I grew up in the middle class suburbs of Long Island, where Halloween (at least between the ages of like 7 and 13) meant our parents turning us loose to hit as many houses as we could. It was the 1970s, and no one was afraid of anything.
So I have some Halloween anecdotes. Like the time when I was around 11, or 12, when I got dressed in my costume, and waited for my best friend Billy to come over so we could go trick-or-treating. And I waited. And waited.
Called his house, no answer. Waited. For hours. Freaking out. Valuable candy-collecting time slipping by, plus, you know, he was my best friend, and he had just vanished.
Finally, I learned that he had been so excited, that he ran outside, fell down his stairs, and broke his leg. He'd been in the hospital the whole time.
Or the time when I was with a small group of friends, and we went to a house where the owner apparently didn't like Halloween very much. So he sicced his dog on us. Bit one of my friends. (I have no memory of a hospital visit, so the bite might not have been that bad. But I think it did put a damper on the evening).
But my best Halloween anecdote didn't take place in October. It took place in July.
My parents had gone on vacation, leaving me and my younger brother with some family friends, out in some other random Long Island town (Patchogue? I think so). I must have been about 10, my brother 8, and this family's kids were probably about 8 and 9.
We were bored. I guess we didn't have much supervision. And we were hungry.
So someone (hell, probably me) decided that maybe we should go trick-or-treating. So we put together makeshift costumes (I think I was a tree -- AKA holding a few small branches in my hands. My brother held a newspaper; maybe he was a delivery boy. Or a newspaper).
And we started knocking on doors. In July. And I don't know if it was the novelty of it (or the fact that this was a simpler, happier time), but it worked.
As I remember, about a third of the people told us to get lost, or threatened to call the cops (I doubt they did; we weren't too concerned). The rest were amused, and gave us stuff, whatever they could find. A lot of people seem to have had candy lying around. We got a lot of pennies, which back then wasn't bad. My brother's nose got scratched by a really big dog, but he got over it. And by the end of the day, we all had a big bag of loot.
Shameless? Probably. And something that probably would never have worked, if someone else had tried it first.
But to this day, I've never had anyone knock on my door, trick-or-treating, in any part of the year except for Halloween. So I like to think that we were way ahead of our time.
Anyone else have any good Halloween anecdotes?