A Parent’s Choice at Halloween

On one side, the “Occupy Halloween” movement, advocating for free-range trick-or-treaters, whose spokeswoman, Lenore Skenazy, reminds us that—urban legends to the contrary—no kid was ever deliberately poisoned by homemade candy.

But that idea isn’t just wrong,  it’s corrosive. Start thinking of your nice neighbors as potential killers ONE day a year and how are you supposed to trust them the REST of the year? It begins to seem just plain prudent to treat everyone as evil, especially where our kids are concerned.

Result? A society where we don’t let our kids roam the neighborhood, interact with adults or do much of anything on their own. It just seems “too dangerous.” All adults are creeps and killers until proven otherwise.

On the other side, nanny-state government. Big Sister wants you to know that your costume can kill you, your neighbors can kill you, your treats can kill you . . .

And, because it can never be repeated too often: There are no verified incidents of poisoned candy, and no reported serious injuries from razor blades, pins, or needles in candy despite at five decades worth of annual scare stories.

It’s the safest day (or night) of the year. So take back the night. Celebrate Halloween.

5 thoughts on “A Parent’s Choice at Halloween

  1. I live in a neighborhood where at least five registered sexual offenders live. I don’t let my kids free-range. On Halloween, my husband and his best friend escort the kids from a middle distance – close enough to keep an eye, but far enough away to give the kids some heady freedom running door to door (this allows them to keep the kids from getting lost and to remind them to skip the house where the creepy preacher hands out tracts and the one with the hoodlums).

    I also check their candy when they get back, and throw away anything that looks suspicious (opened, old, yucky…nothing like getting ancient, stuck-together what-are-those-cough-drops? in one’s trick-or-treat bag.) I’ve yet to find anything that looked tampered with, but I have found some that I suspected were several decades old. Ew.

  2. This is trickier that it looks.

    You prefer not to imagine that your some of neighbors might be sociopaths.

    Until you live next door to one who is. Until it could have happened that an infamous astologically-themed serial killer (who, among other victims, gunned down a family friend and her boyfriend) might have taught you and your little pals folk dancing at day camp. Until SWAT has a running gun battle with one across your backyard, complete with low-cruising, spotlighting heleicopter and AR-15s. Until another infamous one turns out to have kept a kidnapped little girl in his backyard for years in a house not too far down the road.

    Truth to tell, we really do not know all our neighbors and everything they are and might be up to. It’s not so much the treats of Halloween as it is the tricks they may be pulling all the year around…

    • If the Zodiac Killer *might* have taught you folk dancing, that was more than 40 years ago, and there was nothing that you could have done about it there and then. Stay alert, but don’t be a prisoner because of what “might happen.”

  3. I agree with the sentiment that we should know our neighbors, but unfortunately our (my) lifestyle is not block parties & neighborhood cookouts. I have never known a time when my parents didn’t chaperone trick or treating. October 31, 1973 Lisa French disappeared while trick or treating with friends. They got seperated; her body was found November 3, 1973. My parents wedding day. Fond du Lac, WI from that point on had all trick or treating the Sunday before the holiday from 3p-5p so it was always sunny. It’s hard to imagine going back to free range following a tragedy that many still remember.

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