Skip to comments.Crime Takes Fun Out of Halloween
Posted on 11/01/2007 2:48:02 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
It's easy to forget that Halloween isn't the same carefree holiday for every child in our community.
In the central city, some neighborhoods can be scary places all year round. These are not places where you feel comfortable allowing young children to go from house to house accepting treats.
In areas where drug dealing, gunfire and other negative elements exist, you think twice before allowing young kids to knock on every door.
Mac Weddle, executive director of Northcott Neighborhood House, 2460 N. 6th St., thinks some of today's children will never get to know about the kind of Halloween fun their parents had. These days, it's a brave new world.
"The biggest difference is we used to trick-or-treat at night," Weddle said. "Who is going to let their children go out at night these days?"
What he means is that many urban communities are racked by so much crime and violence that few parents feel comfortable letting their children participate in traditional trick-or-treating. Many communities have restricted trick-or-treating to daylight hours.
Other communities eschew trick-or-treat in favor of more structured Halloween events. At community centers like Northcott, for example, Halloween parties were held this week to give preschool-age kids the chance to dress up in costumes and go from room to room collecting candy in a controlled environment.
"We've got lots of kids here today," he said Wednesday. "They're going to have lots of fun."
Weddle said Northcott and other places understand the need to provide safe places for children to participate in Halloween activities that kids in more affluent communities take for granted. He knows that in some areas, crime even rears its ugly head on Halloween.
I watched a TV news report about a Milwaukee child who had his Halloween candy stolen last weekend by older children. It was a typical heartbreaking example of a child's innocence lost. But it also tweaked my memory of reports of older kids stealing Halloween candy back when I was a child many decades ago.
It's nothing new for anybody who grew up in a tough neighborhood.
"One time, a bunch of older girls stole our candy," Weddle admitted sheepishly. "Don't print that."
A few years ago, I received an irate call from a white resident from the suburbs, upset that groups of inner city children showed up in her neighborhood on Halloween. She wanted to know why they couldn't go trick-or-treating in their own community.
Maybe they wanted to feel safe, I said. She had no answer for that.
Weddle knows several inner city families that go to Whitefish Bay or Mequon for trick-or-treating to give their children a better experience.
He and other black men involved in Northcott also patrolled central city neighborhoods last weekend in order to bring a sense of stability to the Halloween activities in those areas.
All Hallow's Eve, with its odd sense of horror and mysticism, has always been a fun holiday for kids. But first and foremost, the only way kids can truly enjoy Halloween is if they have a strong and stable community of adults surrounding them. That's not really the case for many African-American kids in Milwaukee these days.
Which means the trick is really on us.
Last night, zero kids, all the neighbors say the same. We’ve lived here for almost 30 years and have seen the numbers dwindle. It seemed to have picked up the last twos years or so. Last year we had about 20 kids. Weather was great, but sadly no kids this time.
We never have Trick-or-Treaters because we live in the boonies and there is a prison nearby, LOL!
Dad commented today that even “in town” he only had two kids show up for treats last night.
And we live in a Cow Town of 6,000 people!
Yep. The MSM and our Publik Skrewels have accomplished their mission in spreading fear far and wide...but for all the wrong reasons.
Oh heck, I live in an “affluent” neighborhood and I’d never let my kids trick or treat alone like I used to.
Yep you have to watch out for the escaped prisoner with a hook for a hand. :)
This is a very stable neighborhood though which I think helps. Everybody knows everybody and who has the best candy. :)
We had about 20 groups of kids.
I give out rolls of toilet paper to the older kids and word apparently got around.
Here just outside the city of St. Louis is funny/sad from what I’ve seen, black families who come to more affluent neighborhoods to trick or treat. Candy is candy and their welcome to it, but without that crowd my house and my folk’s house would not get much traffic at all. Trick or treater numbers I suspect are down. Also America sprawls so badly it gets tough on little ones to hump out the distances. A lot of 2-3 bedroom places some times only have a single person living in them and they might just turn the lights off which if you live near that, discourages t&ter’s.
Turns out it was one of my little girls former teacher with her son.
Can't find us if they don't know where to look for us. LOL
My Sons made out like bandits. Five pounds of candy -EACH!
Of course, we didn’t go in my neighborhood. We drove into the ritzy neighborhoods.
Heh-heh! Daddy’s not dumb!
We collected 200 cans of food for the Food Pantry.
One 3 year old girl was a real pro...with one hand she was able to scoop out 10 Hershey bars out of my candy bowl and by-passed the Milkyways.
Big grin on her face.
When we moved from inner-city Milwaukee in 1970 (Thanks for being a success, Dad, and getting us the h#ll out of there!) to a ‘burb outside of Madistan, my sister and I thought we had moved to the ends of the Earth. We expected to see people on horseback for transportation and a milk cow in every yard.
Our first Halloween out there in Suburbia was very perplexing to us. Kids can Trick-or-Treat at NIGHT? Cool! We promptly got lost two blocks from our new home and luckily an astute Mom told us that we had already been to her house once, and she wasn’t giving us any more candy, LOL!
I was 10, Sis was about 6. We told her we were lost ‘City Kids’ and she showed us the way home. :)
I don't know if there were any kids out alone or not. We had a lot, just about ran out of candy which is unusual, I bought a lot.
Disgusting to ruin it for the kids.
This ain't your grandmother's age-of-innocence any more.
You are EVIL...and just what’s needed in a Parent these days, LOL! :)
We’d always hit the apartment complexes, especially if it was cold out. Lots of candy for little effort. :)
“Nearly a thousand children showed up, and parent after parent said they appreciated having a fun yet safe environment for their kids to be kids on Halloween.”
I’ve volunteered for those same type of activities on New Year’s Eve ‘round here. We’ve been trying to make it more Family Friendly versus the adults going out and just getting plastered. ;)
A busdriver was telling me yesterday he hates driving on Halloween. Kids throw eggs at the front windows of the bus. Since they can’t be removed with the windshield wipers, the bus goes out of service and that creates passenger mayhem and shortages in the route. Plus it’s dangerous—blocks driver’s vision until he can pull over.
I’m happy to report that my crime-free, predominantly-Republican subdivision had a normal and happy Halloween with dozens of happy, polite, and respectful kids going door-to-door for treats, just like I got to do when I was their age. We just may have the safest neighborhood in all the US.