your neighbors. If you are the only one with lights on your street, most won't turn down it.

CWJ said...

Mac McConnell wrote -

"Lost count of trick of treaters, had to send nephew out to Walmart for more candy. Northland suburbs of Kansas City, Mo."

I also live in the KC Northland, but had only 15. Perhaps it's our hilly neighborhood, larger houses farther apart. Less reward for greater effort.

MadisonMan said...

120+ visited us. Lots of kids on this side of Regent.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No trick or treaters in our area. Haven't had one in decades. Too rural. Too far between houses to walk. Long long dark dirt or gravel driveways. Zero street lights. Predators outside at night...the 4 legged kind. It is usually raining or snowing. Miserable weather.

Instead there are organized parties for the little kids at the VFW/American Legion Halls. Great fun with games, food, treats, costume parade. The older kids have an event at the Fairgrounds Hall with music, dancing, food, etc. Private parties, supervised by the adults, at the various ranches usually in a barn with lots of atmosphere: hay, bonfire outside.

CJ said...

It was MONDAY NIGHT. School the next day.

Renee said...

I think a lot of it is the "stranger danger" of don't go to anyone's house you don't know.... even if you are with your parent. It is sad to see people actually walk by our decorated home without stopping. How do you meet your neighbors, if adults treat them as so dangerous that you can't ring the door bell when the porch light is on?

ALP said...

DBQ: similar situation here, but we are in an odd, off the street situation in a young sprawl city. Long ass driveway, lots of tall Douglas Firs, little light. We could scare the living shit out of anyone that dared make it down the 1/16 of a mile driveway. Hell, I get scared taking out the damn garbage.

Coyotes too.

gerry said...

Young people in progressive centers aren't having many children.

Kelly said...

I had more this year than in the past. At least a hundred or so. It was a beautiful evening and perfect for it.

DR Judge said...

We live on a cul de sac off a dark busy main road. No trick or treaters. So we import them with a Halloween party. A bouncy house, pumpkin painting, and cookie decoration are the main attractions. Parents come for the food and beer. We had about a dozen of each (kids and adults) on Sunday. Good time.

Carter Wood said...

Twenty-five years ago, no trick or treaters at all in Bismarck, ND. Granted, it was 10 below zero.

Jim at said...

Sorry, but I've never understood the appeal of having complete strangers come up to my house demanding free candy.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Curious George-- It's a great town-- very kid-friendly. Hence the huge numbers of Trick-or-Treaters.

mikee said...

In my suburban neighborhood in a bedroom community of Austin, Texas, I have for the past 16 years sat on my front porch distributing candy on Halloween. This year was a Monday, a school night, and kids started at 6:30 sharp, well before dark, by neighborhood association decision. Our last visitor was 8:30, we gave out 8 pounds of candy to about 100 costumed kids. Very few teens this year, likely because it was Monday night.

One pair of teens did come by, wearing what looked like normal clothes. I asked them, as I asked all Trick-or-Treaters, what they were supposed to be. The boy with his iPod plugged into his head said he was a disappointed white rap artist. The girl with him said she was just disappointed with life. They both got extra candy for their responses.