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Halloween Writting Contest Entry 02

The following story was submitted as an entry in The Wanderer first annual Halloween Writing Contest.
The winner will be announced in the October 25, 2007 edition.
Stories will be posted on-line as they are available in print.

Halloween in the 1930s, Mattapoisett, MA

In early October, my cousins Jane and Barbara Taylor, along with Betsy Stowell and I, started planning for Halloween. Our excitement grew and grew as the 30th drew near. For fun, we thought Halloween was right up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving.

There were many long discussions about what we would wear and who would have the best costume. Two days before the day, we approached Grandmother Raymond and asked to look through her ancient trunk, the one with the rope handles and leather sides. In this trunk were all kinds of interesting clothes from the 1890s and early 1900s. We could pick and choose from the feather boas, long dresses, tall hats and button shoes.

Once we had finally settled on what each of us would wear, we waited impatiently for 5:30 pm on the 30th. When the moment arrived, we dressed hurriedly and then walked up Prospect Road, stopping for a moment to get our friend Beverly.

In our long black dresses that dragged on the street, and ridiculous-looking hats and maskes, we made our way to the first house. Giggling and happy, we thought we looked wonderful and couldn't wait to knock on the door and call out in unison, "Trick or Treat!"

Our first stop was at the corner of Pine Island Road. An old gentleman, Mr. Joseph Hiller (called Josie) and his daughter handed out popcorn and pomegranates. We gobbled up the popcorn but, from past experience, we knew better than to bite into a sour pomegranate. However, Beverly ate hers and loved every bite. My mouth puckers just thinking about it.

From there, we hurried along to the Reverend Peacock's home and this was where we were offered ice cream and treats. We were also told how wonderful we looked in our costumes, and how scared people must have been when they peered out their windows and saw us walking up the road. "Oh, my! I thought I was looking at ghosts from another time when I answered the door!" exclaimed the old Reverend.

That one remark made our evening. We had dressed up and frightened people. Wasn't that what Halloween was all about? For all of that we received praise, and were given treats for our efforts. As we trudged home, we were tired but happy.

How simple were those days of the 1930s. We knew nothing of Halloween parades; we were our own parade of five. Nor did we know until many years later that Skidmore, our town's own Pied Piper, would be leading a Halloween parade of costumed young people, and among them would be my children and Jane's.