On Halloween. . .

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Halloween is one of our favorite holidays and generally starts the traditional “holiday season” of Halloween, Thanksgiving (US as well as other countries), Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve.

There is something magical for me in Halloween. Pumpkins, ghosts, scary costumes, lots of candy. When I was a kid, I spent many hours dreaming of the beautiful, custom-made princess costume with a wand of gold and a long, flowing blond wig that mom would get for me. I was equally thrilled when she brought home a Superman costume on sale at the local discount store. Boy, girl–mom didn’t care. It was a bargain!

In those days kids started their trick or treating right after school (Baby Boom era – most moms were home). I lived in a neighborhood with about eleven thousand kids, yet we all managed to fill our bags with enough candy to be sick for weeks.

After dinner my mom and dad piled the four of us in the car (after they took out the few who didn’t belong) and to grandmother’s house we would go. We loved that part of the day because grandma always saved the best candy for us. As well as a few coins slipped into our bags.

It was a great day we looked forward to every year and was not considered a success unless dad had to pull the car over on the way home since at least one of us was sick.

What was your childhood Halloween like? Comment to be entered into the drawing for an Amazon gift card. And while you’re here, take a look around at my newly re-designed website!

114 thoughts on “On Halloween. . .”

    1. My favorite Halloween memory was going to a big party with my dad one year I dressed up as Minnie Pearl

  1. My halloween when i was a kid was lots of fun going out Trick or Treating with cousins and family and seem to be safer then.

  2. We didn’t have Halloween in England when I was growing up. I didn’t even know it even existed until I married my American husband.

  3. My childhood Halloweens involved going trick or treating in our neighborhood in Pittsburgh, with my brothers and our father as chaperone. One house always gave out popcorn balls (this was the 60’s, we trusted people then), one had homemade candy apples, one gave out large size candy bars…it was so much fun. One year my father made me a Statue of Liberty costume out of sheets and he fashioned a torch out of paper and spray paint (I think?). :People invited us into their homes to show off our costumes. It was a great time and it was always upsetting when it was cold and we had to wear coats over our costumes.

  4. When I was a teacher or even living across the street from the elementary school I loved to go to the Halloween parade and see all the kids dressed up!

  5. My Halloweens as a child were fill with costumes and trick or treating. I miss those days.

  6. My Halloween growing up was getting ready when we got home, we made homemade Halloween costumes and mom even dressed up too. We would walk around town and whenever we went past a graveyard she had a tape player in her bag that would play spooky music. Everyone knew everyone in our small town, so they would often put something special in our bags with the candy.

  7. Our Halloween involved trick or treating with my sisters and our Dad when we were young. My Mom would stay home and give out candy to the trick or treaters. We always wanted to stay out later and walk farther then our Dad did so he started driving us and stay in the car while we walked. When we were old enough we would go out on our own and get a whole pillow case full of candy. I started going trick or treating with my best friend. We would usually dress up as princesses.

  8. My Halloweens were always fun ,me and my cousin would always go together for safety .My parents would go with us when we were young. I remember going to another cousin’s house for a costume party one year, it was alot of fun to get together with my family. It is so fun looking back at all these special memories.

  9. We didn’t celebrate or go trick or treating. I made up for it with my own kids though!

  10. I always enjoyed the classroom parties, where we could wear our costumes at school. We would have a parade where the younger kids could walk through the classrooms and hallways. For trick or treating, I would go with my cousins and always had a blast! I miss those days!

  11. Happy October! Loved Halloween as a kid, my mom would take us to her friend’s neighborhood, and we got so many goodies!

  12. Hi Callie! I have read A Study in Murder and loved it! I love the setting in the 1800’s in the upper crust society in England. I plan to purchase The Sign of Death very soon. I also plan to continue with the series for as long as you continue writing books for the Victorian Book Club series.

  13. My father raised us very religious and we were not allowed to trick or treat. However I’ve dressed up my son as a storm trooper (a few times per his request), Manny the handyman, an astronaut, a ninja and a pirate (reused ninja stuff and a homemade treasure map). ❤️❤️❤️ miss those days since he’s 23

  14. We always dressed up and went around the neighborhood and then my Mom would have our friends over for a pizza party.

  15. My Halloween was similar to yours. One year my friend Paul and I decided to walk to my aunt’s house on the other side of town. It was a long uphill walk. We had a great time stopping at every house and store on the way. At my aunt’s we bobbed for apples with coins in them and got the best candy. It was getting late and my aunt must have wondered why we were there without my mother and younger brother, so she called my mother. Boy was she angry and scared. Were in trouble and told to walk straight home fast. It was worth the haul of candy.

  16. I live in a very rural area where I haven’t had any Trick-or-Treaters in the 12 years I’ve lived here. So Happy Halloween to those who have the kids coming by.

  17. We trick or treated in a neighborhood across the highway from us since there were very few houses by us. One sweet lady always made popcorn, candy apples and cookies. Her home smelled wonderful! It was always our favorite place to go.

  18. I would get dressed up in one of those cheap costumes that had the mask with the elastic string to go around your head to hold it on and that you couldn’t breath or see out of. We still had so much fun trick or treating.

  19. We always went trick or treating after school. At night we always had a Halloween party. We would buy cupcakes from the bakery. They were delicious/ They were yellow cake with hard orange icing. There was always a charm at the bottom of the cake.

  20. My older brother, by five years, would meet up with his guy friends to trick and treat and terrorize me on Halloween. I remember being scared by them and I’d cry. I was out with just 3 or 4 other girls and we’d collect some candy and run home. When my brother came in later he got whipped with a weeping willow tree limb by our Grandpa. He had saved it specifically for that reason. Of course, he wasn’t really whipped he just got touched by it a few times then laugh.
    This was in 1957 in Arkansas, the good ole days ?

  21. Me and my cousins and siblings all dressed up at my nana’s house and we went trick or treating together until we moved & then it was just my siblings and parents who went with me. Until I got a bit older I went off with my friends after that. I’ve always loved Halloween!

  22. I remember my first Halloween…was three years old, don’t quite remember what costume I wore, but had a lot of fun, going around the neighborhood and seeing the other kids in costumes (this was the early 1970s, so many were dressed up in the Ben Cooper ones, THE classic Halloween costume!).

    The next few were cool, went to a few Halloween parties, remember one young lady going as a black cat, complete with black go-go boots, quite a cool costume. Many parties in school, all of us dressed as the latest TV characters or classic movie monster types, I wore a few Ben Cooper costumes (Batman, Yogi Bear, C3PO, etc.), then moved onto homemade ones. We all had fun, hundreds of us out trick-or-treating, pillowcases full of candy (and had to have the folks check every piece), some parties at others’ houses.

    Times have changed, now just handing candy out, seeing the kids in their costumes, it really brings back fond memories.

  23. Didn’t get to go trick or treating because Dad was a preacher and believed Halloween was for devil worshippers. That was in the early 1960’s.

  24. I lived in a state where quite often there was snow on the ground. We wore our costumes over coats and snow pants.

  25. Halloween was never my favorite holiday . My dad and I left candy on the porch and went to the basement- with no lights on

  26. I have good and bad memories of Halloween. We did a lot of trick or treating and when we got home my brothers and sisters, and I would go through our treats and trade back and forth. My cousin whom I consider my brother was born on October 31st. My paternal grandmother passed away on October 31st when I was 10. Loads of memories.

  27. I grew up in South Omaha, Nebraska in the early 60’s, I remember mom making a early supper so we could get out to hit the streets. Once supper was done and dishes we put away, we were allowed to go. I remember going house to house at least 8 to 10 blocks from home . My favorite stop was the bakers house the always gave out cut-out frosted cookies, next favorite was the grocery store owner. They gave out full size Hershey candy bars. By the time we got home ( around 9pm or so), we had a pillowcase full of candy and coins. We went as a group of 6 to 7 kids so I always felt safe. My favorite costume was a clown outfit my mom made for me. My dad would make us dump the candy on the living room floor so he could check it for “bad” candy…right he just wanted to snitch some. So glad I was raised in a time where we weren’t afraid to stay out past dark . Street lights came on and you’d go home. Happy Fall everyone!!

  28. In the 60’s and 70’s, the sidewalks were packed! Everyone made their own costumes which were endlessly creative! Candy was plentiful. New immigrants who lived down the street made pastries from their country. There was no fear. Just lots of fun!

  29. I loved that our Halloween trick or treating was full of popcorn balls other homemade goodies. We would get pennies and rulers oh and a toothbrush from a dentist.

  30. I love fall! Love to curl up with a good book. Family recipes and gatherings with my grands! ?

  31. Our family did apple on a string. The cellar was decorated for the Halloween party after dark. My twin sister Marilyn and I would go on our block only with friends Trick N Treating. Dad would make us some decorations with white rags and a ball inside a ghosts.
    Mom and Joan our older sister would do the party desserts. Never nothing too scary. Joan would buy Marilyn and I Pumpkins from Lofts every year growing up. She and her friend would go to Lofts after work(friend had a younger brother who would receive the pumpkins every year too.)

  32. Oh, such fond memories of trick or treating as a youngster! We lived in a small town and my dad would drop us off at one end of the block and pick us up at the other end. We would dump our loot in a spare pillowcase, left in the car. My dad always made sure we had the best homemade costumes and we would always win prizes in the local parades.

  33. When I was younger it seem safer to go trick or treating and so I would go with a small group of kids trick or treating around the neighborhood. With my older son I would take him walking around the neighborhood until his sack was full and then head back home. So time did change but to me it is definitely a treat for children to be able to go to different houses and see all the decorations. Also, with my older son we had fun finding out the different haunted houses.

  34. We also went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They lived in the city where we could cover blocks and blocks. Our house in the country had 4 house close enough to visit. We got enough candy to share (some) with Mom and Dad.

  35. we always went out trick-or-treating with a whole bunch of kids. lots and lots of candy!! i think the best time was when i was already a teenager, and a bunch of us went out as a caterpillar, trying to collect candy for one of the neighbor kids who was sick. most people beliveed us and we did give (most of) the candy to the little boy!

  36. October brings on the thought and feel of fall. I just wished it stayed a bit longer before we get cold winter!

  37. Halloween is definitely a fun time for kids. I love them in their costumes and happy attitudes.

  38. My Halloween as a kid was awesome. We would spend days coming up with a costume and family and friends would hit the neighborhood. We always got bags of candy. Not allowed to eat till we got home.

  39. Early elementary, my parents took us trick or treating in the neighborhood. In later years, I went with my brother and then with a group of friends.

  40. We’re talking late 1950’s and early1960’s Halloween.

    Our family did not have money to spend on store bought Halloween costumes and my mother couldn’t sew to save her life. So, each Halloween we scavenged my mother’s closet and she dressed us as “gypsies” with huge long full really ugly skirts, lots of her gaudy costume jewelry and excessive makeup. My wonderful Daddy (who had already spent his entire work day on his feet) took me and my 2 younger sisters trick or treating for hours around our neighborhood in Northwest Houston. With patience we didn’t appreciate then, he continued until our home decorated paper bags were full or we decided we were too tired to continue.

    Once back home, we each emptied our bags in piles and Daddy checked everything before we could eat it.

    My Dad has been gone several years now. Thank you for reminding me of this treasured memory.

  41. My formative Halloween years were in Ottawa, Canada; my father was Canadian military. And it was COLD!! Many Halloweens were snowy. And there’s nothing like tromping around in the snow with a costumer on UNDER your winter gear. ? One year, my mom ran out of candy and when we ran home mid-evening to dump our goodies and go out for another foray, she took a lot of our candy to give out to the trick or treaters! ?

  42. We always went trick or treating in simple costumes we handmade and enjoyed neighborhood Halloween parties. I especially loved bobbing for apples. Do they even do this anymore? Today, I enjoy seeing the little trick or treaters at my door.

  43. Usually trick or treating with my mom, best friend, her mom, + her little brother.

  44. Growing up we didn’t go Trick M treating . The only thing we did was have flour bags . For Thanksgiving we went to neighbors and asked anything for Thanksgiving dressed in old clothes .

  45. Halloween’s such a great time to be a kid! Our favorite costumes are when we cleverly made our own, this is after we wised up to the plastic mask and plastic coverall kits of the late 70s/early 80s didn’t have the same comfort or panache as assembling our own outfit.

  46. At a very young age my mom took me trick or treating in the neighborhood. When I was older I went with friends and we always had so much fun. So many treasured memories! We also had a cat give birth one year on Halloween evening, while trick or treaters were coming to the door! That was a very special Halloween. We got to keep one kitty from the litter and he grew up to be a very special cat. He was the best cat I’ve ever had. He lived a long life and I still miss my Tigger.

  47. Halloween was all about dressing up in a homemade costume approved by mom – never anything scary, supernatural, or super girly (no witches, fairies, or princesses for us). We were allowed a few pieces of candy – but ate more than allowed – before mom took it away to check for open wrappers on candy. She said she tossed those pieces but our stashes were much lighter the next morning.

  48. My Halloween was spent in a car riding around for miles to get to the nearest house. Homemade costumes. Pillowcase for bags.

  49. When I was young, we lived in Pennsylvania and Halloween meant trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. We made homemade costumes and had a parade at our elementary school with everyone dressed in costumes. It was a different era and my brothers and sister and I went door to door trick-or-treating on our own.

  50. As a child we dressed up and went trick or treating around the neighborhood. My great aunt always made popcorn balls to hand out. They were my favorite. We’d also go to a carnival where there always was a cake walk and games.

  51. Our parents were farmers too busy with harvest season, when we were kids, to have time for things like Halloween.

  52. When I was a kid, I went trick or treating with my cousin & brother. My aunt would take us up & down the streets to the houses in my neighborhood.

  53. We loved Halloween as kids. We had a brown paper grocery bag. We never had a store-bought costume. We had to make do with whatever was around the house. We were until the streets well after dark.

  54. I always loved Halloween as a kid. I can remember getting the costumes with the masks that had just a little hole for breathing. My parents would go with my brother and me. I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew everyone and all the parents would hang out together while all of us kids went trick or treating.

  55. For Halloween every year my parents would buy bags of different candy and halloween bags. We would sit at the table one night before halloween and open the candy bags to put one of each into the halloween bags. Each bag had at least 5 different candies in it. I always dressed up and went trick or treating. Halloween is my favourite time of the year.

  56. We used to go to a Harvest Party after school. We trick or treated in our neighborhood afterwards.

  57. I went trick or treating with my sisters. My Dad would take us while my Mom stayed home and handed out candy to the trick or treaters. Our Mom would make our costumes. I always wanted to go as Cinderella. When I was older I would go with my best friend. We would stay out until our pillowcases were full.

  58. Trick or treating started at sundown for us and went on to midnight. We would make several trips back home to empty our bags when they got too heavy.

  59. My dad would take my brother and I trick or treating in our neighborhood & we would each come home with a big bag of treats. The candy would last us until Christmas.

  60. Happy October and Halloween. Time to move the clocks back this month.
    Love your Books .

  61. I never really liked Halloween. I still don’t. Except for the Reese’s peanut butter pumpkins!

  62. Halloween as a kid was always fun; trick or treating around the neighborhood and dressing up in costume; only thing I didn’t like was having to wear a coat over the costume because it was cold!

  63. Growing up in Western NY, it was generally VERY cold on Halloween. We would dress for the cold and the find clothes to dress up for Halloween. Most of the time we were Hobos or pirates. We never had store bought costumes.

  64. Growing up when I did, Halloween was safe and fun. We would go trick-or-treating and then go to my grandmother’s to show her our “loot”!

  65. My Dad was a preacher and he wouldn’t let us observe Halloween, because he believed it was the Devil’s holiday.

  66. My mom made a lot of our costumes, being a single mom money was tight.
    She was a great seamstress and they turned out better than store bought ones.

  67. I use to go trick or treating and when I got a little too old for that, I remember once having a great Halloween party in the garage. I didn’t have money for a costume, so I rolled myself in toilet paper and called myself a mummy. It was so fun! We didn’t need a lot of fancy stuff to have a great time.

  68. For me Halloween was part of “Harvest Time” I lived on a farm among many farms. So we were all spread out pretty good. Areas would get together at the school and there was a party/festive time. Nothing scary, just a lot of fun with neighbors/friends that went to the same school. When I was in high school we moved back to Illinois. We moved from a school of farm kids to what seemed like city kids. From a school of 300 to 3000. We moved to the suburbs in Barrington Hills. Yes a huge culture shock for all of us. Our first dress up and tricker treating was interesting. We went with some friends, our moms came along and we only went a couple of blocks. We went back to our home and all had fun with what our moms had put together. Simple, fun, happy. Over the years and with our two kiddos, I have tried to keep halloween fun, happy, simple. We still carried many of our traditions from living on the farm. I imparted them to my children.

  69. I’ve always loved Halloween and have great memories of going out trick or treating with my 4 brothers. We couldn’t afford costumes so mom would let us use whatever clothes she and dad had so we could dress up. Quite often my brothers were hunters or hobos! lol We lived in an area where there were many streets with lots of houses so we would try to do the whole neighbourhood. One house I remember the most….the lady would always make us candy apples!! Yummm! I made sure my boys had fun Halloweens as well and now I’m enjoying seeing my grandchildren have the same fun:) Happy Halloween, Callie:)

  70. We all dressed up and covered the neighborhood. It always was fun with going to people we knew.

  71. My parents took us out in the neighborhood until I was around 4th or 5th grade, then I went with my brother and/or friends. We always ended up with lots of candy!

  72. Halloween allows my family to get crafty. As a kid, I had initially wanted store-bought costumes, but I soon realized the joy in assembling my own and so have my own kids!

  73. My dad was in the Army, so I spent most of my early childhood in countries where Halloween was not celebrated. I do remember one year when he was in Vietnam, trick or treating in North Dakota where it was so cold that we had to wear snow suits over our costumes (not fun).

  74. My childhood Halloween memories were of going trick or treating in a special homemade costume each year.

  75. When I was 7 or 8. may mother cut down one of my father’s old Post Office uniforms for my Halloween costume. After touring our development and gathering my usual ton of candy, I returned home complaining of itching. When I stripped off my costume, I was one giant hive from neck to ankles. That’s how we discovered I was allergic to wool! I remember standing stark naked on the commode while my parents swabbed me down from top to bottom with Witch Hazel.

  76. To put this in context, please realize that my childhood Halloweens were 70+ years ago. I lived in a town of <400, in SW Minnesota, and we really did know every house in town. Our costumes were homemade, we were able to go around in family or friend groups with no fear of any part of town, and most of our 'loot' was homemade. By the time my children were celebrating, I lived in a city and we were already starting to be concerned about houses, neighborhoods and what was in the bag. I miss the simpler times, and the only thing I miss about not having trick or treaters come to my house (live in the country now) is the chance to see the little ones in their costumes.

  77. I loved going out with my late father. It was a special time for us bcz we didn’t live with him.

  78. I loved dumping my candy out and putting all the same candy in separate piles! My brother & sister did the same to see who had the most chunky’s, Reese’s etc.

  79. Halloween and trick or treating was never really a thing in my country, NZ, when I was growing up. Over the years, people started copying the US traditions but we never did. Mum would say ‘we don’t believe in Halloween.’ I never really wanted to go out in the streets dressed up, but I did want to give out lollies, which we weren’t allowed to do because we didn’t celebrate.
    Now I’m a parent, and it is our decision to stay away from Halloween and all that goes with it.
    I think some of it kind of looks like a fun celebration in the US, but I just can’t fully get behind it here in NZ. ?

  80. My first Halloween was also my first month in this country. I was excited to find out that they gave out free candy here! (And back then you even got free school supplies.)

  81. Living on a farm makes it a challenge but we always had wonderful times at Halloween. And now the kids do too.

  82. The kids really enjoy going out in costume – especially if the weather cooperates. They love being bears, ghosts, and other fun characters.

  83. one year we made popcorn balls for a Halloween party and they were such a hit, we’ve made them ever since.

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