Halloween in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s


The iconic plastic mask of 1978.

This one comes from my sister in Chicagoland - Not my writing, but I sure remember! 

Food. Glorious sugar filled cider, donuts, and candy characterize my memory of elementary school parties. There were always 2 or 3 moms that would put together an afternoon (or at least an hour or two of an afternoon) for us to enjoy these delectable treats, to wear our costumes, play games and make a craft. Mostly, parties were all about the food. We didn’t know how lucky we had it. As a parent, my son’s school parties never had a bit of this sugary magic. Times change, health concerns are heeded, allergy issues dominate today’s dietary concerns.

Really, sugary goodness infused all aspects of the Halloween celebrations of my youth. Possibly this accounts for the many carries I have had filled over the years? I don’t regret the sugar! Beyond the classroom party, there was of course the main event, trick-or-treating. Growing up in Michigan, all costumes had to allow for a winter coat to be worn on top. Our costumes were simple. A sheet with holes, presto, a ghost. A simple hard plastic mask with holes for your eyes, an instant princess or superhero. We never spent much money on the costume. It was always what you could find around the house plus the inexpensive plastic mask with thin elastic band to go around the noggin. Occasionally, there would be a warm Halloween, but most of the time, it was pretty cold. This did not dampen our spirits or our resolve to fill an old pillowcase with every confection our neighbors provided. Around dusk, the fun would begin. My dad would drive alongside as my brother, myself, and our friends scurried from house to house throughout the neighborhood in the vicinity of our school. Sometimes dad would find another parent to ride along to keep company as we advanced upon our mission.

Once our bags were brimming, we returned to our homes. Inspection would commence. Dad methodically searched the contents of our stash, discriminating and removing Snickers bars and Almond Joys. Somehow, these candies seemed to always look suspicious and were removed for closer inspection, including digestive intelligence. Way to take one for all of us dad. All this inspection was a result of news stories at the time, of people who actually put razor blades in kid’s candy. No razor blades or poison were ever found at 5013 Christie Court.

Among the spoils of the evening were the “tricks” and the “treats”. Word spread quickly of the homes giving out full size candy bars, prized treats of the evening. During this era, it was not uncommon to receive home-made treats. One house always gave out homemade popcorn balls. The last candy to be consumed from the bounty was always the candy corn or the peanut flavored toffee in tiny black and orange wrappers. All of this candy goodness lasted at least a few weeks and was secreted away by each of us, judiciously parceled out over the coming days. Next to Christmas, Halloween easily held the second spot of all the holidays during my youth.

Carol (Colby) Pfeiffer - Naperville, IL

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified