Halloween Cat and Kid Safety and Fun - Don't Walk the Street for Treats

Where's the Fun?

Torturers and spoil sports are becoming more creative in devising and implementing ways of ruining holidays for everyone. They rarely seem to be caught and allotted consequences, though, which is not fair the children they harm.

Trick or Treating on the streets, even in the new daylight hours required by my local suburbs, is still too dangerous, in my opinion.

Automobile Damage

Two years ago in October, on a street in a middle and upper-middle class neighborhood near me, all the automobiles parked along the street visiting one late-October evening had at least one window smashed out. Not very much was stolen from any of these vehicles, although it could have been; but, the car interiors were ravished with debris and broken glass and took quite a while to clean.

Overaged Trick or Treating

Another local Halloween phenomenon irks me. Beginning about 25 years ago, some of the high school youth of our most expensive suburbs began bringing large garbage bags to Trick or Treat in the lower-income neighborhoods. They demanded that their bags be filled, physically accosting young children out of their way, and if they were not "treated' enough, they returned later to do expensive property damage to the homes and yards of people that can't afford to repair damages.

Very few were ever caught. My solution to this is to ask the local Neighborhood Watch members to stand on the Trick or Treat streets in Day-Glo orange vests with flashlights and monitor the proceedings, with police patrolling these streets during Trick or Treat. Parents that work two jobs don't always have time to take their kids Trick or Treating, so these neighborhoods need some help.

High school and college students can have their own parties - and so can adults for that matter - and can even include Trick or Treat, as in a progressive Halloween or Harvest dinner party in which the guests go from house to house of the attendees and collect candy and other treats at each one as they complete a course of Halloween/Harvest Dinner. All sorts of fun parties can be planned for this season and a few parents or other trusted adults can help supervise youth parties. A police officer or fireman may even be persuaded to drop in and say hello, check out the scene, and compare uniforms with party-goers dressed the same.

Some middle schools and high schools have Halloween dances to replace street activities. I'm not sure what an age limit for Trick or Treat should be, but I'm fairly sure that Trick-or-Treaters should not be driving to other neighborhoods in their own cars.

Tampered Candy

We can find news stories of sabotaged candy applies, candy, and cakes back to the 1970s and perhaps earlier - broken glass, pins, razor blades. This was all pretty twisted. airports began to allow families to bring in their Trick or Treat bags for x-raying through luggage examining equipment. Halloween was no fun anymore for kids or the parents that worried about all the vandalism and physical attacks.

Children cry about not being permitted to Trick or Treat, but this year, I saw Halloween candy marked down by 30 - 50% during the second weekend of October. People here are not handing out candy much anymore and children and families are more frequently attending neighborhood Trick or Treat parties in community centers and apartment club houses. the potential dangers of street activities became to much to contain in many neighborhoods.

The safest solution might be to buy some candy for the family and cut out all street activities, especially for young children. Happily, many cities and towns, neighborhoods, daycare centers, schools, and even grocery stores offer structured Trick or Treat with other activities to entertain children and adults for two hours on Beggars Night. I know some single folks that go to the grocery store during in-store parties to have a bit of wholesome fun as well. No one gets hurt.

The street is no place for me on Halloween.
The street is no place for me on Halloween.

Structured, Fun Community Parties

City Parties

Hilliard OH is home to the Franklin County Fairgrounds, where an annual Halloween and Harvest Festival Party is held for the residents and their guests. People can dress up or not and have a good time with music, games, refreshments, and seasonal candy. They can call it Halloween or they can call it Harvest. It lasts a couple of hours, is well supervised without over-control and the attendees are safe. The police and sheriff's department patrol the grounds and perimeter. It's a comfortable place to go for Halloween or Harvest Festival.

Church Parties

Some churches hold a Harvest Ball in place of Halloween and everyone can come as their favorite character from history, cartoons, films, literature, or Bible Stories and other media. There's plenty of candy to take the place of walking the streets for treats. Sometimes the church will show a film for entertainment, even a horror film if not too gorey.

One mega-church here held an indoor Halloween party last year that they called Neewollah (reversed the holiday). It included several activities and encouraged families to bring their children and friends in costumes, as long as they were not devils and serial killers. In fact, church leaders suggested the kids dress up as political candidates and office holders, if they could not come up with a costume. The party had a lot of little Sarah Palins attend, along with a few supreme court justices, some famous attorneys, a governor, and the like. There were the usual princesses, film stars, and knights as well. Costume contests were held and adults created some unique outfits as well. Attendees all seemed to have fun and were safe.

Previously, the same church had held a Halloween horror play with indoor fireworks. It portrayed some scenarios in which poor choices can play havoc with one's life. To the extreme, it also portrayed Adolph Hitler roasting in his own Holocaust oven. The entirety was effective, but the party was less expensive, happier, and more apt to draw a crowd.

Please have a party and invite me!
Please have a party and invite me!
Arrow Book of Ghost Stories: TX232
Arrow Book of Ghost Stories: TX232

Contains "The Wonderful Cat of Cobbie Bean" and several others. Published in 1928, 1957, and 1973.

 

Grocery Store Parties

Kroger grocery stores in Michigan and parts of Ohio and other states hold their own Halloween Parties in the stores on October 30 every year. Check Kroger.com and your local stores for information in your neighborhood.

The party is open to children of all ages, with games, contests, and Trick or Treating in every department of the supermarket, all in safety. Some people criticize this event as an exploitation of children by a large company, but I don't think so. The Kroger stores are decorated for the season, while managers and crew people dress in costumes. And nobody gets hurt or eats a poisoned apple!

Groceries throw all types of promotions and contests weekly, so a Halloween blast once a year is no bigger exploitation than offering loss leaders (milk for $1.50 a gallon, cheese for $2.00/pound) to draw shoppers into the store every day.

Collectible Cobbie Bean - The Wonderful Cat of Cobbie Bean

The Wonderful Cat of Cobbie Bean
The Wonderful Cat of Cobbie Bean

Classic tale of a boy and his cat and a ghost.

 

Hello-meow. Is this the party?

Is this the party?
Is this the party?

Trick or Treating for candy on the streets can be fun, but here are a number of other fun and safe places to go for Halloween and Harvest Parties. We have included some other fun ideas for parties and other activities Be careful on the streets -- there are monsters out there!

Fun Foods and Safety

Harvest Festivals
Harvest Festivals

Harvest festivals offer a lot of good food and fun activities. Some even encourage costuming. All of it is in a safe place, live a fair grounds or a party barn.

 

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

Kim Lynn profile image

Kim Lynn 6 years ago

Sad but true. Thanks for all the alternative ideas!


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Excellent suggestions. Thanks. I am glad someone cares enough to report what's going on and suggest realistic alternatives. It's a shame that a day which could be fun is often ruined by those who don't care about anyone else.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Pattyinglish,

This is a great hub. I did not know grocers threw cute halloween parties like that. I live in MN and I have never heard of that here.

Thanks for the great hub on safe alternatives


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago

GREAT Hub Patty!!

We have a few shopping malls locally that encourage the little kids to come Trick or Treating with their parents in full light, safety and with security! Sad it has to be that way! Otherwise, the party idea seems best of all!!

Remember to keep those wonderful black, or unusually marked, kitties inside the house for a couple of weeks before and after Halloween! They are especially suseptable to teenage pranks and misguided rituals!

You are the BEST!! Where's YOUR costume!??

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!


Kennedy E. profile image

Kennedy E. 6 years ago

Thanks for always sharing!


ladyt11 6 years ago

Very good article. My church usually has a party for the kids. They come dressed as a bible character and everyone goes in the basement for show and tell. The children can either act out a bible account involving their character by themselves or with someone they choose or, they can give the history of who their bible character is and why he or she was chosen by them. This is so much safer nowadays. Too much hidden evil lurks in homes and areas that we know nothing about. This a wonderful article on safety and alternatives that can be just as fun for our children, thank you!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Why has everything to be spoint? What a society and it is getting worse?


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Poor cats! - That's right - they do suffer every October. Someone should give them their own party inside.


sid_candid profile image

sid_candid 6 years ago

Excellent Hub! Thanks for reminding that cats too have the right to live and we should be sensible enough to respect them as fellow living beings on planet earth instead of making life miserable for them.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

I hate to think that people act like that but I know it happens. I agree that Neighborhood Watch should be strategically placed in the poor ares. I give out candy but turn my light out early as the small children are in by 8:30. A lot of churches have parties and events for children in this area to keep them off the streets.


Angela_1973 profile image

Angela_1973 6 years ago

Great Hub, I am always on high alert around Halloween too!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

This covers just about everything, LOL...where do we go from here? :)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

I am angry today. A lady south of town yesterday tried to keep her cat indoors, but when it went outside, someone shot it in the neck with an arrow. She could not afford the life-saving surgery.


Diane Inside profile image

Diane Inside 6 years ago

It's sad that we have to be on guard during Halloween, but it's nice to know there are alternatives. Nice Hub. Thanks


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

Patty-I'm so sorry to hear of this tragedy. It is senseless and cruel. I'm not sure what in the world is wrong with people. That is very, very sad.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Yes, it is sad and disgusting.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Hey, Ms. Patty! Why would someone do that to that helpless cat? My temper is raising right now, hmpt! How could 'HE'!!!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

I know. It's bad. There have been five cases in Ohio and Indiana this month that I know of.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

Patty, it's so sad that there are people out there that would do such a horrible thing to a poor defenseless animal. Unfortunately you have to watch everyone these days. Great alternatives to go out for Halloween fun. I used to get together with friends when my children were small and have a party instead of going out Trick-or-Treating. Great hub.


Huntgoddess profile image

Huntgoddess 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

Wow, that's really horrible about the cat. If you hear about that type of thing again, please try to contact an organization called "In Memory or Magic". (I can't post a link here in the comment.) MOM is a charity that raises money for companion animals whose human families can't afford needed care.

And, yes, please do keep all cats inside always --- but especially at Halloween, and especially if they're black, or even dark.

Meanwhile, I hope those perpetrators are caught and punished. At least make a police report.

I'm so sorry for those horrible things that are happening in your cities. I guess I'm lucky that we can still Trick or Treat in the streets.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals _ Itr is sad, but our town had a pretty good weekend with structured parties, some even for the pets. Thanks for posting.

Huntgoddess - I found the link and posted it in the Hub. It's a worthy organization. I had a cat like Magic during almost the exact same years as Jacki did.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

I am not a fan of Halloween anymore because of the tragedies that happen concerning that day. The organized fun times are the best. Cats are awesome and all animals should be treated with respect. Voted/rated.


KeithTax profile image

KeithTax 5 years ago from Wisconsin

We have "Trunk or Treat" at a local church. Everyone is invited, including nonbelievers. I like the idea as an alternative.

Too bad some think vandalism is an appropriate way to spend Holloween.

Great hub, Patty.


ellahall2011 profile image

ellahall2011 5 years ago

Great hub. Thanks for warning.

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