for sharing this illustration.
If you build it, they will come? Well, not always. Down through the decades, I have tried to make Halloween come to me, with varying degress of success. I was so envious a few years ago when one of my friends had to decline my Halloween invitation because she was expecting "well over 100 trick or treaters, which tends to overwhelm me."
It's true, her neighborhood is The Chosen One! That's how it was when we lived in West Philly -- a constant stream of visitors and all the neighbors out on the sidewalk with their treats! Kids actually rode the trolley to get off at the stop closest to our corner! Some people hated it, but I loved it!
Then we moved to a street where ALL the Halloween action took place a couple of blocks over, so if we wanted to see any Trick or Treaters we had to walk over there. Same here in West Lafayette, where all the fun is a few blocks away and no one comes to our end of the long steep hill -- except for maybe one lonesome child or a couple of Purdue students. Sad!
So for those on the busy fun streets, I know you will be tired but try to enjoy the human drama and spectacle. Take it from me, this holiday is deeply anthropological (see Backe and Parker). It's what makes the world go round! Just ask Silver Ravenwolf:
"Our children carve pumpkins with delightful chatter and adults find solace in a night where they can be whatever they want to be. We have little doubt about the joy this holiday brings to the American people. We will forever love the haunted house, the vampire costume, the harvest moon . . .
"Much of society . . . was centered around [harvest festivals and holidays] . . . These special days carried a sense of excitement that grew through the preparations and reached a crescendo of joy and laughter through family and community functions. In the fall, vegetables were carved, breads were baked, costumes were fussed over, and fires or candles were lit for the dead. Halloween was a time to overeat, tell jokes, gossip with the gang, drink too much, do a little fortunetelling and, finally, to have a wonderful time scaring...everyone with...tales of the mysterious and unexplained." (33, 38)
Sitting home quietly, with book & cats!