To me, Halloween means candy and goodies. Even more so than costumes and parties. I guess it’s always been that way for me. So when asked about Halloween memories, sure enough, I think of apple taffies and Hershey bars.
My first funny Halloween memory was from childhood. I grew up in a row home, which are called townhomes these days. So when making our rounds on Halloween, since there were so many houses close together, we could really bring home a big stash of goodies. My best friend, Ellie, lived right next door. On this particular Halloween, Ellie was seven years old and I was six years old. She was dressed in a red devil costume with cute little horns on top of her head and she was carrying a pitchfork, as well as a big pillowcase to retrieve goodies. I, on the other hand, was dressed as an angel. I had on a long white dress with tin foil over cardboard wings, as well as a halo made out of garland. And I was carrying a wand. I’m not sure if angels carry wands, but I guess my Mom thought they did, so there I was with a wand in my hand along with my big pillowcase as well.
Back in those days, kids went out by themselves. It was so different than it is today. There was one house that decided to really do it up this one year. They had a couple of family members dressed up in scary costumes standing in the front yard in order to scare us little kids as we walked up to their front door. Me and Ellie weren’t afraid, although we loved screaming. It was great fun. But the best part was that this year, they were giving out those big bright red apple taffies. Me and Ellie’s eyes lit up like light bulbs when we saw them. Apple taffies! They were put in special little plastic bags so we could get them home safely and intact. It was like winning the grand prize for us. We were so excited.
After spending the next couple of hours collecting our usual Halloween candy, we were heading back home. But we both had something on our minds. Ellie brought it up first. She asked me if I thought those apple taffy people would recognize us if we went up to their front door again. In spite of wearing a halo, I said that since there were so many kids out trick or treating that night, how could they ever possibly recognize us, so let’s do it. So with a mischievous look in our eyes, and with our little hearts beating in anticipation of pulling off the crime of the century, we made our way back to the apple taffy house.
It didn’t go well. Walking up the path to the house, one of the sons in a zombie costume shouted “Hey! They were here before!”. We quickly said “No we weren’t” and still made our way to the front door. The nice man and lady who took the time to make all these apple taffies for us kids stood in the doorway, and by the look on their faces, I knew we were caught. They asked us if we had been there earlier, and we both lied and said “no”. But I know we looked guilty as hell. The man got angry and said he didn’t believe us and shouted at us to leave – without a second apple taffy, and we did. It was humiliating.
All the way home, we felt awful. Even as little girls, we felt mortified and stupid for being so greedy. The little devil and the little angel wearily walked home feeling like we were horrible little girls. We made a pact to not ever tell our parents what we tried to do, and we never did. And nothing was ever mentioned about it again. By the time Halloween rolled around again the following year, the apple taffy people had moved, so we were never tempted again. I think that whole experience stopped us from a life of crime. We just weren’t cut out for it. Too embarrassing.
My adult Halloween memory has to do with Hershey bars. My kids were young and had lots of friends. Me and my husband had a big orange van that just had two captain’s chairs in it and the back was all empty except for lots of brown shag carpeting all over it. Hubby and I were hippie wannabes back then. I still loved Halloween and anticipated it as much as my kids did. My husband could care less, although he agreed to give out candy at our house while I took my two kids and a group of their friends out trick or treating.
Now remember these were the days before we had all the seat belt laws and such. This was our plan. Once the kids were done trick or treating in our own neighborhood, I packed the kids and their friends in the back of the orange van, and we drove to several of the nearest housing developments. I drove very slowly, and we left the side door of the van open. The kids (and I) were on a mission. They would run up to each house and get their candy, and then after the block was done, they’d run back and all pile back into the van again. I slowly drove to the next block, and we repeated the pattern. Their Halloween bags were filling up to the brim before we knew it.
The funniest aspect of this whole thing was that I had one stipulation for all the kids. To repay me for this whole evening, any Hershey bars they got, had to come to me. The kids really got into it. Whenever they got a Hershey bar, they’d come screaming back to me with a Hershey bar in their hands, knowing how much it meant to me. By the end of the evening, I had a pretty good little stash of my own. It was a fun game, and one we did for a couple of years in a row. What happy memories!
So those are two of my funniest Halloween memories that I think of every year at this time. It’s a shame that years later, Halloween turned into something where parents had to have their kids’ goody bags x-rayed for razor blades and all that horrible stuff. I realize lots of parents these days don’t even let their kids go to people’s houses to get candy anymore. I can’t say I blame them with the world being what it is today. How sad. I wonder what kind of memories the kids of today will have regarding Halloween. Will they have any funny memories to think about and tell when they get older?
Trick or treat everyone! And may all your kids’ goody bags contain lots of Hershey bars!