Halloween Traditions Dying

Last year I wanted to write this post because I was livid and angry at how pathetic the Halloween holiday had become: Americans will spend lots of cash on the holiday but hardly anyone comes to the door to ask for treats. This year I’m just sad that it really is dying out, customs being replaced probably by some lame artifice. Except I don’t know what the replacement is, probably the Mall, the commercial district, or something stupid. All I know is that kids are not going trick or treating in the numbers they should be. At least not around here.

When I was growing up in Wyvernwood in Boyle Heights, the last place you wanted to be trick or treating was in your own neighborhood, where people were poor just like you and nobody gave you anything. And if they did it was the cheapest Mexican candies they could get, for some reason I only remember the Tomy candies. Which I liked eating but hated getting in my treats bag, it just meant that they too had no money to spare on fancier chocolates. So that is why all the families that could would pile into their automobiles to head for better trick-or-treating terrains, somewhere out in the new suburbs where people were rich and a full sized candy bar was not out of the ordinary.

But you still went out to see what the neighbors were doing, even just to verify that they were giving out the cheapest candy possible. A quick tour of the hood and then you were ready to go begging for candy from the rich fucks. This meant that hardly anyone gave candy as they were all busy trying to get candy. A vicious circle. But still you’d run into the candy-less home that would dip into the loot of their children to share the prize with those that came to their door. There is nothing poorer than those that will not share.

Flash forward to now. Kids are out and about but in very few numbers, at least over here in Lincoln Heights. Tonight was worse than last year, with only around 12 visitors/groups to the door. What a shame. But I wasn’t as angry about the shitty turnout this year since I’d already been expecting a lame number of trick or treaters based on last years results, and they delivered. I think all we can expect from now on is a shitty Halloween turnout, kids being scared by their parents from visiting private homes and encouraging mall visits and roaming the commercial districts, killing a grand holiday because of misplaced fears. There was a time when I might get upset by such stupid parents but now I’m just letting it go and dealing with it.

It is their loss.




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4 Responses to Halloween Traditions Dying

  1. Will Campbell says:


    The residents of our block in Silver Lake have never been big Halloweeners, so I’m sure most think me the nut what with the elaborate decorations I put up. While I typically wait until a couple days before getting busy, with a hope/goal of boosting the number of trick-or-treaters this year, I went earlybird and had the decorations up beginning the second week of October. It felt a little goofy, but in the end it helped. The turnout (which was REALLY bad last year) got a nice bump because of the “advance” advertising, so: mission accomplished.

    I seriously do go pretty bonkers: interior blacklighted ghosts twirling in the office, a ghoul in the upstairs window, three pumpkins, about 20 gravestones, strobes, fog machines, a monster-sounds CD on loop, eerie organ music coming out a window, scattered bones, body parts, and various suspended skeletons and spirits– even a giant six-foot-wingspan bat “flying” above the garage.

    But by nine o’clock it was over and I powered everything down, JUST as my nextdoor neighbors get home with their three kids. Where had they gone? Toluca fucking Lake.

    Act globally. Trick-or-treat locally.

  2. Gina says:

    I’m grateful for the few that showed. Most of the 3-4 groups came via car-trick-or treating…totally lame! It was only marginally acceptable because some had leetle toddlers all dressed up, so cute! I remember how hard that was but how are these kids and parents gonna toughen up?

    I boycotted adult parties this year because Halloween is for kids, not an adult holiday with sluttier costumes every year. …or as my more creative nephew would post “Happy Women Dress Up In Scantily-Clad Clothing In Order To Seek Approval From Random Men In Order To Compensate For Their Daddy Issues Day. Whoops, I meant Halloween. Happy Halloween everyone!”

  3. alienation says:

    Down with the adult halloween. It’s even killing it in the suburbs. I remember we used to hit the streets at dusk, and then march around to each house twice to make sure that they were depleted of candy. It took until 10 or 11pm. Any teenager was enlisted as a chaperone, and the parents doled out the sugar. The rich families had candy bars, and the working class families had the hard candies and tootsie rolls.

    I remember we used to have to budget a little bit to have enough candy, but everyone spent a few hours pay on candy, because it was one of the times of the year when some parents would go visit all the neighbors. (And believe it or not, nearly every house participated. Kids got home with pounds of candy.)

    I have to admit, this year, we flaked out and didn’t hand out candy. Apologies to the USC hood area. Went out instead. Yuck. I feel guilty, because I’ve been making enough money to offer the little name brand chocolates. It’s like your neighborhood duty to hand out pounds of candy, people! And walk the kids around at least until 9 or 10. Cheez.

  4. rolo says:

    there still is lots of crazy fucks out there so you have to be careful with you kids. Just too much crazy shit to risk it and its not worth it. I remember Halloween as a kid, i had no fear but now things are different and you cant deny that. Its sad but also true.

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