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Trick or treat!

Houstonist guest writer Crystal lays down the law for Trick or Treating at her house: You must be old enough to walk, but not old enough to shave, and you must be in costume. Fine rules, and not too much to ask in general, but here in the Heights, there’s just too much traffic to enforce such a thing. I’ll try to get a picture or two so you can see what I mean, but we see something on the order of 400 or 500 Trick or Treaters in the course of the evening. It’s just crazy. We’re giving out Mardi Gras beads as we usually do – they’re cheap, the kids like them, and it eliminates the temptation to eat half the stash before anyone shows up. What are you giving out this year?

I can’t talk about Trick or Treating without mentioning the Candy Man, also known as Ronald Clark O’Bryan, who murdered his son by giving him poisoned Halloween candy in 1974. That took place in Deer Park, which is about 20 miles southeast of here, and effectively ended the Trick or Treat tradition for a whole generation of kids in Houston. The memory of that event still lingers – last week KACC radio advertised its annual Fall Festival as (among other things) a “safe alternative” for kids. They didn’t mention Ronald Clark O’Bryan, but I was pretty sure that whoever wrote the ad copy had him in mind.

I loved the Houston Press cover story on the business of haunted houses (the HouStoned blog has more). The one question I wish they’d addressed is what do the owners do with the houses for the rest of the year? The article certainy makes it sound like this is a lucrative business (once you recover the surprisingly high startup costs), but can you make a living on six weeks of shows? Alas, it doesn’t say. Read the sidebar piece about the actors, too. You’ll never wear flipflops to a haunted house again.

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2 Comments

  1. hope says:

    What a great idea — I may have to run up to Party Pig and buy a big bag of beads. I always feel bad about giving children candy and contributing to bad nutritional habits and the obesity epidemic.

  2. Linkmeister says:

    Our neighborhood has very few little kids. We have averaged about three groups of Trick-or-Treaters a year for the past five, mostly grandchildren of neighbors. It’s kind of a shame.

    On the upside, the dog doesn’t go berserk too frequently on October 31.