Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Bring Back The Goblins!

on October 10, 2013


I love holidays and one of my all-time favorites, both as a child and an adult, is Halloween.  But, as the years have passed, it seems that all the little goblins that would run up our walk with cries of “Trick Or Treat” have disappeared.

Danny and I moved to our current house over eight years ago.  We live in a mixed neighborhood of young families and not-so-young senior citizens.  It’s a quiet, but friendly neighborhood.  Our first year here, I kept an eye on the school bus stops and was thrilled to see a large number of kids who I felt were sure to stop in for a treat on Halloween.

I dressed the yard with cobwebs, headstones and pumpkins, set up two chairs at the top of our walk, nestled a large bowl of yummies on my lap and Danny and I waited for the onslaught of little trick-or-treaters.  After an hour, my neck hurt from looking up and down the street for the goblins…but not one was out and about.  After eight p.m., Danny and I dragged our disappointed selves into the house.

We followed this disappointing process for the next three years until we finally realized that the days of little goblins wandering our streets on Halloween were gone. I felt bad, not only for ourselves, but for the little ones.

Most parents bring their children to their town’s “Halloween Safe Walk” and do not allow the kids to do any actual trick or treating in neighborhoods.  I commend towns who organize these “safe” (but slightly commercial) walks which really consist of kids in costumes walking down the main street from booth to booth…standing in long lines to get a piece of candy and then moving on to the next booth.  I find this sad.  It’s like the kids are on an assembly line.

When I was a child, Halloween was a big deal.  We spent days, weeks and sometimes months dreaming of the excitement of knocking on our neighbor’s doors, dressed as ghosts, hobos or pirates and bringing home our pillowcases filled with goodies. For a few years, my parents went with us until my brother’s were old enough to escort us around the neighborhood.

When I was a child, Halloween was a big deal, and not just for the kids.  Adults would be at the door, waiting for us with large bowls filled with candy.  Some would hold a open house, where the family could get a cold glass of cider.  The streets were jammed, the costumes were homemade and the kids loved it.

I can hear some people now saying, “But, it’s too dangerous out there now to let our kids go from door to door in our neighborhood.”  I disagree.  Of course parents or responsible siblings MUST accompany the little ones on their rounds.  A strong police presence (or trustworthy volunteers) should be visible to prevent hooligans (or worse) from preying on the youngsters.  But, I feel that kids today are being robbed of the excitement, the fun and the thrill that was meant to be Halloween!

The young one’s aren’t the only ones being gypped by the fear of neighborhood trick or treating.  Think about the elderly people these kids would cheer up with their sweet faces and cute little costumes.  Those who don’t enjoy having kids come to their door could just leave their porch light off…a tried and true method of not being “in the mood” for Halloween.

Of course, there must be vigilance on the parent’s end….they must inspect their kids candy before allowing them to eat it.  Hospital’s offer free x-rays for trick-or-treaters to ensure some idiot hasn’t tried to harm a child.  But, it is doable…we can make our streets safe again and get those kids off the assembly line.  Let’s allow the youngsters of today the thrill of doing some real trick or treating.

So, let’s bring back the Goblins.  I miss them!



This post is dedicated to Bloggers For Peace and to my fellow B4Peace member, Rarasaur.  Check out their excellent site here!

24 responses to “Bring Back The Goblins!

  1. TamrahJo says:

    When I was in school, the elementary classes (K-5) would spend part of their day visiting and making the rounds at the nursing home in town.
    When I was a senior, I worked at that nursing home, and on any occasion requiring ‘dress-up’ – Homecoming, Prom, Fall & Spring Concerts, Plays – I and my classmate who also worked there, would go down and make the rounds.

    I learned so much from working in nursing homes and I think so many of the ills in our society of young folks and aging ones could be healed if we decided to return to homes filled with multi-generations – – the older ones often have the time and patience to enter and stay in the world of the young – when working adults in their prime are worrying about how to provide for everyone.

    Young ones cannot resist the opportunity to be focused on for exactly who they are – a gift beyond the Universe – –

    Ahhh…sometimes, we can really see the “Good Ole Days” weren’t so terrible and in need of change, after all… – 😀

    • M E McMahon says:

      We also paraded around classrooms with our teachers…and nursing homes are a great place start off the Halloween festivities. I just think that with enough diligence and parent involvement…the old days can return! 🙂

      • TamrahJo says:

        I started attending a locally sponsored luncheon that’s held every Wednesday that is predominantly attended by senior citizens. It’s only been 3 weeks, but yesterday, I got tied up and didn’t arrive at the usual 11:30 – but later and when I walked in, I heard, “There she is – I told you she’d be here.” and “Good, now we don’t have to send someone to check on you”

        Sort of like the Word Press community – who emails me to see if I’m still alive if I don’t post for a month –

        😀 These are the roses they talk about stopping and smelling! My re-entrance into a world I’ve isolated myself from since the stroke has been mostly supportive and I wish that for everyone! 🙂

      • M E McMahon says:

        Love every word…it’s great to see you up and about and it’s so wonderful to see you getting involved!

      • TamrahJo says:

        Granted, it is, in the end, much easier still to be a hermit, but as my strength grows and my speech improves, it becomes less easy to sell myself the ‘I can’t do this/Who wants to talk to Elmer Fudd?” excuse! 😀

  2. kerbey says:

    We still go Trick or Treating with my son, but I don’t like that my only costume options for a grown woman are slutty nurse, whorey teacher, or skanky princess.

  3. mewhoami says:

    I too have noticed the slow decline in trick-or-treaters. My husband and I are normally headed out the night of Halloween each year, so we get the opportunity to drive through various neighborhoods. Rarely do we see even one child. In fact, the last time that I can recall seeing traditional trick-or-treaters was at least 4 years ago. Sure, they’re running around the stores all dressed up to get their candy and to show off their costumes, but that’s the extent of it.

    I agree that with parent or sibling escorts, there should be very little stopping these kids from having a traditional Halloween experience. An experience that will give them fun memories to look back on, just as we have.

    • M E McMahon says:

      I feel that they’re missing a big chunk of what Halloween was created for. Sadly, their parents were probably prevented from neighborhood trick or treating too! It’s time for us to remind them what excitement it can be for kids to walk the neighborhoods and yell “Boo!”

  4. Bastet says:

    I loved Halloween, so sad that there’s all this fear now days that has crept up depriving everyone of the fun of that holiday…hope your campaign bring people to their senses!

    • M E McMahon says:

      I miss the wee ones a lot. What fun it was over the years not only to walk around with my kids…but when they grew up, I was able to stay home and pass out candy.

      Thanks for the Reblog and I hope next year to actually start a campaign to bring back safe neighborhood walks for our town’s kids. I imaging the Chamber of Commerce will balk a bit since they sponser the safe walks but these affairs usually end before dark…so then parents could take the kids to their home neighborhoods and continue the Halloween tradition as it was meant to be…enjoyable and exciting!

    • M E McMahon says:

      And what are you doing up so late? Go to sleep!

  5. Bastet says:

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:
    Bring back the Goblins and give up fear! A great read!

  6. When I was small, my elementary school had a Halloween Carnival every year. Now, churches and shopping malls have Halloween events. We have lived in our current house for over 17 years and have not had even one trick-or-treater.

    • M E McMahon says:

      Thanks for your visit! I just think that if we had enough parent supervision and community support, we could once again have little ones at our door singing “Trick or Treat!”

  7. Gwen Stephens says:

    What a sad state of affairs in your neighborhood. Do you live in a small town? I find sometimes small town residents are the most paranoid about the big bad world. I’m happy to report we still do old school Halloween in our neck of the woods. Real live door to door trick-or-treating on Halloween night. One of our neighbors throws an open house every year and invites anyone who wants to come. After we stuff ourselves on potluck delicacies and the kiddies sugar themselves to the hilt, we head out in a huge group for trick-or-treat (for more sugar)! I’m glad my kids can make the same kinds of memories I had as a kid. I think it’s the adults in the community who can make it happen.

    • M E McMahon says:

      Our town is packed with kids, families and senior citizens. All could benefit from bringing the old time tradition back.

      Halloween took a major hit when the “Tylenol” scare occurred way back when. Halloween was virtually cancelled and parents kept their kids home or churches put on affairs.

      But, I believe with community support, we could bring back the good ole days.

      Until then, I still keep a bowl of goodies hand hoping that some goblins will stop by.

  8. Aurora says:

    I always took my kids out trick or treating for at least a little while before we would go to the big church sponsored party in town. My daughter seemed to get a big kick out of it, but I will be the first to admit that I threw all the candy away, and replaced with candy I had bought myself and set aside. (the town we used to live in had a severe drug problem and I wasnt taking chances after several kids got spiked candy one year) I didn’t keep her from going, I just replaced the candy to be safe.

    My family knew families were kind of paranoid about the candy, so we always handed out other things, like many people we knew did. My sister was a cracker jack at the crane machines, so we saved the little stuffed animals and gave those out instead of candy. Another family we knew gave out cans of faygo, other people gave out pencils or glowsticks.

    Last year for us it was glow sticks and ring pops…we ran out of stuff to give out in the first half hour here in Pittsburgh.

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