Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 30, 2013

BRADBERRY: Bewitched, bothered, bewildered -- and delighted

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Now THAT’S CREEPY!

But that is not the way I was raised. No, when I was a kid, Trick-or-Treating was just fun, no real devils, no real danger, rarely a trick, almost always a good treat; a good scare, followed by a good laugh, followed by a mouthful of candy, and that was about it!

I’m not sure when my parents bought costumes for all eight of us, in fact, I’m not sure that they ever did; Mom, with our “help” usually made them herself, applying plenty of make-up to our faces instead of masks, letting us become whatever we wanted to be, and we absolutely loved it, everybody did!

It usually started in school with cupcakes, apple juice and candy corn, then after school, on the way home, hordes of kids disguised as ballerinas, cowboys, Indians, skeletons, ghosts and goblins and everything under the sun, including the sun, began knocking on doors, ringing doorbells and filling our sacks with as much candy as we could carry.

With eight kids in the family, we made quite a haul which our parents wisely inspected, sorted, stored and gingerly rationed. Sometimes the candy lasted the entire year. Had it been left to us kids, it would have been completely consumed by morning at the expense of our tummies and what few teeth we may have had left in our heads by sunrise the morning after.

According to some reports available online (Wikipedia, etc.) trick-or-treating has been a North American Halloween tradition “since the late 1940s”, generally running between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on October 31.

But outside of North America, the practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for candy dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing.

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