My mother has a firm belief that no child should go trick or treating after about the age of 12. She feels like Halloween is a holiday truly meant for small children, not tweens or teenagers.
I sorta agree. I frown and act surly when kids come to my door towering over me and saying "TRICK OR TREAT!" in deep bass voices. I always want to reply "Grow up! Go home!"
I think 6th grade was my last year to go around begging for candy.
All my friends were going. I felt like a total weirdo. I felt like my house was a gulag where only small children were treated with love and cherished. Add to that the fact I was still among the tallest in my class, and it was NOT a happy year.
My brother, who had gone through a similar trick or treating retirement a year or two before, decided that our mission that year would be to scare away everyone who came to our door, and thus we could eat all the leftover candy.
It was a brilliant plan.
We were very intrigued by cassette tape recorders and we made tapes all the time. Music off the radio. The dog barking while I played the piano. Ourselves doing funny voices.
We decided to tape record bloodcurdling screams and play them as soon as kids got close to our door. I think we decided to make that one afternoon when Mom was at the store, or when we were in the basement closet or something; I know if Mom had heard that particular recording session we would've gotten a talking-to, Big Time.
I have a huge voice, and had amazing vocal power even as a kid.
The night of Halloween, we also rigged up some kind of "ghost" in the bushes outside the door, as I recall. So kids would walk up to our blue door, all unsuspecting, and hear horrible screams emanating from inside the house, and have a fake ghost shaking at them, just behind the pumpkin with a candle flickering inside it.
We were thrilled to see the looks of confusion and fright on the faces of the kids.
Of course, the really small ones always had parents along. We kept watch thru the peephole and if really tiny kids came up we didn't try to scare them into wetting themselves.
Those were the days when parents would call each other and tell on us. "I saw Dee playing in that vacant lot, Elva, did you know where she was this afternoon?!"
"If Bruce brings that sword in my yard again I won't let Billy play with him."
So we knew when to cool it.
At the end of the evening we still kept to our ritual. We sat in the middle of the den floor, divided up all the candy, and ate it. ALL of it. We figured it was worth the possible stomachache. I never heard my mother say the words "Why don't you just keep it for a while and have a piece or two every day?" that I didn't bust out laughing. Moderation. What a crazy concept.