Eye Off the Street – Halloween Edition!

A few photos I’ve received over the past few days of Halloween happenings around Decatur.  Happy Halloween!

Be awesome out there kids!  (But don’t forget that all of your parents and their friends are texting each other about your whereabouts and what you’re up to.)

Photo courtesy of Revenue Neutral Household

Demon Barber – Homegrown Halloween Parade (Pic courtesy of Diane)

The Walking Dead house at Ridley and Scott Blvd (pic courtesy of Parker)

30 thoughts on “Eye Off the Street – Halloween Edition!”


    1. It’s still not a well known event. My son asked “What was going on downtown?” That will change, especially if it’s fun. I’m glad for more parades. Kids love parades, no matter how small. The old Westchester “I Love to Read” Parade was a huge hit every year even though it was only comprised of Westchester children and only went through the paths in the woods from the school and then along Westchester Drive. Hope it comes back when Westchester returns as a school. I still miss the old St. Patrick’s Day Parade that DBA used to sponsor. With all the cool drinking establishments in town now, I can really see that having a return! I could see it going from the Marlay House to Brick Store to Twains to across the tracks to Ale Yeah to Universal Joint, hitting many other spots with green beer along the way!

  1. My favorite quote of the evening, from a four-ish year old, after being handed a packet of Fun Dip: “Look Daddy, more sugar!”

  2. A suprising amount of kids on our little sort-of-out-of-the-way street. A number of them were driven here from outside of Decatur, but they met the only criteria I care about (polite and dressed up in costumes), so I was happy to give them candy. I know some people get bent out of shape about this, but I like that we are a destination trick-or-treat city, as it shows this is a safe and enjoyable place for children to celebrate Halloween.

  3. I’m going to sound like a grumpy old man here, but I really am sick of kids from other neighborhoods showing up at our house.

    If it’s a friend of a kid in our neighborhood, great. But if it’s a kid (or group of kids) from outside the neighborhood, who have never been to our neighborhood, and don’t plan to ever come back our neighborhood (until next Halloween), it drives me nuts.

    I turned off our lights after a girl came up with two bags – one for her and one for the BABY in the stroller. That’s ridiculous.

    1. I used to have similar thoughts, but I have changed my perspective. I’m sure a lot of these kids come here because they live in neighborhoods that maybe aren’t as safe and welcoming as ours (I realize that’s a blanket statement that may or may not be true, but that’s how I see it). And I am in a position to spend a little more money to give them a treat, so I realized it just doesn’t hurt to do so. As I mentioned, if they are polite and make some effort at a costume, I’m good with that. And this year, I saw that (even the babies were dressed up).

      I understand the internal struggle you’re experiencing, but I just found it’s easier to accept it and embrace it. And the smiles I saw on these children were genuine, so that makes me happy.

      1. I agree, but my only complaint this year was a couple of ungrateful kids. I made a second trip to the store yesterday just to buy extra candy b/c I was afraid I didn’t have enough. After several packs of kids came through (many not from my neighborhood, and maybe not Decatur), we were running a little low so I started rationing the candy so I wouldn’t run out and started giving the kids only a couple of pieces of candy. A couple trick or treaters acutally signed and said “Only two?” (and these particular kids already had pounds of candy in their half full pillow cases).

        But, there will be no more rationing in the future. I ended up with lots of leftover candy, and of course ate way too much. Next year, I will just turn the lights out when I have handed out all the candy.

      2. Totally agree. Most of the kids from “other neighborhoods” who come here do so because their own neighborhoods are very economically challenged and, in many cases, unsafe for kids to be out at night. Some of these neighborhoods are within 5 miles or less from our little, not so secluded, “City of”. That girl with the baby in a stroller may very well have been an unfit, welfare mooching, non-tax paying freeloader. Or she may have been a big sister on babysitting duty because mama was working a night shift. Like Eric, I’m not going to waste my time trying to distinguish if it’s the former or the latter or somewhere in between.

        And if this all too bleeding heart, pablum puking liberal nonsense to any of you, please just re-direct the candy-grabbing interlopers to Garden Lane next year. NOBODY comes a knocking on our street 🙁

          1. Great idea for next year. A TorT heat map! Fun! And we could watch trends from year to year! Predict hot real estate trends! Predict CSD enrollment by the ratio of bitty princess/brides to bloody grim reaper teens.

            We could report in from TorT sites–6:45 PM, XXX S. XXXX Drive, group of 4, age range 2-6 yres, 8 adults in attendance, 1 princess, 1 bride, 1 Chipper Jones, 1 dinosaur. Or perhaps all tots now have smartphones with GPS locators and little effort is needed other than analyze the data?

        1. That’s funny, J_T. The words “bleeding heart” and “liberal” have never been used to describe me. 🙂

      3. Co-sign, Eric. As for tall kids, I know from personal experience that just because a kid is tall, it doesn’t necessarily mean s/he is beyond trick-or-treat-appropriate age. When I was 11, I shot up to 5’10”. (Yep, you read that right: Eleven years old. Five feet, ten inches.) I would’ve been absolutely mortified if someone had said, “No candy for you– you’re too tall to trick-or-treat!” It was mortifying enough just being taller than every. single. person. in my class.

        1. Can empathize. I’m not that tall but did have a period of being the tallest to next to tallest in the class at the same exact time that girl-boy parties were happening as well as dance class lessons required by parental units. And Tween girls with witchy make-up on can look 25 years old. Boys are a bit easier. Height is not a good distinguisher of age but a full beard pretty much disqualifies you from trick or treating.

  4. I have decided that it takes up too much of my psychic energy to determine if the kid at my door in jeans and a sweatshirt holding open a pillowcase or a backpack is either too lazy or too economically challenged to put together a costume. It’s easier just to drop a Kit Kat and a mini-bag of Skittles and wish them a happy Halloween. Doesn’t keep my eyebrows from going up a bit when a couple of the trick or treaters have racks bigger than my, well, never mind.

  5. I enjoy the emotional roller coaster from “Do I have enough candy left?”, after a big gang comes through, to “Why isn’t anyone coming” when the doorbell hasn’t rung for 10 minutes. I overbuy and then bring the extra to work. Because I give out bigger items, not loose bitty candy, I do ask kids to take just one. But I really don’t mind if they ask for more; I say “Sure, one more” and then feel like I’m so generous and lavish.

    Regarding who belongs trick or treating, don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. When a huge group of unfamiliar kids showed up at my door last night, my first thought was that they were from elsewhere. But then I noticed that one had a familiar haircut and realized that he was a classmate of one of my children for several years a while ago. Not sure who his buddies are, but he is from somewhere in Decatur. I choose to think that he said “Hey, let’s go to that house. Their Mom is awesome!” In addition, some kids said “Hi, Ms._____” real friendly even though I could swear I’ve never seen them before in my life. Between their rapidly changing appearances and persona and the Halloween costumes, it’s hard to recognize some kids.

    And if some kids from elsewhere showed up, well, it all evens out eventually. Sometimes my kids trick or treat in a different neighborhood. We were ghosted one year but couldn’t manage to pass on the favor. I’ve forgotten to bring an item to a potluck but let my kids eat anyway if it looks like there’s enough. The showers and graduation and retirement parties at work don’t always cover everyone evenly. You always can turn out your lights and avoid the whole thing but then you’ll miss the child who doesn’t answer when you ask what they are and then you realize from their pantomining that they are a mime.

    Re dressing up: Remember that some kids and teems find dressing up difficult because of self-consciousness or other reasons. For them wearing a baseball cap backwards is a big deal. I’ve had years when my kids would plan a costume, try it on proudly and wear it around the house, then be too shy to wear it on Halloween. I set the bar low for what consititutes an effort to be in costume.

  6. Well, I guess I’m in the minority. It’s not that I don’t want to make little kids happy on Halloween, I just don’t like seeing our neighborhood being used and abused for candy. And that’s what it is – used and abused. Some of these kids didn’t have costumes on and most were as tall as I am. That’s not trick or treating, folks.

    1. BTW, I am personally against trick or treating by teens, regardless of what neighborhood they are from and what neighborhood they solicit in, regardless of whether they are dressing up or not. Over the years, including my own adolescence, what I’ve seen is that (roving teens + roving teens = masses of teens) + Halloween + alcohol = trouble.

  7. I remember a few years of trick or treating in other’s neighborhoods. Usually, to hang with best friends that didn’t live in my neighborhood. However, I remember 2 years in particular when my family wasn’t doing so well and our apartment complex was not the best place in the world to trick or treat. I went with friends from school that lived in a nearby neighborhood with houses. One of my last years we moved to a very rural location that was miles between houses. I also went with school friends that lived in town that year. I’m fine with Decatur being a desirable location for families from elsewhere to come trick or treat. I consider it good karma and a little paying it back.

    1. No issues whatsoever there, Nuke. The difference in your experience and what we have experienced the past two years is that you went with friends; these kids just descended upon our neighborhood as one of the pit-stops for the evening.

  8. Not sure where you are Bulldog, but over here on 2nd Ave it was crazy. We probably spent $50 on candy, had well over 200 trick-or-treaters and still ran out at about 8. Our street was lined with cars pulling in and out and then creating traffic jams with honking horns, shouts, etc. I had never minded the “driven in” trick-or-treaters before, but at points last night I felt like the street was somewhat dangerous for our kids.

    I will say that 95% of the droves were in costumes and very polite, but it was the car situation that worried me most.

    1. What we see on our street is that the kids who are ferried in vehicles (COD or otherwise) walk but their parents patrol behind in their car. If you had 25 of such cars at once, I can see how that would cause traffic problems. Maybe there’s a way to put up poster signs encouraging parents to park and walk with their kids.

      BTW, I really don’t think greed is a huge motivator for visiting trick or treaters. Trick or treating isn’t THAT efficient a way to get candy. Day after Halloween sales yield some darn low prices on candy. Not to mention the free junk floating around breakrooms in workplaces. It’s more the good trick or treating atmosphere that draws folks.

      I am impressed with how tightly clustered trick or treating is these days. Our first trick or treater was at ~6:20 PM then we got hordes between 6:30-7:30 PM, a handful between 7:30 and 8:30 PM and only one or two visits between 8:30 and 8:45 PM. Closed shop at 9:00 PM without feeling like we cutting anyone off. This is a good thing, IMHO, especially on school nights. Some of our neighbors have scarey sound machines and it would be disturbing to have those run until 11 PM. But when I grew up, I remember trick or treating stretching out longer–from around 5:00 PM for the little ones to around 11 PM.

    2. Over on Mead, we experience the same thing and it’s not the hordes that descend, it’s the “drive-by”s that are annoying.
      We were discussing whether it would be OK to put up a “friendly” sign that says, “Please PARK and walk your kid around. There is a convenient lot at the North end or at the school.”

      I don’t mind the hordes – it’s one night. Hell, it’s three hours of your life and, nowadays, about $30 worth of candy. Have fun, give what you want, then turn out the lights. “Use and Abuse” seems a little pearl-clutchingly exaggerated to me.

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