For a recent CBG author chat on Love Romances Cafe, I wrote a little tale of the scariest Halloween I faced as a child. I thought I’d share it with y’all, too. Here’s part one. Part Two will arrive next Friday, October 11, and Part Three on Friday, October 18.
The late sixties-early seventies presented a strange time to be a kid at Halloween. Trick-or-treating was morphing away from a neighborhood candy free-for-all, full of loose piles of candy corn, those weird wax shapes filled with sugar water that you’d chew until your mouth was full of wax, and the occasional huge psychedelic-dyed homemade popcorn ball as a real prize. Rumors of razor blades in sparkling red candy apples began to circulate, and all unwrapped or homemade treats turned into potential instruments of fear.
Costumes were changing, too. Batman, Superman, and Sleeping Beauty, each consisting of a hard plastic mask with eye holes that never quite matched up with your eyes, and cheap nylon tunics of exactly the same shape and size no matter what the character, were giving way to tramps and hoboes: Just put on your older brother’s clothes, and smear dirt on your face. Authorities warned parents of the dangers of those hard plastic masks (your kids can’t see to cross the street!).
How had we ever survived all those years of trick-or-treating without recognizing these hazards before?
But the most fearful Halloween, for me, was not about dangerous treats or blinding costumes. No, when at age seven (or was it eight?) I had to face my fear, it came in a very different disguise.
That story’s continued in Part Two, arriving next Friday. Meanwhile, what do you recall about the Halloween treats or costumes of your childhood?