snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > SLC Central > Social Studies

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 17 October 2013, 10:17 PM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,267
Default

The driving for trick-or-treat thing happens back in my hometown - people bring their kids from their rural or sparsely-populated neighborhoods to places with more parents and kids - usually to the house of a friend or relative - so they can all go out together.

A common urban legend I've heard is that parents bring their kids to multiple, wealthy neighborhoods where they can get more candy.

The "trick or treat" in the mall is a good idea to allow kids to actually wear their costumes without needing a winter coat. Most of Canada is cold on October 31st.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 17 October 2013, 10:21 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

Speaking of cold on Halloween, I had to laugh at a recent commercial showing here where the fellow equates being Canadian with being proud to wear a coat over your Halloween costume. I don't know where he went trick or treating but in my neck of the woods you wore your coat under your costume. Some years my kids looked like the Michelin man, come to think of it it might have been smarter just to send them out as the Michelin man!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 17 October 2013, 10:23 PM
1958Fury's Avatar
1958Fury 1958Fury is offline
 
Join Date: 05 October 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 4,650
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
The U.S. is such a huge country that it's impossible to generalize how everyone celebrates Halloween. I was dumbfounded to learn a few years ago that some areas have specific days when kids are "scheduled" to trick-or-treat, and those days aren't always on October 31st. Where's the fun in that? October 31st is, and has always been where I've lived, a night for running around neighborhoods in the dark, begging for candy and causing general mayhem with eggs and toilet paper, regardless of school nights. In my hometown if a kid showed up to trick-or-treat on any day besides October 31st, they'd get laughed at and told to come back on Halloween.
As a candy giver-outer, I would worry that some families wouldn't get the message, and I'd have to be prepared to give out candy on both nights.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
There's a local church here that does "trunk-or-treat" where, as I understand it, kids walk around a parking lot during the afternoon, collecting candy from parents who camp out in their parked cars. I can't think of anything that would have depressed me more as a kid. The best part of Halloween to me wasn't the candy; it was running around in the dark, in a costume, with little or no parental supervision.
I agree with this, but at the same time it reminds me of one of those "When I was a kid we did a lot more dangerous things and it made us better people" glurges. I'm not a parent so I don't know what it's like to feel that powerful protective instinct. And yet do I remember a few things I did as a kid that would scare the bejebus out of me if I saw a child doing it now. I remember one time we found a hanging vine and spent a few days swinging out over a small cliff (it probably wasn't a deadly height but I could easily see some broken bones if we'd slipped). When our parents found out about the vine they cut it down. If I were a parent I would probably do the same, but I wouldn't give up those memories of vine-swinging for anything. It's hard to reconcile that in my head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
I actually got overwhelmed in my old neighborhood because so many people drove in to trick or treat. The roads were lined with parked cars and there were so many kids the doorbell rang constantly for hours. When I finally ran out of candy some teenagers broke my porch light. I felt like a Scrooge but after that we started taking our kids out to Halloween parties. It wasn't fun to live in that neighborhood on that night.
I might be getting burned out on it, myself. Generally Halloween is my favorite holiday. We decorate, put on costumes to give out candy, and watch bad horror movies all night. I love seeing all the costumes the kids wear. However, last year my wife had to work and I was giving out candy by myself. I realized that it's just not fun without her. When she's not there, I start to get annoyed by the little things, like all the groups of teenagers who go trick-or-treating with no costumes. I also hate how some years we run out of candy, but other years we have leftovers for months.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 17 October 2013, 10:51 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,647
Theme Icon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
There's a local church here that does "trunk-or-treat" where, as I understand it, kids walk around a parking lot during the afternoon, collecting candy from parents who camp out in their parked cars. I can't think of anything that would have depressed me more as a kid. The best part of Halloween to me wasn't the candy; it was running around in the dark, in a costume, with little or no parental supervision.
And to someone born a few generations before you, celebrating Halloween by trotting around suburban streets to collect candy from compliant neighbors (rather than, say, lighting bonfires, nailing people's doors shut, and tipping over outhouses) might have seemed tame and depressing.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 21 October 2013, 01:42 PM
Not_Done_Living's Avatar
Not_Done_Living Not_Done_Living is offline
 
Join Date: 02 September 2006
Location: Markham, ON
Posts: 3,735
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
I actually got overwhelmed in my old neighborhood because so many people drove in to trick or treat. The roads were lined with parked cars and there were so many kids the doorbell rang constantly for hours. When I finally ran out of candy some teenagers broke my porch light. I felt like a
We live in a "New Urbanisim" community -- where the houses are tight close together and right up on the street. it is quiet easy to get to 20 homes in about 5 minutes-- which is a major draw at Halloween, adn we were getting empties out in about 15 mintues.

After the first 2 years, the HOA started setting up blockades at the entrances to the community requiring proof of residency for the neighborhood on Halloween night -- been doing that for 4-5 years now --
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 21 October 2013, 01:48 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,430
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1958Fury View Post
As a candy giver-outer, I would worry that some families wouldn't get the message, and I'd have to be prepared to give out candy on both nights.
I've lived in the Columbus metro area, where most suburbs schedule TorT, for 13 years, and have never heard of this being an issue. It definitely wasn't in the suburb where I lived for most of that time, but it was the exception to the scheduling -- TorT there was always 10/31. I know plenty of people who live in suburbs that schedule it, though, and it seems to work for them just fine.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 21 October 2013, 09:38 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

As snopes says you get used to whatever is the custom where you are. However (and this is a big however) even if I got used to celebrating Halloween on some day decided by the town council or by taking my kids to a mall or a tailgate trick or treat I know I'd never think they could ever compare to what I think of as a traditional Halloween. I can't believe I've reached the age I have and yet still look forward to trick or treating (even if I'm limited to giving out now) -- I know some adults outgrow it. Not me. At least so far .

Last edited by Sue; 21 October 2013 at 09:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 21 October 2013, 10:35 PM
Avril's Avatar
Avril Avril is offline
 
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 10,543
Default

I'm still grateful that I got to celebrate Halloween as a door-to-door trick-or-treater (with my Dad there, who always made me the most lovely and elaborate costumes, and liked to get his reward by hearing the neighbors admire them), before the nights got switched around by overzealous towns, or people got skeptical of the whole thing and started trunk-or-treating or having "Fall Festivals" instead. But the times were different, and even though most of the danger was dreamed up by rumor mongers, I do kind of understand why people are so wary. A question I ask a lot about the past is whether its people were safer, or stupider, than ours.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 22 October 2013, 01:21 AM
Latiam's Avatar
Latiam Latiam is offline
 
Join Date: 19 June 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,483
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
I didn't know schools allowed kids to dress up in costumes at school! Wouldn't some costumes break zero tolerance policies on weapons? I thought halloween was a thing that you celebrate in you neighborhood, not at school
They wear the costume and leave the weapons at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
There's a point to be made if you have a school with a lot of poor kids (or specifically, a school where you have a great disparity in income, as often happens in inner-city schools), or a lot of immigrant families, or both, where some kids will be on the outside looking in - simply because, well, their parents can't afford a costume, or don't understand the importance for kids to "conform". There's no good way around it, short of making it more of an event where kids bring in and make or modify their costumes. Believe me, the early grades were full of cutting, pasting, coloring, painting, and other "arts and crafts" stuff that a clumsy kid like me just hated, so this isn't exactly distracting.
.
We have a Halloween parade. The kids without costumes walk around too, and it's not a big deal in our school. The more devout Muslims don't come - we had a big scandal last year because A's mom had been telling him the parties were haram and then he found out S was going and I was just making sure everything he got was halal. He fought until his mom let him come. (S was his best friend). This year I have put out a letter about allergies and gelatin and pork asking everyone to be respectful of each other's beliefs when making treats. So no nuts, eggs, gelatin or meat.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 22 October 2013, 01:25 AM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,430
Default

I wouldn't assume that kids who get to do TorT on the Friday or Saturday closest to 10/31 have any less fun than kids who always do it on 10/31, although I can see how it might look that way to people who grew up always doing it on 10/31.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 22 October 2013, 01:42 AM
Veruca's Avatar
Veruca Veruca is offline
 
Join Date: 07 August 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 995
Default

Yeah, I can definitely see the logic in doing it on the Friday/Saturday closest to Halloween. I remember how much it sucked when Halloween fell on a school night when I was a kid - who can go to bed on time when they're all wired on sugar and costumes and ghost stories and excitement?
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 22 October 2013, 01:46 AM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,430
Default

That was a drawback to doing it on 10/31, IME. Fortunately, DD's latchkey program would get kids changed into their costumes if you packed them in their backpacks. That helped -- it gave me more time to get her home and get something besides candy into her.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 22 October 2013, 02:59 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,606
Default

My fourth grade costume was a jacket and a leather hat with some old goggles. It was the best I could do and all the kids said it was like having no costume at all. It was very economically mixed school, with about half the kids below poverty level and maybe ten percent well-to-do but somehow most of the kids had managed to get a costume of some sort from a store - at least a plastic mask and a cape. Only one teacher was kind enough to say "Here comes a WWI fighter pilot!"

I understand that schools can't just give up doing anything at all every time there's a chance that the kids who have less are going to feel a bit left out. I think Halloween is one that is so unnecessary and lacking in any educational value that there's no reason.

(Spirit day would be so-so but I don't think kids of that age should really be drinking - especially spirits. "Who's got the shpirit! *hic*")
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 22 October 2013, 08:22 PM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,267
Default

I honestly don't remember those store-bought costumes being very popular, or even really existing, until the early 80's when my sister was of that age. Back in the mid-70's I remember almost all the kids had home-made costumes. Some were pretty simple - in 1st grade I put on black clothing, a hat, and a domino mask and was the Green Hornet - I remember seeing the TV show along with Batman and it was a much easier costume. Popular costumes included athletes (easy for kids who already played sports), witches, super heroes, and other Hallowe'en themed things. The kid who sat next to me in 1st grade - very tall and thin for his age - went as a pumpkin. he looked more like a carrot. Catholic girls in 3rd grade often went as angels, as earlier that calendar year, when they were in 2nd grade, they had their first communion, and still had the fancy white dress. One of the default costumes for those who weren't very wealthy or creative was "hobo" - basically wearing some ratty old clothing and rubbing dirt on your face.

But back then a lot of my classmates were from immigrant families who weren't aware of things like Hallowe'en. It's not that they had a devout religious exception to it - but it was something different. One of my friends from high school - his mother was near 40 and had spent all of her adult life in Canada, but still only spoke a few sentences in English. She and her husband were from Portugal, and she was a stay-at-home mom with no other family. She lived a very isolated life - she didn't drive, didn't work outside the home, wasn't part of a club or church group - and still had the language barrier to even keep her isolated from neighbors. And her son said that he missed out on a lot of "normal" cultural experiences because she wasn't aware of them. Kind of sad, really, because there was no real objection to doing those things if she was only aware of them.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 23 October 2013, 01:47 AM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

I can't remember ever buying a costume from a store as a kid. If there was nothing else you could always wear an old jacket of your dad's, give yourself whiskers with some blackened cork or mascara or whatever and go as a hobo like Hero_Mike mentioned (that was always a good fallback if you came home from trick or treating early enough and wanted to change costumes and go out again...um, not that I ever did that...). Anyway. maybe it was easier for girls to come up with homemade costumes, I don't know, but my sisters and I never had a problem coming up with cool homemade costumes every year -at no cost.

Last edited by Sue; 23 October 2013 at 02:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 23 October 2013, 02:05 AM
Cervus's Avatar
Cervus Cervus is online now
 
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 21,156
Default

Most of my costumes were homemade as well. There's a picture of me around age 3 or 4, wearing a store-bought costume of Tom from Tom & Jerry, but I don't actually remember that one. The first costume I remember was, coincidentally enough, a hobo costume made from some of my dad's old clothes. After that, for the next five years or so I was a witch, wearing the same costume every year because I liked it so much. I wore my black leotards and black tights from dance class, with a homemade black cape. The hat and a warty nose were store-bought. Later I was a 1950's girl, with a poodle skirt my mom made for me, and a cat. For the cat costume I re-used the black leotard and tights ensemble, with a store-bought tail and ears, but the bulk of my costumes were always homemade.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 23 October 2013, 02:08 AM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

I had a little red riding hood costume that I wore for several years when I was little and then it got handed down to various sisters. All it was really was a red cape my mom made from an old tablecloth. Put a ribbon in your hair, hold a little basket and you were all set.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 23 October 2013, 08:19 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,606
Default

We had a few very nice homemade costumes and I'm sure lots of kids moms can make them - or they can make them themselves - but I don't see the point of spending time on something that's really just a hobby. If it's part of the arts program or something then, yes, terrific. Otherwise, it's just a kind of quirky quasi-religious custom with no educational value that I can think of.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 23 October 2013, 02:05 PM
Sue's Avatar
Sue Sue is offline
 
Join Date: 26 December 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,210
Default

Aside from the hobo and the ghost which are pretty easy I just remembered two others that you can run up with loving hands at home. One year my brother went out as a mummy by having my mother and us older sisters cover him with toilet paper. Not recommended for a rainy Halloween though! Another good one is one my sister used for her daughter one year. She went out as a Christmas present. Take one biggish box, wrap it with leftover Christmas paper make holes for arms and legs and you're done. A nice touch is a big bow on top of the child's head. That one is especially a good one for a cold Halloween when kids need to wear a coat under their costume.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 23 October 2013, 11:55 PM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,267
Default

Before the age of the Hallowe'en dance, it's still a "social event" for a lot of kids. You don't go out for the door-to-door trick-or-treating alone - you go with siblings or friends or the other kids on your street. It didn't get planned like this, but it seemed to work out that way. When you saw someone you know, you waited for them, or they waited for you, or if you were going with parents, well, the parents would congregate together too.

But ganzfeld, calling Hallowe'en "quasi-religious" is pretty far out there. For a lot of kids it isn't even about having a "scary" costume - just dressing up and getting free candy. It's about as religious as getting a chocolate bunny for easter - and there's no religious association there whatsoever.

I know what it's like to have "missed out" on certain activities as a kid. I did not come from a wealthy family and I couldn't play many team sports - expensive ones like hockey - because of the financial barrier. My mother didn't drive and my father worked shifts, so I wasn't able to join the soccer league, for example, that was far from my house, because I couldn't play every week. But other kids missed out because on the "group activities" just because their parents weren't aware of what was out there. Growing up in a big city provided tons of opportunities and activities that kids with immigrant or "country" parents didn't know about. Kids section of a library and story time? Dance? Gymnastics? Music lessons? Martial arts? And then the exotic ones like fencing or diving - forget it. The one saving grace of activities that weren't too "exotic" or expensive was things like scouting, where you had, usually, a sample of most everything. That is, really, what childhood should be about.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thatís the spirit: The dating service for ghosts thatís haunting the web snopes Weird News 0 06 October 2013 12:40 AM
Welcome to Ontario Jenn Fauxtography 11 07 April 2010 05:29 PM
Ghostly 'white lady' sparks hunts by spirit hunters snopes Spook Central 0 10 January 2009 03:47 AM
Christmas carol is really a rebel song in celebration of Bonnie Prince Charlie Stoneage Dinosaur History 21 07 January 2009 02:22 PM
Creating Christmas: Our contemporary celebration is a potpourri of practices snopes History 9 29 December 2007 09:08 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.