Two Great Halloween Articles

Readers — We  take a break from reminding you to remind everyone else that Halloween is a safe, good holiday (not a candy-poisoning, child-snatching BAD holiday)  to bring you two newspaper stories that I just loved:

*This yshytikfai
 by Bonnie Rubin is on the front page of today’s Chicago Tribune, about the rise of “Trunk or Treat,” and quotes yours truly:

…[Skenazy’s]  all for bike helmets, seat belts and reflective gear, but not X-raying candy. “This holiday is about kids practicing being grown-ups,” Skenazy said. “One night a year, they get to dress up and go out … at night. They get to practice at being an adult, which is so rare in a time when we constantly do everything for our children.” …

*This one’s from the LA Times by Amina Khan isn’t about Halloween fears, it’s just cool. It’s about Dean Karlan, a Yale professor who studies trick or treaters. For instance, one experiment involved determining if more kids chose fruit over candy after they saw a poster of Michelle Obama:.

…No need to be spooked. Karlan, a Yale University behavioral economist, just taps into a rare study population with a guaranteed turnout: trick-or-treaters.

For seven years, hundreds of children have been lining up in front of his home to answer questions from clipboard-carrying college students, and then choose their candy. Though they may not realize it, the answers they give and the sweets they pick offer the scientists fresh insight into theories about children’s thinking, development, even their politics.

Have a great holiday and please take photos/videos of your KIDS EATING UNWRAPPED CANDY!  Send these to me at [email protected], for use in a future fear-busting video. Boo! – L.

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6 Responses to Two Great Halloween Articles

  1. Michael F October 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I got a notice from my local police department yesterday, that was then forwarded by my son’s Elementary School principal. As I read it I was pretty ok with it, until I got to the end..after all the sensical things to say and do on Halloween I get to this:

    “Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

    Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Children should go only to homes where resident are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.”

    I’m ambivalent on the homemade treats bit (although it would be interesting what the rationale for this is, and any underlying statistics) and the whole “residents are known” bit just irked me. We have a distributed community and while we get out I know very few people on my block. My kids visit a lot of houses and in total about 90% of them are complete strangers.

    Just when you thought things were enlightened….

  2. Cara October 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    I just wanted to pipe in that not all Trunk or Treats are based on stranger danger. I live in rural Colorado and our houses are too far apart to conveniently trick or treat (you would get to maybe 3 houses all evening!) so almost everyone trunk or treats because it’s so much more convenient. I know that this isn’t the common reason for Trunk or Treats, but there are some of us who do it more out of necessity (so our kids can actually do trick or treating) than fear.

  3. Michelle October 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I like Trunk-or-Treat when it’s in addition to, and not instead of regular trick-or-treat. The church by our house had Trunk-or-Treat as part of a larger Halloween party last weekend. In that case, it’s more fun, more candy, no drawbacks. 🙂 I even made sure to have our costumes in time just so we could go to that (and Zoo Boo).

    A couple of times in the past we went to church Halloween parties that were actually held on Halloween. I thought it would be more fun because there were games with prizes, food, and other fun things, but the kids didn’t enjoy it as much as trick-or-treating, so we stopped. There’s just something special about walking your neighborhood in the dark with all the other kids, getting spooks and begging for treats!

  4. Renee Anne October 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    We’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area now for a little over a year and only in our house since February. I’ve met the neighbors across the street, and next door to us. Otherwise, no clue who our neighbors are. This will be Little Man’s first Halloween where he’ll be going out to trick-or-treat…if anything, it’ll be an excuse to meet the neighbors 🙂

  5. Heath November 1, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    I wonder if the lady who was quoted at the end of the Chicago Tribune story (she said she doesn’t allow her kids to eat hot dogs, now, because she read a story about someone choking on one) realizes that you can choke on ANY food. Just because you haven’t read a story about it, doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. So she better start pureeing and/or liquifying food, so her chewing-challenged kids won’t choke to death.

  6. hauntedknoll November 2, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Kids in the Spotlight (KITS) trains kids in foster care to write, act, and create their own movies. Many of these kids are bounced from one home to another, and some are in group homes. I had a nice talk with the founder where she explained how powerful it is for them to tell their stories through film. That’s why we chose KITS as this year’s recipient of up to $10,000 for the Haunted Knoll awards. Enter up to 5 Halloween photos at and each entry gives them $5 (it’s free to you). Or donate directly to them at Happy Halloween!