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Trick or treating when I was a kid was, to me, an almost indescribably fun experience. I don't remember exactly what year I started, because my parents were taking me around when I was far too young to run around by myself.

I recall being scared by the Disney record "Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House" and literally thinking that those sounds were real haunted house sounds...and then later being fascinated that something like a spooky record even existed!

I am remembering those lovely nights when I was a trick or treater. Getting all that candy was cool, and the candy, once "in the bag," as it were, lingered as a kind of material memory of the experience of getting it------running around in your dark neighborhood, now a strange, shadowy, unfamiliar place, going to all the houses in the area and interacting with folks you would never otherwise see, pretending to be a monster or superhero or whatever it was that night. Seeing all the jack-o-lanterns and strange lighting and decorations people had scared up (it was a lot less in 1974 than what we see nowadays, but it worked just fine!).

I remember the thrill I had when I realized one house had black threads, basically invisible, attached to the porch roof, which crawled across the face like icky spiderwebs. It was probably an old trick even then, but my reaction was, "Strings from the ceiling! How effective/creepy/inexpensive!"

And there was that house that year, the one with all the pumpkins carved and lit on the dark, dark front porch. Wow, how spooky and yet how warm and comforting that image was. Hard to explain. I don't think there were more than six or seven pumpkins, maybe less than that, but they made an impression.

Halloween was less commercialized and and a much simpler show at that time, but, truly, what tremendous fun it was!

I would love to hear about your special TOT memories, even if they're not in the 1970's time period.
 

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Early '70's, Dad pulling me around in a coaster wagon, going to my neighbor, the REAL doctor, he's standing at the door with a syringe and tells me he wants my blood in return for candy. I was terrified-entirely too young, I believe. Never went back.
Loved to chew on wax lips and play the wax whistle then chew on it. Ran through all the dark back yards crisscrossing the neighborhood-feeling freedom. Using pillowcases for our candy. I also remember a dune buggy full of guys wearing monster masks driving all around the neighborhood. When we moved to the country there was nothing. I also remember my Mom and I taking my older sister to the local haunted house-I distinctly remember talk of Helter Skelter and the Exorcist-lots of talk-made everything more freaky.
 

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One of my favorite memories was wanting our parents to drive us around. It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I realized how utterly and totally stupid that idea is. :)

I also remember the thrill of going to the Woolworths, G.C. Murphys, Grants, or Kresges and seeing the stacks of costume boxes and going through the new designs each year. What I find funny now is 99% of the buying decision was based on how good the mask looked, and the masks came off about ten minutes into trick or treating either because one of the clip things that held the string on broke or you got so tired of your face sweating you took it off.

My all-time favorite memory then was, and still is, the smell a pumpkin makes when a candle inside starts burning the top. I sure wish someone would make an incense of that smell.
 

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for me in the late 70 early 80d not many folks in my area did much, but just two years I remember made an impression on me, the first was
when I was in grade school and all it was, is a spooky record of wind and I'm sure Halloween sounds that got me spooked before I got to the house
not even thinking that the rest of the block was quit, then after getting my candy and leaving hearing them threw the sound effects /pa "don't forget to
brush", and the other being a few years latter as we approached the house the gentlemen jump at the window pulling the blinds acting like the hunch back then his
gf/ wife Cumming up swatting him back to answered the door I don't know why but that made quit an impression on me. at that time you could also
take Carmel apples and popcorn balls little old lady's made or so we thought were old. things defiantly have changed a bit sense then, but
I do wonder have thoughs feeling we had as little tot changed for the little ones of today even though I do get one ore two who don't want to come past my
gate.
 

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70s were inspiring when trick or treating. For me it was mostly siblings without parents and few decorations but dark. Candle lit jack o lanterns and some cut outs with at least one (I can remember) dressed with witch's hat on rocker on the porch with record sounds of haunted house coming from an open window. Nope - no way I went up there. Also a home that did a little haunted house with kids touching 'eyeballs and brains' then a kid dressed as gorilla jumping out as we left. But good candy (homemade) as a treat. Costumes were half store bought (loved that skeleton and devil mask) and homemade (football player and Frankensteins monster with slicked back hair and green makeup (Crisco and food coloring iirc).
 

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Ooh, this is a fun one. Southern California Halloween. My memories are mostly from the early 1980's. Mainly pumpkins and a lot of homemade props. I have the distinct memory of the 'best' house in the neighborhood with a toe pincher coffin and spooky lighting. My dad put a boombox in the kitchen window with a cassette tape of spooky sounds. We would turn all of our lights off and the street was mostly illuminated with the orange colored street lights. The lone ricking chair dummy, they were still. Were they real or would they jump up and surprise you? Pure fun and a commitment to Halloween that didn't let rain deter me, ever.
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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I'm a 70's/80s kid myself, so my memories are very similar to most that are already posted. Simple decorations, and dark. :) Somehow, it seems less dark as an adult, doesn't it? Makes me wonder if kids think it's dark now, or not!

I lived in a very small town, where really only two people did much for the holiday. Lots of people had the same that we did, Jack o'lanterns, die cuts. But the lady who ran the dance studio...she was AWESOME. She lived in a big house (dance studio inside the house), and she would always put an incadescent black bulb in her porch light. Never failed. She always wore a witch costume, very well done, and never broke the witch character while you were there. Her candy was in a big plastic black cauldron that she stirred with a wooden spoon, before you took a piece. And, she'd talk to you while she was stirring. She may have had a speech prepared, but I never noticed that it was the same every year.

You entered her foyer to receive your candy. Since everyone in town knew her, that was acceptable. Sometimes, her adult daughter would dress up in a black cat costume with face paint, and slink around the foyer on all fours, hissing at you now and then, and watching you suspiciously, as cats do. It was soooooo much fun!

The other house belonged to the local chiropractor. He would bring his office skeleton home, and hang it on his front porch. Who else had a realistic skeleton? No one in our town, back then! So he was my inspiration when I found that you could actually buy them.

Probably not entirely coincidentally, after the dance studio owner had unfortunately succumbed to cancer, the chiropractor bought her house. It was kind of sad, and kind of fitting. More sad that she was just gone.

I had already started to decorate before then, but when she died, and it was just down to him, I had grown up and moved away. So I decided that it was up to me to give the kids memories. My parents lived in a very old house that wasn't in great shape. It looked haunted (and really was!), and all of the kids talked about it. What else could I do, but come back every Halloween and officially haunt their house with ghosts, creeps, sounds, and a couple of tombstones in the yard? I hope that I gave good memories like they did. I wish that I could hear some stories, if so!
 

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We lived in the country just outside a small town so my mom would drive us into town and we loved going door to door. Every house seemed to have JOL's lit and you never had to skip a house because it was dark. I remember "Tubby MacIntyre" and his wife gave out homemade fudge to the adults and candy apples to the kids. Most of the costumes were made by mothers or the kids themselves. Robots, witches, scarecrows, ghosts, princesses, Rageddy Annie, and athletes representing their favorite sports or teams. Most of the treats were homemade items or fruit. Homemade popcorn, cookies and melted sugar cooled on sticks. Potato chips were bought in large bag and put into smaller bags for kids. Times were simpler yet I am sure they were just as much fun for us as they are for todays children.
 

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My fondest memories of the 70’s Halloween, believe it or not, was going to school. Our school was next to a farm and we would (as a class) walk over (in full costume) and pick pumpkins. Then we would have a Halloween party. The party lasted all day.
Good luck trying to find a school that will do that anymore. When we got on the bus, it looked just like the scene in Trick-R-Treat. But instead of driving off a cliff, we got to go trick-r-treating when we got off. Then we would finish up with watching good old Charlie Brown, as we stuffed our faces with candy.

Other than that, my next fondest memories where of the costumes. Home-made was always the best. But if your parents did not have time you could always go to K-mart and get something good. Going to K-mart was a trip in itself. Boy, I really miss the 70s. :(
 

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Oh this thread brings back fond memories of my youth! I, too, was a child of the 70's and 80's.

Our TOT was done in what we called "the patch," a coal patch in SW Pennsylvania to be precise. It was a small neighborhood filled with family and close friends. Not too many decorations - JOL, cornstalks, pumpkins, and the occasional ghost. Some houses had the paper cut-outs (I liked the poseable skeletons with the jointed arms and legs) or those plastic melted popcorn decorations. We mostly dressed up in homemade costumes and used pillowcases as candy bags. Some kids had store bought costumes - Evil Knievel was popular among the boys along with football players, cowboys, Indians, and 50"s greasers. The girls wore witch, cat, clowns, Raggedy Ann and Wonder Woman costumes. And we got the good stuff back then - popcorn balls, caramel/candy apples, cookies, penny candy, and McDonald's Halloween treat coupons.

School was fun too - we didn't have to dress up as storybook characters for a costume party - it was actually a HALLOWEEN celebration. We all dressed up, had a Halloween parade around the school. and costume judging. Then we goofed off all day with a party, food, crafts, poems, spooky stories, local scary legends and the Monster Mash, I put A Spell On You and Purple People Eater songs playing in the background. So much fun!

We actually played tricks back then too - soaping windows and tick tacking (throwing loose dried Indian corn at doors and windows and running away). Most people didn't care and the ones that did, we skipped their homes.

My family was fun at Halloween, everyone dressed up and played the part. Leading up to Halloween my older cousins would hold seances. We'd all gather around a lit candle, sitting cross-legged on the floor and holding hands in a dark basement or back room while someone on the outside would knock three times as a sign of a ghost being contacted. On that third knock, we all tore out of that room screaming but it wasn't long before we came back for more. We were addicted to the thrill of the scare.

I remember one year my parents threw an Halloween party/sleepover in our garage. We had a huge turn out of family and friends. I remember my mom dipping her feet into glow in the dark and fluorescent paint and my dad and uncle holding either side of her as she walked up the wall leaving her feet prints behind - man that was cool when they turned on the black light. We had a huge seance that night too. When it came time to scream and run we all screamed and stayed huddled together because we were to terrified to leave the garage for the dark woods that loomed outside - this being shortly after we were told horrible ghosts stories around a bonfire about the old man who ran around headless in those woods trying to find another head to replace the one he lost.

Oh, those were the days....

Here's a pic of my sister and with my aunt and uncle back in the early 70's.
I remember my mom making up my aunt's face using a flour and water paste with food coloring and a cloves as a warts.

 

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We live in a small town and TOTing in the late 60's early 70s was fun for us but nobody really did much for decorations. We saw the occasional pumpkins on porches, but not too many,and some cut outs and homemade silhouettes. TOTing was mostly about running through the neighborhood in the dark to get candy. We had pillow cases for our treats and sometimes did face makeup if we didn't get a mask. We only had two stores and one of them was the Hudson's Bay Co which sold household goods, clothes, toys and groceries and they also had an office at the back of the store where they bought furs from the local hunters/trappers. In the early 70's they began to get those hard plastic masks for the first time. If we got one of those babies we were pretty excited. Costumes and masks were not important to our parents so we really had to earn them so we did extra chores, and were on our best behavior, as soon as we saw them in the store. There were also pranks and rotten eggs to look forward too. I loved the excitement of having the freedom to be able to run around the neighborhood at night. We live in a town where everyone knows everyone else so our parents never came with us. The freedom of that night made us feel so grown up...that is until someone jumped out from behind a bush and scared the bejeezuz out of us. Of course that only added to the "thrill" of the night. :D
 

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Wisp in the Mist
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We bought our Ben Cooper costumes at the local Ben Franklin, right there in our tiny little town. :) We always looked forward to my sister's friend's house, because her mom made awesome popcorn balls for us. She would literally make two garbage bags full, each one wrapped in Saran Wrap. I don't think that anyone skipped their house! They always had a weenie roast and invited us, too. One of my friends would also have one every year.

I personally didn't get to go out ToTing by myself, my mother drove me around, while Dad handed out candy at our house. My older sister was off doing something with her friends (she's 8.5 yrs older, so was old enough to do that).

I think that I must have bought those little books of Dennison Halloween stickers every year. You know, the same six stickers on every page? I loved just going into the stores and looking at all of the merchandise. Our Ben Franklin was pretty well stocked for Halloween, with lots of different types of candy.

Funny thing is, whenever I have a "Halloween dream" (usually the ones where I forget to buy candy, or decorate!), that Ben Franklin store always plays a part somehow. I guess I usually dream about being in my hometown when I dream about Halloween. I haven't lived there in 16 years! Ben Franklin has been gone for at least 25 years. But, I always dream that I'm running out to Ben Franklin to pick up candy or decorations, so the ToTs won't be totally disappointed.
 

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To me a big part of Halloween was decorating our classroom, and having a Halloween party. The memories of Apple cider and powdered donuts. I know. A very Upstate NY thing. I too don't recall at what age I began ToT'ing. I do recall going to Woolworths every year to pick out the brand new costume. Going down that entire aisle of Ben Cooper and Collegeville costumes. I was Frankenstein, a Skeleton, Pirate, Devil and Superman. The very first record album I ever bought was Disney's Chilling Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House. I bought that too at Woolworth's. It's funny thinking back I don't think we were ever allowed to eat all of the Halloween candy we collected. My parents were sneaky about going into our rooms, and making stuff "disappear". They were smart though. They only took a little bit at a time each day. To the point where I guess we just figured we had eaten it all. It seemed like every single house on our street had some kind of decoration. Candles, lights, Jack o lanterns and the good old Beistle cardboard cut outs. Yep. Them were the days.
 

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I remember my 1st time , I think I was 4, my mom just cut up a sheet and threw it over my head,(she had just given birth to my little brother) and my dad took me out.I think every 3rd or 4th step i stepped on the front of my sheet and fell,pretty soon I suppose I looked like Pig Pen from It's the great pumpkin charlie brown, my dad eventually got tired of picking me and my candy up, so he tore the eye holes open and pulled it down around my head, I remember kids saying "what are you supposed to be" and me and my dad just laughed.Great memories and stories everyone!
 

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We were in Estes Park in March staying at the Stanley Hotel to do a little ghost hunting, I needed a flashlight and bought one at the Ben Franklin hardware store! It's the only one I know of here in Colorado.
 

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One memory that I have was around 1981. My brothers had made a dummy and attached a noose to it. We had a covered porch and when the ToTs would step onto the porch he would toss the dummy from a second story window. Not sure you could get away with that now. I also remember my inflatable head costume that I was very excited to have. Don't remember what they were called.
 

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When I was growing up in the suburbs in the early 70's schools STILL celebrated halloween. I guess they are not allowed now? We had a party, we had to wear our costumes (I never had a store bought costume) and at a certain time we had a parade and we were all in the parade. I think we circled the city (was small then.) It seemed to be a day long event-for Halloween. Very sad that they can't have school parties anymore. Allergies and religious beliefs, I guess? Gosh, I've run into a lot of young moms over the years and they sadly shake their head. No silly green cupcakes for St. Pat, no homemade popcorn balls and pumpkin cookies. It was a BIG thing-I love when towns pull together for a holiday! Yeah, I'm still thinking some of the new Halloween ways are not the best...
 

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I remember Halloween parties - the church in our neighbourhood had them, the schools had them. It was like Halloween was more than one night because you got to go to at least one or two parties in the run up to the 31st.

We had a few neighbours who did awesome home haunts. The haunts were by the same people who went right to town decorating for Christmas. You could go out on your own from about age 8. No one wanted their parents driving them around or even walking with them, unless they were at least ten feet behind. Kids who had parents with them were babies, in our minds. How humiliating! Halloween was a night for kids. The candy bars were at least twice the size they are now. You often got homemade treats (popcorn balls anyone?) and the store bought costumes beat the crap out of the junk in the stores today.

October 31st represented the last of the really decent Fall weather so you made the most of every sunny day and stayed up as late as you could Halloween night. I know we tend to remember things through somewhat rose-tinted Halloween masks, but I feel bad for the kids nowadays. They are taught that Halloween is either politically-incorrect or just plain passé. Talk about getting jipped. It makes me sad seeing the magic slipping away.
 

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monsterbook.JPG

I remember reading and reading and reading this book as a kid....then assembling all the materials, or substitutes, and doing the make-up lessons that were described so i could go trick or treating.....still have that book........it's on my nightstand.....
 

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Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 1.02.24 PM.jpg

OMG, I love this thread! I have SUCH a vivid memory of walking home from school to my babysitters house when I was 6 or 7. I still remember feeling the fall in the air and being excited because my teacher had decorated the boards in the classroom with fall and Halloween decorations. It told me that Halloween was near!

Every year there was a "Fall Festival" in the parking lot with games, cake walks and costume contests. I looked forward to it every year!

Since stores didn't carry a lot of Halloween decorations in the '70's like they do now ours consisted of Gurley candles (black cat, witch with broom, the jack-o-lantern and the tall skeleton with the black cape) and a jointed skeleton cutout on the front door. I have since found the same candles we had on ebay and purchased them as part of my "vintage" Halloween display I do every year. Of course, we also always played "Thrilling Chilling Sounds from the Haunted House". I bought that album from ebay over the past few years, too, and have the itunes version that we play during the season.

My mom made me a Raggedy Ann costume complete with a hand sewn yarn wig I know I wore a few years in a row. I also remember being an 1800's girl (like Holly Hobbie or Laura Ingalls). I do remember having a packaged Frankenstein costume with the tie in the back and the awful smelling plastic mask with the string of elastic that held it on your head. I don't remember actually wearing it, though. We would go trick-or-treat in the neighborhood with friends, parents lagging behind with flashlights) and either plastic pumpkins or (when we were older and "cooler") pillowcases. I remember the few people who would give pennies or nickels taped to a piece of paper with something religious on it and being very disappointed. *LOL*

One year ('76 or '77) when we lived in Glendora (suburb of LA) the local newspaper ran an article asking kids to go trick-or-treating on the Saturday BEFORE Halloween since the actual day was a school day. So, my friends and I donned our various costumes, pillowcases in hand and made the rounds. No one and I mean NO ONE understood why we were out trick-or-treating on a Saturday BEFORE Halloween. I think of it now from an adult perspective and we must have really thrown them for a loop. We got a lot of loose change. That is probably my most memorable Halloween. That same year we made a haunted house in our backyard for our friends to go through. We had a blast!

I have tried to create great Halloween memories for my daughter now, too. She will be 13 this year. We are the house that is decorated top-to-bottom and we host the neighbors to spooky snacks and "spirits" every year before trick-or-treating. This is the 1st year we won't be having the "party" because I need a break but I asked my daughter how she would feel if we didn't decorate this year and her immediate answer was "upset". So, yes, we will be decorating this year. I love that she loves it, too. Oh, since the #s of trick-or-treaters has dwindled over the past few years I have decided to be the house that gives out FULL size candy bars this year. I remember how exciting that was (even if you didn't care for that particular candy) and want to spread that feeling around the neighborhood. I can't wait and hope 40 years from now the kids in our neighborhood remember the house that always was decorated with the fog machine chugging all night and it brings back good memories for them, too!

PS - we live in the LA suburbs and our schools absolutely still celebrate Halloween! They have costume parades in the morning and parties for the whole day. 2015 was the 1st Halloween in YEARS I didn't make spooky treats for my daughter's classroom because now she is in middle school. I totally missed it, too!
 

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