Saturday, Dec 03, 2022


Ready for a little Trick or Treating? Beware! Goblins and beasties will be roaming the valley Saturday or Sunday, prowling on your doorsteps, begging for a sweet treat to take back and devour in the warmth of their abodes. Not a Halloween passes that we all don’t get a little nostalgic and hark back to years past and remember all that candy and the best costume ever.

Speaking of costumes, did you actually get to wear it on that creepy night of terror? Somehow, every year Halloween is the coldest, bone chilling night of the fall season. Most of us roamed the streets in snowsuits and often boots. A few of Arbon’s senior citizens gave me their versions of how Halloween was observed in the distant past. I (yes, I qualify and will claim senior citizenship) remember going all over the entire town of Malad, including the businesses. The new Star Theater gave out big candy bars. One particular year a bunch of teenage boys ran by and stole my friend’s pillowcase of candy and scared a week’s growth out of us. Some houses, my Grandma Lusk’s, you had to always sing and perform to get any treats. Waxing windows was about all of the mischief we accomplished.

One black night in Arbon three unnamed teenage boys had a paper sack full of manure. They placed it on Geina Newport’s doorstep, lit it afire, rapped on the door, and preceded to run. An accomplice to the crime was an unaware aunt who had given them a ride to the Newport residence (Anyone want to fess up?).

Eileen Estep remembers going trick or treating in Malad, but no one had specific candy for trick or treaters. You might get an apple from their tree or maybe a stick of gum.

Lamond “Buck” Bailey recalls in the 1930’s they didn’t go trick or treating but outhouse tipping. There was none of that sissysoaping windows. They would get a bunch of guys in a car and go around pushing over outhouses. Outhouses were usually just placed over a hole with some dirt shoveled up around the outside, so it wasn’t difficult to overturn the stinker. Buck told me outhouses also had a little birdhouse nailed to the roof or the sides. Bluebirds were the main occupants. The outhouses at the schools were prime targets: Highland in the south end, Arbon Central by Newports, Valleyview close to the LDS Church, and the Pauline School in its present location landed face down yearly. Buck’s father finally bolted two cedar posts on each side of their outhouse, because he was tired of taking time out to upright the hut. This yearly practice became almost impossible after the WPA program of the 1930’s gave out outhouses with cement bases making them very hard to push over.

Since I live in “downtown” Arbon, I get lots of trick or treaters. For many years I was getting 50 kids. Now that is counting a few 18 year olds who were unwilling to give up the yearly practice. I suppose they still might be out there somewhere in the blackness of the night. Now take heed, “ the goblins will get you if you don’t watch out”!