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Vocapedia > Time > Halloween




Dave Granlund




26 October 2010































the dead

























the undead        USA










the living dead








The Walking Dead        UK










zombie        USA

















Run For Your Lives    USA     2013


a zombie-themed

5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race

that also features

apocalyptic obstacles

like a pitch-black

smoke-filled house

with live wires.

















spirit        UK






spiritualism        UK



















































cemetery        UK




































fright        UK











be afraid, very afraid



















































Whitby goth festival in Yorkshire        UK






































































































Peanuts Begins

by Charles Schulz


October 24, 2022




















Johnson Herbert, artist.

"If Dreams Came True,

Willie's Halloween Mask Would Accomplish its Purpose."

Associated Newspapers,

1921 or 1922.

Prints and Photographs Division,

Library of Congress.

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/jb/modern/hallowen_2 - broken link















hallow / hallow
















Hallow-e'en        UK / USA





























































































on Halloween








New York City's Village Halloween Parade        USA










Halloween        2010        UK / USA













cartoons > Cagle > Halloween        USA        2013






cartoons > Cagle > Happy Halloween!        USA        2010






Halloween > Cartoons > Cagle > Scary Halloween costumes        2010






Halloween > Cartoons > Cagle > Bad Economy Halloween        2010






Halloween        2009












Halloween        2008








Halloween > Cartoons > Cagle       2008






Halloween 1926 > Houdini's death






Halloween mischief





scary / horror films / movies > ‘Halloween’        USA        1978

John Carpenter’s

relentlessly terrifying masterpiece

about babysitters

and the murderous Michael Myer






















All Hallows / All Saints / All Saints' Day


November 1st > All Saints' Day        UK / USA


All Saints' Day

(also known as

All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas)

is the day after All Hallows' Eve



It is a feast day

celebrated on November 1st

by Anglicans and Roman Catholics











All Souls' Day ritual





on October 31





on November 1










traditional customs















Jack O/o Lantern










Jack's lantern



















Charles Schulz


October 30, 2021









pumpkin        UK / USA
























carving        UK



















30 October 2004

















Dave Granlund




26 October 2010






































trick or treat!


















Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF












trick or treating        USA


















prank        USA










candy corn        USA

















cry out
















































































spooky        UK














scary        UK / USA










scary lawn signs




















spine-chilling story





goose bumps        USA











bloodsucker    UK


























creepy costume





disease costumes        USA





















witch's costume










black cat





Halloween decorations





Halloween carols





Halloween outfit





Halloween gear





Halloween screensaver





Halloween joke




















dress up as ...





supernatural manifestations





the Green Lady of Newton Castle





























ghoul        UK











ghoulish        USA








Ghosts, ghouls and demon lovers:

writers on their favourite haunted tales        23 December 2013        UK


From surprisingly scary characters

in Harry Potter to wartime spirits,

John Boyne, Helen Dunmore,

Penelope Lively and Jeanette Winterson

pick their favourite ghoulish tales





















the Grim Reaper















Frankenstein's monster





neck bolts

























Dracula        UK






vampire        UK








vampire teeth





vampire fangs























ghosts and spirits        UK










ghost story        UK









London walks: Bermondsey ghost tour        UK





















haunted        UK






haunted house        USA






haunted house actor        USA






haunted car wash        USA






scare houses        USA






Top 10 haunted houses        UK






haunted places        UK


















Photograph: Mike Dickbernd















fake decaying corpse





bouncing eyeballs





bat        UK






hanging bats








stretchable web
















wriggly worm








edible eyeball








severed head
































things that go bump
























be frightened of N








the unknown
































devils' outfits








devils' tridents








large axe








scary hairsprays and makeup








a CD composed entirely of horror noises























magic spell








cast a spell








put an evil spell on N
















omen        UK

























bogeyman        USA

















Halloween in the UK        UK        2004


Tesco says so many adults

are sexing up the annual fright night

that sales have hit £100m,

making it a party second only to new year







is the second largest retail holiday of the year

in the US        2002        UK






Halloween quiz        UK






Sex Offenders See New Limits for Halloween        2005


















1024x768.shtml - broken link















Corpus of news articles


Time > Halloween




S.C. boy shot,

killed trick-or-treating;

2 injured


1 November 2008

USA Today


SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — A 12-year-old boy trick-or-treating with his family in central South Carolina was shot from inside a home Friday and killed, and his father and brother were wounded by the gunfire, authorities said.

The shooting suspect, Quentin Patrick, was in custody, a jail official said. Patrick, 22, has been charged with murder and three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill. The jail official said she didn't know whether Patrick had an attorney. Patrick's telephone number was unpublished.

The family was headed home from a city-sponsored event downtown when they decided to stop at a few homes, Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson said. The father and his four children approached a home with a porch light on about 8:30 p.m. ET while their mother waited nearby in a vehicle.

As the family was at the door, they thought they heard fireworks. The 12-year-old boy, his father and brother all were hit by the gunfire. The boy died at a hospital, Coroner Verna Moore said. The other two children were not hurt.

The boy's father and brother were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities have not released the identity of the family.

Patterson also would not release any more details about the shooting.

"The investigation is continuing into what has been a very tragic evening," Patterson said. "Our sorrow and sympathy goes out to this family."

The police chief said there were other people inside the home at the time of the shooting, but she didn't expect any of them to be charged.

A neighbor said he heard a loud noise about the time of the shooting and thought it was simply Halloween mischief.

"I thought, trick-or-treat night — pranks go down. Anything goes," said Lenwood Dixon, 49, who works at a hazardous waste and recycling company. "I heard a noise like maybe gunfire, then my daughter saw a bunch of lights flashing and saw some cops."

In his six years in the neighborhood, he said he wasn't aware of any violent crimes. He said a few trick-or-treaters had been on his block that night.

"I'm surprised. Since I was here, I'd never heard of anything like that happening. It's a quiet neighborhood," he said. "You don't see many children in the neighborhood. It's more elderly."

S.C. boy shot, killed trick-or-treating; 2 injured,
UT, 1.11.2008,







No Halloween Hijinks

in Sleepy Hollow


October 31, 2008
Filed at 2:20 p.m. ET
The New York Times


SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (AP) -- Police are poised to prevent any monstrous Halloween behavior in the area where the Headless Horseman roamed.

Authorities in suburban Sleepy Hollow say they'll disperse large groups of teenagers, if necessary, and confiscate eggs and shaving cream.

The area served as the backdrop for Washington Irving's 1819 ''Legend of Sleepy Hollow,'' which depicts the Headless Horseman charging after a terrified Ichabod Crane.

Parents are asked to voluntarily have children under 17 home by 8:30 p.m.

In his story, Irving describes Sleepy Hollow as a rustic little valley north of Tarry Town where people ''are subject to trances and visions.''

In 1996, residents of North Tarrytown voted to change the village's name to Sleepy Hollow.


On the Net:

Village of Sleepy Hollow: http://www.villageofsleepyhollow.org/

Whoa! No Halloween Hijinks in Sleepy Hollow, NYT, 31.10.2008,






Quiet Halloween Night

in San Francisco


November 1, 2007
Filed at 7:22 a.m. ET
The New York Times


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A heavy police presence in the city's Castro district seemed enough to spook revelers away from what was once home to the San Francisco Bay area's largest Halloween street party.

City officials canceled the event after nine people were shot at last year's costume bash.

On Wednesday night, bars and restaurants closed early, public transportation halted nighttime service to the area and sidewalk barricades were set up to discourage pedestrians from spilling into the road. The landmark Castro Theatre stood with its lights shut off, guarded by barricades and nine police officers.

However, more than 250 uniformed officers patrolling the area weren't enough to keep some people from checking out their favorite Halloween haunt. A light crowd of costumed revelers wandered through the neighborhood Wednesday night, and six people were arrested for public drunkenness, said police Sgt. Steve Mannina.

The party, which began in the 1960s as a spontaneous and unsanctioned event in the heart of the gay and lesbian community, was taken over by the city after 2002, when five people were stabbed and police found a man wielding a chain saw among the crowd of nearly 500,000.

Longtime resident Bob Mark said he was glad to have a quieter Halloween night at home.

''This went from being a really pleasant neighborhood event to a crazed tourist extravaganza,'' Mark, 60, said Wednesday.

Jeanne Hawkins, 43, came dressed as a witch with her costumed friends despite warnings to stay away.

''It's so sad,'' said Hawkins, who had gone to the street party for the last few years. ''This is world-famous, and they're slowly chipping away at all our traditions that make San Francisco what it is.''

Quiet Halloween Night in San Francisco, NYT, 1.11.2007,






Halloween fake teeth recalled

due to lead: government


Wed Oct 31, 2007
12:37pm EDT


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About 43,000 Chinese-made fake teeth sold as Halloween party favors have been recalled because they contain unsafe levels of lead paint, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday.

The product, "Ugly Teeth" party favors, was imported by Amscan Inc. and sold at various retailers throughout the United States in 2006 and this year, the safety agency said.

The fake teeth are painted white, black and orange with brown gums and were sold as Halloween party favors in packages of eight. Each package retailed for about $2.

Consumers should return the fake teeth to the store where they bought them for a refund, it said.

A photograph of the recalled fake teeth was posted on the safety agency's Web site at: http://www.cpsc.gov/

Halloween fake teeth recalled due to lead: government,






A Place

Where One Person’s Costume

Is Another’s Work Clothes


October 31, 2007
The New York Times


Sapphire Morrison has 17 piercings: some in each ear and two across the bridge of her nose, as well as a nose ring, a tongue ring and a stud in her chin, among others. Piled high and wide atop her head is an unruly crown of black braids with strands of green and pink flares, which she occasionally swipes out of her eyes as she lugs large cardboard boxes full of wigs in the stockroom.

Ms. Morrison, 32, was born on the Lower East Side. This is her fourth year styling wigs and doing makeup on the mannequins (and occasionally customers) at the Halloween Adventure store in the East Village.

Most New Yorkers wear some kind of uniform to work, whether it is of the same shade and cut as their co-workers’. From the more obvious garb of postal workers and police officers to the Ralph Lauren suits on Wall Street to the loose cotton worn by yogis, each dresses his or her part and can recognize others from the same labor caste.

This time of year, one of the busiest spots in the city is the Halloween Adventure store, and most of the people who work here really, really look the part. A visit to the store, replete with Catwoman costumes, thigh-high boots and a mock beating heart near a severed hand, raises the question: Which came first, the get-up or the job?

“People come in and apply wearing suits and ties, and once they feel comfortable and realize that we don’t discriminate, they come in wearing ripped-up jeans and something they would feel more comfortable in,” said James Gleason, 25, the store’s manager.

“I don’t think anyone who works here just works here,” Ms. Morrison said, listing the outside jobs of co-workers as they walked by carting plastic-wrapped accessories. Ms. Morrison ticked off names and jobs: Kelly, a freelance clown; Cornelius, who makes candles, perfume and dolls; and Diana, who plays in a band and gives guitar lessons.

In addition to the $11 an hour she is paid at the store (and 20 hours of overtime a week this time of year), Ms. Morrison earns money by working on the outside, sometimes making $100 for a burlesque dance performance, or $200 per session as a dominatrix.

In a city that is increasingly becoming home to major chains, Halloween Adventure retains a raffish local feel, even if it, too, is part of a nationwide franchise, albeit a small one. Tony Bianchi is a co-owner of the shop, at 104 Fourth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. It is the flagship store of the company and the only one open year-round.

Mr. Bianchi, 62, who wears the top half of a batman suit and a skeleton cape, flags Ms. Morrison to ask her where in the city to buy feather fans. Pausing long enough to yawn, Ms. Morrison lists the address of a retailer downtown, as a voice from the floor comes over her headset asking about a wig.

Ms. Morrison is not halfway through her shift, but she has traded her double-stacked five-inch platform boots for her stockroom-appropriate beat-up Converse sneakers.

She was out late the night before and up for burlesque rehearsal at 8 a.m., followed by her daily visit to Beth Israel Medical Center for a dose of methadone. Ms. Morrison suffers from lupus, and though full-time employees are eligible for health coverage, she says her plan does not cover the daily dose of 110 milligrams she gets to manage the pain. Medicaid defrays the cost, but she ends up paying about $40 a week.

The employees work long hours, yet say they cannot afford to keep the job without working outside jobs. So why do they stay?

"It’s one big, happy, dysfunctional family where all the freaks work," said Diana Vargas, 37, squeezing past a box of orange wigs being carried by Ms. Morrison. Ms. Vargas has worked at the store for three and a half years — or four Halloweens, as she put it. Her last job was downtown at Lucky Cheng’s, a place like this one, Ms. Morrison says, where transsexuals like Diana are accepted.

The Halloween store is not for everyone. Two temps, or “Halloweenies” as the year-rounders call them, had just quit because, the other employees gossiped, “the work was too hard.” Base pay starts at $8 an hour on the floor and $10 in the office, with annual raises or a bonus. For those with specialties, like makeup, wig, magic or sewing, the pay goes up incrementally.

“I’ve left twice; everyone does eventually,” Ms. Morrison said. “You get tired of it.”

She added, “There’s a sense of camaraderie because the outer world views us as freaks and derelicts.” Sometimes, after a long day, they all split the cost of a room at the nearby St. Mark’s Hotel. “I’m like a father figure here,” Mr. Bianchi said. “A lot of times I tolerate an awful lot.”

Recently, when an employee’s mother died, they staged a show in Tompkins Square Park, where audiences donated enough to cover a round-trip ticket to fly the employee, a young woman, home.

Ms. Morrison says she applied for a job four times at Sephora, the cosmetics store, even toning down her look, but never received a call back. At Macy’s, she says, she watched as the woman who accepted her application tossed it in the garbage.

Ms. Morrison dreams of doing hair and makeup special effects for film, but has a backup plan in place. She’s halfway to earning an associate’s degree to become a medical assistant. “I just pop out my piercings,” she said. “People will always be sick and pregnant.”

A Place Where One Person’s Costume Is Another’s Work Clothes,
NYT, 31.10.2007,






Iowa Tax on Pumpkins Is No Treat


October 31, 2007
Filed at 7:27 a.m. ET
The New York Times


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The taxman in Iowa is going after jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween.

The new department policy was implemented after officials decided that pumpkins are used primarily for Halloween decorations, not food, and should be taxed, said Renee Mulvey, the department's spokeswoman.

''We made the change because we wanted the sales tax law to match what we thought the predominant use was,'' Mulvey said. ''We thought the predominant use was for decorations or jack-o'-lanterns.''

Previously, pumpkins had been considered an edible squash and exempted from the tax. The department ruled this year that pumpkins are taxable -- with some exceptions -- if they are advertised for use as jack-'o-lanterns or decorations.

Iowans planning to eat pumpkins can still get a tax exemption if they fill out a form.

The new policy, published in the department's September newsletter, has some pumpkin farmers feeling tricked this Halloween.

''I don't mind paying taxes, but let's get real here, people,'' said Bob Kautz, owner of the Buffalo Pumpkin Patch in Buffalo, just west of Davenport.

    Iowa Tax on Pumpkins Is No Treat, NYT, 31.10.2007,






S.F. Cancels Halloween Street Party


October 31, 2007
Filed at 7:57 a.m. ET
The New York Times


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The hundreds of thousands of people who usually flock to an annual Halloween street party here are being warned to stay home or go elsewhere after several episodes of violence in recent years.

City officials have advised would-be revelers through fliers, public service announcements and juvenile probation officers that they won't find many treats in the Castro District, home in past years to the largest Halloween happening in the San Francisco Bay area.

What they will find are hundreds of extra police officers, shuttered restaurants, stepped up sobriety checks and no bus or train service after 8:30 p.m.

''This is really a public safety decision,'' said Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who represents the Castro and spent the better part of a year trying to arrange an alternative city-sanctioned gathering. ''I'm disappointed my message is one of, 'Please don't come.'''

The festivities started decades ago as a homegrown celebration for San Francisco's gay and lesbian community, but has drawn a scarier element in recent years. In 2002, five people were stabbed. Three years ago, someone wandered the crowds wielding a chain saw.

Last year, nine revelers were shot when a confrontation between two groups of young people erupted into gunfire, despite ramped-up security. No one has been arrested in the shooting.

''It's absolutely eerie when you are looking around seeing people, most of them not in costume, looking each other in the eye with suspicion,'' said Castro resident Betty Sullivan, who narrowly missed getting caught in last year's gunfire.

Sullivan said she is anxious enough about what will transpire this year that she doesn't even plan to watch from her front stoop. On Tuesday, she could hear loudspeakers and sirens, part of the city's emergency notification system, being tested from her home.

''Everybody I've talked to is pretty much on the same page I am, which is it needed not to happen,'' she said. ''I'm like, shut it down. I don't even want to pretend it's going to be OK.''

People should come to the Castro only if interacting with police is their idea of a good time, said Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for Mayor Gavin Newsom. A city-financed Web site lists dozens of other events elsewhere.

''The residents of the Castro are fed up with having a large, regional party in the Castro, and frankly anyone who thinks it's a good idea to have a large, regional event in the Castro on a weeknight needs to have their head examined,'' he said.

To reinforce that the welcome mat has been officially rolled up, the city arranged to have probation officers throughout the area tell their young clients that going into San Francisco will be considered a probation violation.

Some business owners were angry when the city asked them to close early on Halloween night, but 34 bars, restaurants and stores that sell liquor have since agreed, according to Dufty. He said he hopes to help organize a pub crawl or another event to make up for the money they lose.

''There will be people who come to see what's happening, but when they realize the restaurants and bars are almost universally closed, I think they will go home,'' he said.


On the Net:


S.F. Cancels Halloween Street Party, NYT, 31.10.2007,





















Illustration: R. Kikuo Johnson


The Ghosts of Halloweens Past


31 October 2007
















Op-Ed Contributor

The Ghosts of Halloweens Past


October 31, 2007
The New York Times


Belgrade Lakes, Me.

THE house in which I grew up was haunted by a cloud of cold mist, a mysterious woman in white, and an entity we called “the conductor,” since he walked around wearing a mourning coat and carrying a baton in one hand.

For the most part, these spirits manifested themselves in what I suppose is the usual manner: as mysterious footsteps in the attic, as doors that opened and closed by themselves, and as clouds of sentient fog.

The house, in Devon, Pa., was creepy, to be certain. Still, it wasn’t exactly the Amityville Horror. As a teenager in the 1970s, I found my house’s ghosts mostly a social embarrassment. It was humiliating to have to explain to my friends spending the night in the Haunted Room: “Now don’t worry if you see a blob come out of that closet. Usually it will go away if you whistle Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. If that doesn’t work, try the Ninth.”

Our house was known as the Coffin House, built by one Lemuel Coffin in the 19th century. It was a three-story Victorian eyesore that at one point had had a pointed tower on the front, although this had been removed in 1944. One of my neighbors explained that this was because someone had been killed up there.

“Who?” I asked. “Who got killed?”

“Nobody,” he said, and shrugged. “Just some kid.”

The most discouraging of our specters was the woman I called Mrs. Freeze. She appeared, occasionally, in the mirror of a third-floor lavatory. This was known as the Monkey Bathroom because the family who’d lived in the Coffin House before us, the Hunts, had kept a monkey in there.

The monkey’s name was Jesus.

One night, coming home late from a friend’s house, I looked into the mirror and saw her standing behind me. Mrs. Freeze was a middle-aged woman in a white nightgown. Her eyes were small red stars. Cold mist rose from her hair and shoulders.

I turned around, but of course there was no one there.

I probably saw her about a half-dozen times in high school, usually a day or two before some calamity befell the family — my father’s diagnosis of cancer; a sibling’s unfortunate wedding. Once she materialized on the night before an overflowing toilet on the second floor flooded the whole house as we slept. In the morning, there was a river rushing down the stairs; all the downstairs ceilings bent, and then collapsed, beneath the weight of water.

My parents went to considerable expense to renovate the house. The old wallpaper was steamed off and replaced, the floors sanded and stained, the walls repainted. By the time I went off to college, the whole place had begun to seem considerably less creepy, a process that coincided with our family’s migration from working to middle class.

As the years went by, I began to wonder, as I looked back on my adolescence, if I’d imagined the whole thing, if the house’s haunting was something I’d invented out of perversity, or boredom, or sheer loneliness.

I went back to the Coffin House last year with someone whom I can only haplessly describe as a paranormal investigator. The woman, a cheerful, round Philadelphian named Shelly, was associated with an organization called Batty About Ghosts. When I asked her to check out the house, she’d said she’d be glad to. “Actually,” said Shelly, without a hint of sarcasm, “this is my dead season.”

Shelly came through the front door and stood there for a moment holding her hand over her heart. “Holy cow,” she said. “There’s a lot of activity here.”

We busted ghosts for an hour or two, with mixed results, until we arrived in my parents’ old room. My father had died in that room on Easter Sunday 1986, from malignant melanoma. The Ninth Symphony had been on the radio that morning. Two days before, on Good Friday, he’d told me that the conductor had come into his room. The conductor wanted my father to go away with him, and conduct his orchestra.

“But I couldn’t go,” my father said. “Because I did not know the music.”

Shelly raised a pair of copper divining rods, which immediately began to spin around wildly, like the blades of a helicopter. “Is there anybody there?” she asked, but I could already sense my father’s shy, gentle presence.

“It’s my father,” I told Shelly.

“Talk to him,” she said. “Talk to him just like you used to.”

This was more difficult than it sounded, since I’m transgendered, and had morphed, since my father’s death, from the entity known as James to the current one, known as Jennifer.

“Hi, Dad,” I said, and felt the tears coming to my eyes. I felt as if he’d never truly known me, that only now, as I approached age 50, was my father seeing me for the first time. What I wanted to say was, I’m sorry, Dad, if I’ve been a disappointment to you.

But then, incredibly, I felt his hand on the side of my face, and heard the sound of his voice. There, there, he said. That’s enough of that.

A few months later I talked to the four Hunt children, all grown up now, who’d lived in the house before me. One of the boys, Al, who’s grown up to become a well-known journalist, said he’d never detected the presence of anything disembodied in the house. “That was totally off my radar, Jenny,” he said.

His siblings Bill and Babby hadn’t seen any ghosts either, although Babby did provide me with further information on the life of Jesus. Apparently the monkey that lived in the bathroom was allowed out one day a year, on his birthday.

I wanted to ask her, “What day was Jesus’ birthday?” But then I realized I already knew the answer.


As for the youngest Hunt sibling, St. George, he said he’d seen plenty of spirits on the third floor, near the Haunted Room. One time, one of them managed to convince him to jump out the window. He’d gotten one leg out the frame before his father arrived on the scene and asked him what he thought he was doing. St. George didn’t have an answer.

Would he spend a night in the house alone, now, I asked? Not for a million dollars, he said. Not for any price.

My mother still lives there, all these years later. She’s never seen anything untoward in the house; for her it’s a museum of bright moments, the place where she and her husband raised their children and lived good lives. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, either, which might be one reason she’s never seen them.

Last summer, late one night while I was visiting her, I went into the Monkey Bathroom to get ready for bed. It had been a long day, and I was filled with the usual rush of melancholy and nostalgia that always accompanies a visit to my boyhood home.

And then, as I looked into the mirror, I saw Mrs. Freeze, just as in days of old, a middle-aged woman in a white nightgown. For a moment I felt my skin crawl, wondering what disaster was now imminent.

But then it occurred to me that I was seeing my own reflection. After all this time, I was only haunting myself.

I realized then the thing that the stranger might have been trying to tell me, for all these years. Don’t worry, Jenny. It’s only me.

Jennifer Finney Boylan is a professor of English at Colby College and the author of the forthcoming memoir “I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted.”

    The Ghosts of Halloweens Past, NYT, 31.10.2007,






Today in History - Oct. 31


October 31, 2007
Filed at 12:02 a.m. ET
The New York Times


Today is Wednesday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2007. There are 61 days left in the year. This is Halloween.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

On this date:

In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state.

In 1926, magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix.

In 1941, the Navy destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.

In 1956, Navy Rear Admiral George J. Dufek became the first air traveler to set foot at the South Pole.

In 1967, Nguyen Van Thieu took the oath of office as the first president of South Vietnam's second republic.

In 1968, President Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.

In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards.

In 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.

In 1996, a Brazilian Fokker-100 jetliner crashed in Sao Paulo, killing all 96 people on board and three on the ground.

In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, bound from New York to Cairo, crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.

Ten years ago: British au pair Louise Woodward received a mandatory life sentence, a day after a jury in Cambridge, Mass., convicted her of second-degree murder in the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen. (The verdict was later reduced to manslaughter, and Woodward was set free.) Chinese President Jiang Zemin rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to open the day's trading.

Five years ago: Authorities charged the two Washington sniper suspects with murder in a Louisiana attack that came just two days after a similar slaying in Alabama. The Securities and Exchange Commission ordered an investigation into allegations that Chairman Harvey Pitt had concealed information on the corporate ties of William Webster, his choice to head a new accounting oversight board. (Pitt and Webster both ended up resigning.) An earthquake toppled a school in San Giuliano Di Puglia, Italy, killing 27 children and a teacher.

One year ago: A fire at a residential hotel in Reno, Nev., killed 12 people. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the lifting of joint U.S.-Iraqi military checkpoints around the Shiite militant stronghold of Sadr City and other parts of Baghdad. P.W. Botha, South Africa's apartheid-era president, died on the southern Cape coast at age 90.

Today's Birthdays: Former Attorney General Griffin Bell is 89. Author Dick Francis is 87. Former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk is 85. Actress Lee Grant is 80. Movie critic Andrew Sarris is 79. Former astronaut Michael Collins is 77. Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather is 76. Folk singer Tom Paxton is 70. Actor Ron Rifkin is 68. Actor David Ogden Stiers is 65. Actress Sally Kirkland is 63. Actor Stephen Rea is 61. Actress Deidre Hall is 59. Talk show host Jane Pauley is 57. Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is 49. Movie director Peter Jackson is 46. Rock musician Larry Mullen is 46. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 44. Rock musician Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) is 44. Rock singer-musician Johnny Marr is 44. Actor Rob Schneider is 43. Country singer Darryl Worley is 43. Actor-comedian Mike O'Malley is 42. Rap musician Adrock is 41. Songwriter Adam Schlesinger is 40. Rap performer Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) is 39. Rock singer Linn Berggren (Ace of Base) is 37. TV host Troy Hartman is 33. Actress Piper Perabo is 31. Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas is 27.

Thought for Today: ''Success is a public affair. Failure is a private funeral.'' -- Rosalind Russell, American actress (1911-1976).

    Today in History - Oct. 31, NYT, 31.10.2007,






LI School Bans Halloween Costumes


October 28, 2007
Filed at 4:55 a.m. ET
The New York Times


LONG BEACH, N.Y. (AP) -- Call it the Misadventure of Captain Underpants and the Peeved Principal.

A suburban Long Island high school has banned all Halloween costumes after three senior girls showed up last year dressed as the underwear-baring subject of a series of best-selling children's books.

Long Beach High School Principal Nicholas Restivo, who sent the three seniors home to change last year, said the episode solidified his sense that the school's costume tradition was disruptive.

For the Captain Underpants costumes, the three girls donned beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs and red capes to portray the superhero, who has battled such foes as talking toilets. To Restivo, the appearance was that the girls were naked.

''I'm being a principal. I'm not being an ogre,'' Restivo said.

He added that some gory costumes could make some students uncomfortable.

Some students don't see it that way. They are circulating a petition opposing the costume crackdown.

''It's one thing if the school won't let us wear outfits that are revealing or inappropriate, but if it is an innocent Halloween costume, we should be allowed to wear it,'' said junior Meghan Beck.

LI School Bans Halloween Costumes, NYT, 28.10.2007,






Ohio Couple Ties Knot

at Haunted House


October 26, 2007
Filed at 7:33 a.m. ET
The New York Times


BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- As well-wishing zombies and witches looked on, a couple got married at the haunted house where they work.

Tina Milhoane, 22, and Robert Seifer III, 24, exchanged vows Wednesday at the entrance to the 7 Floors of Hell haunted house's outdoor cemetery.

The groom made his entrance in a hearse, emerging from a coffin borne by six pallbearers.

''It's weird watching your son get out of a coffin,'' said his father, Robert Seifer II. ''Usually when you see someone in a coffin, they're going the other way -- in, not out.''

The minister, clad as the Grim Reaper, read The Lord's Prayer from a scroll clutched in bony-gloved hand.

''This is the sweetest wedding that I've ever been to,'' said co-worker Tim Perrien, his face caked in makeup. His date, Jessica Repas, was dripping with blood as the lead character in the horror move ''Carrie.''

''It was morbid,'' gushed friend Katie O'Malley. ''Beautiful.''

Ohio Couple Ties Knot at Haunted House, NYT, 26.10.2007,






That's the Spirit:

Belief in Ghosts High


October 26, 2007
Filed at 7:55 a.m. ET
The New York Times


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Those things that go bump in the night? About one-third of people believe they could be ghosts.

And nearly one out of four, 23 percent, say they've actually seen a ghost or felt its presence, finds a pre-Halloween poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos.

One is Misty Conrad, who says she fled her rented home in Syracuse, Ind., after her daughter began talking to an unseen girl named Nicole and neighbors said children had been murdered in the house. That was after the TV and lights began flicking on at night.

''It kind of creeped you out,'' Conrad, 40, of Hampton, Va., recalled this week. ''I needed to get us out.''

About one out of five people, 19 percent, say they accept the existence of spells or witchcraft. Nearly half, 48 percent, believe in extrasensory perception, or ESP.

The most likely candidates for ghostly visits include single people, Catholics and those who never attend religious services. By 31 percent to 18 percent, more liberals than conservatives report seeing a specter.

Those who dismissed the existence of ghosts include Morris Swadener, 66, a Navy retiree from Kingston, Wash.

He says he shot one with his rifle when he was a child.

''I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a white ghost in my closet,'' he said. ''I discovered I'd put a hole in my brand new white shirt. My mother and father were not amused.''

Three in 10 have awakened sensing a strange presence in the room. For whatever it says about matrimony, singles are more likely than married people to say so.

Fourteen percent -- mostly men and lower-income people -- say they have seen a UFO. Among them is Danny Eskanos, 44, an attorney in Palm Harbor, Fla., who says as a Colorado teenager he watched a bright light dart across the sky, making abrupt stops and turns.

''I knew a little about airplanes and helicopters, and it was not that,'' he said. ''It's one of those things that sticks in your mind.''

Spells and witchcraft are more readily believed by urban dwellers, minorities and lower-earning people. Those who find credibility in ESP are more likely to be better educated and white -- 51 percent of college graduates compared to 37 percent with a high school diploma or less, about the same proportion by which white believers outnumber minorities.

Overall, the 48 percent who accept ESP is less than the 66 percent who gave that answer to a similar 1996 Newsweek question.

One in five say they are at least somewhat superstitious, with young men, minorities, and the less educated more likely to go out of their way to seek luck. Twenty-six percent of urban residents -- twice the rate of those from rural areas -- said they are superstitious, while single men were more superstitious than unmarried women, 31 percent to 17 percent.

The most admitted-to superstition, by 17 percent, was finding a four-leaf clover. Thirteen percent dread walking under a ladder or the groom seeing his bride before their wedding, while slightly smaller numbers named black cats, breaking mirrors, opening umbrellas indoors, Friday the 13th or the number 13.

Generally, women were more superstitious than men about four-leaf clovers, breaking mirrors or grooms prematurely seeing brides. Democrats were more superstitious than Republicans over opening umbrellas indoors, while liberals were more superstitious than conservatives over four-leaf clovers, grooms seeing brides and umbrellas.

Then there's Jack Van Geldern, a computer programmer from Riverside, Conn. Now 51, Van Geldern is among the 5 percent who say they have seen a monster in the closet -- or in his case, a monster's face he spotted on the wall of his room as a child.

''It was so terrifying I couldn't move,'' he said. ''Needless to say I survived the event and never saw it again.''

The poll, conducted Oct. 16-18, involved telephone interviews with 1,013 adults and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.

That's the Spirit: Belief in Ghosts High, NYT, 26.10.2007,






Stores agree

to take horror out of Halloween


Friday October 5, 2007
Riazat Butt,
religious affairs correspondent

A Church of England bishop campaigning to rebrand Halloween as a "triumph of good over evil" claimed victory yesterday after two supermarkets agreed to stock less sinister alternatives to the usual monster masks and devil costumes.

Sainsbury's has written to the Rt Rev David Gillett, Bishop of Bolton, saying it will now also sell glowsticks, hair braids and face paints. Its chief executive, Justin King, said he could understand the bishop's worries about the antisocial effects of Halloween products.

Andy Bond, president and chief executive of Asda, said it too would stock costumes and accessories with a "lighter" feel than previous years.

Mr Bond said the costumes, based on characters such as fairies and witches, would still promote fun without encouraging antisocial behaviour. He added: "We do offer another range which is more adult in theme, though the store signage will clearly distinguish between the two."

Woolworths and The Disney Store are also offering a range of alternative goods, online and in their stores.

There has been no response from Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket, Morrisons or the Co-op.

At a launch yesterday at Manchester Cathedral to highlight examples of cuter Halloween costumes, Bishop Gillett said he was delighted the church had persuaded supermarkets they had a responsibility to offer choice. He added: "I now hope parents will use their spending power, vote with their baskets and do what they can to show big businesses that we want Halloween to be a more positive festival for people of all ages."

More than a third of 1,002 people interviewed for a Church of England survey said a broader and brighter range of products should be on sale and almost half of the parents interviewed felt "strongly" that there should be a choice of alternative Halloween goods for children.

Bishop Gillett said: "We want to make Halloween fun and spooky, not scary and horrible. We can't stop the juggernaut. We just want it to be about the triumph of good over evil and light over dark."

He also urged people to go online and donate their Halloween treat to the Children's Society as an antidote to the sometimes "intimidating" and "low-level antisocial behaviour" of trick or treat. In return people could download a poster for their window, telling people not to call as the treat had already gone to charity, he said.

Spending on Halloween in the UK exceeds £100m, compared with £12m five years ago, and the pumpkin market alone is thought to be worth £25m.

Sandra Clynes, from Chadderton, was at the cathedral with her two-year-old son, Edward, who was dressed as a chef. She welcomed the shift away from sinister and ghoulish outfits.

"Some costumes are scary. They are really horrible, with blood and gore. We get subjected to that enough in our lives and we should keep children as young as possible," she said.

Stores agree to take horror out of Halloween,







Supernatural Games

Are Mixed Bag


March 21, 2007
Filed at 2:33 p.m. ET
The New York Times


There have been only a few truly scary video games, most notably the ''Silent Hill'' and ''Resident Evil'' series. Nonetheless, characters we're used to seeing in horror movies -- vampires, werewolves and the like -- pop up in games all the time.

The ''Castlevania'' series, for example, revolves around Dracula's castle, but the games have always emphasized action over suspense. The ghosts in ''Pac-Man'' or ''Super Mario Bros.'' are more annoying than frightening. And in ''The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,'' the hero doesn't run from werewolves -- he is one.

None of the games reviewed here will give you nightmares. A couple of them may put you to sleep, however.

--''Lunar Knights'' (Konami, for the Nintendo DS, $29.99): The vampires of ''Lunar Knights'' are no longer bothered by the sunlight, having developed light-resistant armor as well a planetary shield called the ''paraSOL.'' That's bad news for the rest of humanity -- except for two kids, Lucian and Aaron, who decide to fight back. This adventure from ''Metal Gear Solid'' creator Hideo Kojima packs plenty of variety into a small package. Most of the time you'll be scouring dungeons for monsters until you suddenly find yourself shooting down enemy rockets in space. You need to keep an eye on the constantly moving clock, since Lucian is stronger at night while Aaron thrives in the daylight. The heroes eventually find a way to control the paraSOL, allowing them to manipulate the weather. And they rescue some ''Terrennials,'' elemental beings that add assorted spells to the boys' arsenal. There's a lot -- maybe too much -- going on in ''Lunar Knights,'' but it all makes for an unusually satisfying trip. Three stars out of four.

--''Bullet Witch'' (Atari, for the Xbox 360, $49.99): It's 2013, and Earth has degenerated into chaos, besieged by plague, war and an invasion by armies of hungry demons. Enter Alicia Claus, sorceress, gunslinger and former Playboy model. (Seriously, she's was one of Hef's ''Women of Gaming'' last year.) The leggy goth goddess can take out most of the monsters with her blandly named ''gun-rod,'' a broom-shaped firearm that can also be used to cast spells. Fortunately for humanity, the demons are really slow and stupid; their artificial intelligence is so weak that Alicia can walk right up to them and start firing before they notice her. Spellcasting isn't much more fun, using a clunky multi-step interface to unleash magic that, for the most part, isn't worth the effort. Perhaps the most shocking element of this M-rated adventure is that it looks awful, with graphics that wouldn't have been acceptable on the original Xbox. Alicia may be sizzling, but ''Bullet Witch'' is a dud. One-half star.

--''Ghost Rider'' (2K, for the PlayStation 2, $29.99): Nicolas Cage's ''Ghost Rider'' stunned all the experts last month when it roared through theaters, grossing more than $100 million in its first four weeks. The ''Ghost Rider'' game won't surprise anyone: It stinks. As in the movie, the Rider's mission is to stop Mephistopheles' son from unleashing an apocalypse on Earth. The hero's weapons are a shotgun, which is almost useless, and a chain that looks an awful lot like Kratos' ''blades of chaos'' in ''God of War.'' The combat, alas, isn't that creative, requiring you to fight the same stupid demons over and over again. The motorcycle-riding sequences are no better; you simply drive from point A to point B, shooting at demons while jumping over or sliding under obstacles. None of the controls in ''Ghost Rider'' feel tight, and they're even more slippery in the biking sequences. ''Ghost Rider'' does serve up a lot of bonus material for fans of the comic book, but most gamers will find nothing of value. One star.


On the Net:




Supernatural Games Are Mixed Bag, NYT, 21.3.2007,






4 hate-crime beating teens

get probation


Posted 2/2/2007
11:38 PM ET
USA Today


LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Four of nine black teenagers convicted in the racially charged beating of three white women on Halloween were sentenced to probation Friday.

Punishment could have ranged up to confinement in a California Youth Authority lockup until age 25. The teens were ordered to serve 250 hours of community service, 60 days house arrest, and take anger management and racial tolerance programs.

"It was an awful crime. Terrible, emotional and physical injuries," Juvenile Court Judge Gibson Lee said.

Last week, Lee convicted nine teens — eight female and one male — of felony assault, with a hate-crime enhancement against all but one.

Among those sentenced Friday were an 18-year-old youth, his twin sister, their 16-year-old sister — who didn't receive the hate-crime enhancement — and another 16-year-old girl.

The other five defendants face sentencing next week. Names of the defendants were withheld because they are juveniles or were juveniles at the time and were tried as juveniles.

The 18-year-old male teenager had pleaded with the judge, saying he was innocent and tried to help the victims, including taking a skateboard away from an assailant who was using it as a weapon.

"What will my life be like? I'm 18 and convicted of a hate crime," he said.

The victims were in an affluent area of Long Beach that draws crowds with fancy Halloween displays when a crowd of black youths yelled racial insults and one shouted "I hate whites," according to prosecutors.

One victim testified the trio was pelted with small pumpkins and lemons. A witness testified two of the women were beaten with skateboards.

Prosecutors said the beating only ended when a black motorist stopped, pulled the assailants away and shielded the women with his body.

"I'm not sure if all the emotional scars will ever completely vanish," 21-year-old Loren Hyman, one of the victims, said earlier in a victim impact statement. "I feel like the beating I endured on Halloween night is still not over."

Two 15-year-old boys face trial later on charges of felony assault with the hate-crime enhancement.

Long Beach, 22 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, is a major U.S. cargo port with a racially diverse population of 475,000 and neighborhoods ranging from high-end shoreline condos to low-income urban areas.

    4 hate-crime beating teens get probation, UT, 2.2.2007,






7 Shot

at San Francisco Halloween Party


November 1, 2006
Filed at 3:07 a.m. ET
The New York Times


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Seven people were shot as a massive Halloween street party in the city's Castro district wound down Tuesday night, police said.

The shootings occurred around 10:40 p.m., as authorities began dispersing thousands of revelers under a new curfew that was aimed at controlling the traditionally raucous event.

Two people were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and five others were injured by gunfire, said police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens.

Several people were detained in the shooting and a motive was not immediately clear, he said.

The once-spontaneous and unsanctioned party was taken over by the city four years ago after police recorded five stabbings and a number of assaults in a crowd of 500,000.

Officials and members of the district's gay community said the party began attracting gay bashers along with colorful costumed characters, and many gays and lesbians stopped coming.

On Tuesday night, city officials had ramped up police presence by 25 percent, reduced the number of entertainment stages from three to one and cut off the festivities at 11 p.m. amid concerns of more violence.

7 Shot at San Francisco Halloween Party, NYT, 1.11.2006,






Many sex offenders

restricted tonight


Updated 10/30/2006
11:58 PM ET
USA Today
By Wendy Koch


Many sex offenders, limited in where they can live or work, are under another restriction today: No costumes, no candy giving, no jack-o'-lanterns, no welcoming front-porch lights.

Some states go further to protect children on the holiday. At least 10 states keep a special eye on sex offenders via house arrest or required meetings, through such programs as Operation Boo in California and Operation Trick No Treat in Virginia.

In New Mexico, a convicted pedophile or violent sex offender who lives alone has, for the first time this year, a sign outside his door today that notifies the public of his offense, says Tim Olsen, a regional manager of the New Mexico Corrections Department. He says offenders must stay inside and keep outside lights turned off.

"They're on virtual house arrest. They can't answer the door unless there's an emergency," and police will drive by to check, he says. "We can't expect all parents will be out there. We want to make sure kids are safe on Halloween."

New Mexico, New Jersey, South Carolina and Tennessee are into their second year of precautions, although Tennessee only recently announced its restrictions after phone calls from anxious parents.

"We wanted the public to know we're taking steps to protect children," says Jack Elder, spokesman for the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole.

In Virginia, which began its Halloween program in 2002, high-risk sex offenders on parole or probation must report to offices where they are held for several hours while kids go trick or treating. "We try to make it a meaningful experience" by providing counselors and updates on registration rules, says Jo G. Holland, regional director of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Some states have had Halloween restrictions for years but are increasing surveillance. New York, which requires offenders to stay home between 3 p.m. and 6 a.m., is making checkup calls and unannounced visits.

Other states with Halloween restrictions include Illinois, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Violators can be arrested. Robert Goldman, a former Chicago-area TV sportscaster, got six months in jail for violating his probation by handing out candy last Halloween.

The restrictions generally apply only to people on probation or parole, a fraction of the 566,782 sex offenders registered nationwide. In Tennessee, the Halloween restrictions apply to 2,000 of 8,100 registered offenders, Elder says.

Most sex offenders are under no "meaningful supervision," and the Halloween rules are a "desperate effort to do something good," says Grier Weeks, executive director of the National Association to Protect Children, an advocacy group. "It's always good to keep kids from going up the steps of a known sex offender."

Laura Ahearn welcomes the restrictions. "A candy bar represents an opportunity for a sexual predator to start the process of grooming a child," says Ahearn, director of Parents for Megan's Law, a child-advocacy group.

Many sex offenders restricted tonight, UT, 30.10.2006,
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-30-living-hell_x.htm - broken link






Young adults go

for sexy over spooky


Posted 10/30/2006
1:02 AM ET
USA Today
By Laura Petrecca
and Matt Friedman


The costume industry hopes to earn more by offering less for Halloween 2006 — less fabric, that is.

Looking to scare up extra sales, costume makers and sellers are promoting sexy, sultry outfits for partygoers.

A poster outside the Party City in Wayne, N.J., showcases "Hot, Hot, Hot" garb such as a racy rag doll and a belly-baring pirate. The home page of BuyCostumes.com features the evil queen from Snow White with a tarty twist: a high-cut skirt and fishnets. And a window display at New York City chain Ricky's shows a mannequin costumed as a provocative policewoman, complete with dangling handcuffs and the name tag: "Officer Ivana Bribe."

They're all trying to cash in on the booming number of young adults who treat themselves to Halloween fun. The 18- to 24-year-old group is spending an average of $30.38 on costumes this year, a 38% increase over 2005, according to the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch. Those 25 to 34 will spend an average of $31.33, up 17%. National Costumers Association President Debbie Lyn Owens says college students suiting up for parties are fueling much of the costume growth.

"Halloween has turned into a fashion statement for young adults," says BuyCostumes.com CEO Jalem Getz. "Sexy costumes have really increased in popularity."

Measurement firm Hitwise says the share of online searches for "sexy Halloween costume" was up 400% for the four weeks ended Oct. 21 vs. the period last year.

Christine de los Angeles, 19, who works at New York City costume shop Abracadabra, says that two years ago, she was a sexy good witch and last year, a sexy bad witch. This year? A racy Little Red Riding Hood, she says. "I always aim to be sexy."

While young women spend the most on sexy outfits, retailers also have seen an uptick in sales of suggestive male garb. BuyCostumes.com is "doing well" with a "hot cop" outfit (complete with tight shorts and an accessory that allows consumers to add padding in the most ego-enhancing location) and a scantily-clad Santa, Getz says.

Other provocative costumes that partiers are putting on:

•Pirates. Racy costume manufacturer Leg Avenue, which has seen its sales double each year for the past three years, is doing a brisk business with risqué pirate garb, such as a get-up with a laced bodice and tiny ruffled skirt and a pink skull-and-crossbones on the buccaneer hat, says Robb McCullough, vice president of sales.

The success of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, "has really popularized all types of pirates' costumes, says Jon Biggs, co-owner of CostumeZone.com. "All the pirates' outfits are elevated by that high tide."

•Professions. Owens, who also owns a costume shop in Sunnyvale, Calif., says that "sexy professional" looks are selling, such as a "sexy cop" and "sexy nurse."

•An older profession. "A woman of the night" is one of the most popular adult costumes this year, according to an NRF survey.

•Death. BuyCostumes.com has had solid sales of a $43.99 "Sexy Grim Reaper" outfit.

"You can take an item that five years ago was not sexy whatsoever," Gertz says. "Add translucent sleeves, make it low cut, put a slit up the side, and it becomes very sexy."

While the barely there looks are aimed primarily at young adults, teens are joining in — and that upsets some parents and high school administrators.

On Wednesday, three girls from Long Beach High School in New York were told to cover up when they came to Senior Week festivities costumed as the children's book superhero Captain Underpants. Each wore a flesh-colored body stocking accessorized only with a pair of tighty whiteys and a red cape.

Principal Nicholas Restivo asked them to change; the girls left instead. School spokesman Terry Gilberti says Restivo deemed the costumes inappropriate and a distraction for other students.

Young adults go for sexy over spooky, UT, 30.10.2006,






Detroit exorcises 'devil'

from Halloween


Posted 10/29/2006
11:13 PM ET
USA Today
By William M. Welch


Detroit officials are hoping curfews and other rules will help reduce Halloween destruction and arrests, just as new restrictions in Madison, Wis., helped create a milder annual street party over the weekend.

Detroit's annual three-day "Devil's Night" has been renamed "Angels' Night" in an effort to end an atmosphere that has resulted in fires that destroyed homes, cars and trash bins in past years.

The city has imposed a curfew on teenagers through Tuesday. Those 15 and younger have to be off the streets by 10 tonight, and 16- and 17-year olds must be off the streets an hour later. On Tuesday, Halloween, the curfew times are 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.

There also is a ban on pumping gasoline, kerosene or other flammable liquids into a container through Tuesday.

"We're all ready," said James Canning, spokesman for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Thousands of volunteers with orange caps and flashlights began three nights of patrols Sunday, and residents were urged to keep porch lights on and watch their neighborhoods.

In Madison, an annual street party drew 35,000 costumed revelers Saturday night, less than half the 80,000 that showed up last year.

Arrests were down over the Friday-to-Sunday period: about 250 were arrested, compared with 566 last year, police Sgt. Richard Scanlon said. Most of the arrests were for alcohol-related offenses, he said.

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz called Saturday a success. "We met all ...my goals," he said. "We did not have to use pepper spray or have our police in riot gear. We reduced the amount of over-consumption of alcohol."

To cut down on crowds and offset costs, officials charged a $5 admission fee this year and ended the party at 1:30 a.m. More than 250 police watched over the event, some on horseback.

There have been problems in Madison since 2002, when revelers threw rocks and bottles into windows and police cars, prompting police to use tear gas to subdue the crowds. There was no widespread vandalism or violence this time, police said.

Meanwhile, in Athens, Ohio, home of Ohio University, police made 82 arrests at a Halloween block party, down from 95 arrests last year, officials said. Although a crowd estimate was not available, Police Chief Rick Mayer said this year's crowd was the smallest in years.



Judy Keen in Chicago, the Detroit Free Press and wire reports

Detroit exorcises 'devil' from Halloween, UT, 29.10.2006,
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-29-devil_x.htm - broken link






Fewer Arrests

at Wis. Halloween Party


October 29, 2006
Filed at 2:24 a.m. ET
The New York Times


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- From the pedestrian to the profane, costumed college students and others roamed downtown Saturday in an annual weekend party that in recent years has ended with drunken mayhem and police spraying pepper gas.

But this year, with new constraints in place -- including ticket sales for the first time -- police were estimating a far smaller crowd than the more than 80,000 that jammed State Street last year.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, 88 people had been arrested, mostly for alcohol-related offenses, police said. At the same time last year, more than 230 people had been arrested.

Judging by ticket sales, which have been sluggish, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray estimated the crowd would top out at only around 20,000.

The crowd on Friday night -- estimated at up to 10,000 -- was much better behaved than in years past, said George Twigg, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.

''We had no reports of serious crime or injury resulting from crime,'' he said.

Several hours into the event, lines were forming to enter the street and police officers stood on nearly every corner. Costumes ranged from Waldo of ''Where's Waldo'' fame to Cap'n Crunch and Moses, carrying what he purported to be the 11th Commandment: ''Thou Shalt Beer Me.''

David Peterson of Madison said he's been to the Halloween party every year since 1976. This year he came with his 4-year-old daughter, who was dressed as a unicorn.

Peterson wasn't sure whether the new efforts at restraining the party -- including charging a $5 admission fee and blocking off the street -- would quell the violence of past years.

''You can't call this one,'' said Peterson, who was dressed as a wizard.

In the early hours last year, there were many more people on the street, he said.

As they have in recent years, police had more than 250 officers on patrol along State Street, a pedestrian-only avenue. High-powered cameras kept an eye out for lawbreakers, while officials watched from a command post a block from the action.

Playboy magazine cited the party in April as one of the reasons it named UW-Madison the nation's top party school.

This year, in addition to the entrance fee, the city imposed time limits -- 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. -- but the bars were staying open until the usual 2:30 a.m.

The dearth of ticket sales led some to worry that the crowds would instead spill over into neighborhoods that house mostly students. A home football game and an extra hour to party thanks to daylight-saving time ending also had city officials on edge.

Significant problems date to 2002, when revelers threw rocks and bottles, breaking at least 12 windows and damaging police cars. In 2003, store windows were broken and at least two cars were tipped over. In 2004, a small bonfire was started and 450 people were arrested.

Last year, between Friday night and Sunday morning, 447 people were arrested. As they had since 2002, police used pepper spray to quell a crowd of about 2,000.


Associated Press writer Ryan J. Foley contributed to this report.


On the Net:

City of Madison Halloween information:


Fewer Arrests at Wis. Halloween Party, NYT, 29.10.2006,






Child sex offenders warned

to keep lights off on Halloween


Posted 10/28/2006

3:05 PM ET

USA Today



BALTIMORE (AP) — Convicted child sex offenders should keep their porch lights off and refrain from decorating their homes on Halloween, according to Maryland law enforcement officials, who have launched a multi-pronged effort to dissuade and prevent offenders from interacting with trick-or-treaters.

The Maryland Division of Parole and Probation sent a letter this month to all parolees and probationers on the state's sex offender registry. The letter advises the offenders to avoid doing decorating their homes on Tuesday night — and to keep their lights off and their doors closed.

"By staying home and not participating in any Halloween activities you will allow children, and their parents, to enjoy the holiday without extra anxiety. Not participating in Halloween activities will also protect you from misunderstandings and the legal allegations that may arise from them," the letter states.

Meanwhile, police departments in several jurisdictions are planning special enforcement on Halloween.

Baltimore County will pay about 20 plainclothes officers overtime to work the streets and look for sex offenders who have contact with children other than their own, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a county police spokesman.

The surveillance will be funded in part by a one-year grant by the governor's office of Crime Control and Prevention to ensure that sexual offenders are in compliance with state law, Hill said.

Similar efforts are planned in Baltimore city and in Carroll and Harford counties. In Harford, sheriff's officials and parole and probation officers plan to visit the homes of sex offenders Monday and Tuesday evenings to verify their addresses. State troopers in Carroll County will do the same.

Sex offenders in Miami, Philadelphia and New York also have been warned that authorities will be watching them closely on Halloween, The (Baltimore) Sun reported in Saturday's editions.

In Taylor Falls, Minn., council members recently passed an ordinance that prohibits certain sex offenders from dressing up for Halloween, Christmas or Easter, according to published reports.

Russell Butler, executive director of the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, said such law enforcement initiatives are useful in deterring sex offenders from harming children.

"The benefit of this program is that they are publicizing that they are going to do it. It may make some of them think twice about trying to entice children. Anything we can do to protect the children ... is a very positive step," Butler said.

There are about 1,700 people on the state's sex offender registry, and about half are on parole or probation, said Elizabeth Bartholomew, a spokeswoman for the Division of Parole and Probation. She said one recipient has complained about the letter, which carries a message of rehabilitation.

Keeping a low profile on Halloween, the letter states, will "demonstrate for your neighbors that you are sincerely trying to change the direction of your life."

Child sex offenders warned to keep lights off on Halloween,
UT, 28.10.2006,






Wis. City Braces

for Halloween Party


October 28, 2006

Filed at 3:14 a.m. ET

The New York Times



MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- To avoid the mayhem that previously marred a downtown Halloween party that attracts up to 100,000 people, city leaders are imposing new restrictions and tighter controls this year.

Whether the changes are just the trick needed to make the Saturday night event a treat won't be clear until the witching hour, when the bars close and police want costumed revelers to leave. Officers have used pepper spray to disperse the crowd the past four years.

Playboy magazine cited the annual event when it named the University of Wisconsin-Madison the nation's top party school in April. But the celebration is taking on a different look this year, thanks to city and campus leaders who have tired of the violence.

While the city has not officially sanctioned the event, it is for the first time selling tickets for access to State Street, a pedestrian-only avenue lined with bars, restaurants and shops. Police plan to block off streets to enforce the $5 admission fee.

City officials have lined up bands to play on two stages at either end of State Street. They gave the event a start and end time -- 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. -- and a name, ''Freakfest on State Street.''

Organizers hope to put a damper on the rowdy behavior by controlling access to the party. They also hope ticket sales will help to recoup some of the police costs, which were estimated at $600,000 last year.

''Our hope is that we can get through this year without having to use pepper spray or have cops in riot gear,'' Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. ''I'll consider it to be a success if the event ends peacefully, and there are no serious injuries and property damage.''

But the city is making no promises. A Web site it created with details about the event carries a disclaimer: ''The City of Madison cannot and does not guarantee your safety at this event. You enter the event area at your own risk and are responsible for your own actions and safety.''

Based on ticket sales in the weeks heading up to ''Freakfest,'' the changes were not going over well with people looking to party. Just 8,500 of the 80,000 tickets printed had sold as of Thursday.

Most tickets will be sold Saturday, in the hours leading up to the event, said Tom Wangard, a UW-Madison sophomore.

Wangard and other students initially argued for changing the location of the party to a nearby street to avoid the city's interference. But after working with city officials, Wangard now supports the event and said he expects it to be a success.

But he also said there is always a potential for mayhem.

In 2002, revelers threw rocks and bottles, breaking at least 12 windows and damaging police cars before officers broke out the tear gas.

In 2003, store windows were broken and at least two cars were tipped over. Then, in 2004, a small bonfire started. Police used pepper spray to break up the crowd and arrested 450 people.

Last year, 447 people were arrested. Police also used pepper spray to quell a crowd of about 2,000.

Police presence this year will be comparable to the past, with 225 officers on duty Friday night and more than 250 on duty Saturday, said Mike Hanson, a spokesman for Madison police.

Even though the bands will stop playing at 1:30 a.m., bars are allowed under state law to stay open until 2:30 a.m. And because daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m., bar-goers will have an extra hour to imbibe.

The goal is to have State Street cleared and back to normal before the bars empty, said Joel Plant, the city's alcohol policy coordinator. In past years, revelers leaving bars added to the difficulty of dealing with the commotion started by others, he said.

''We're not going to force anything,'' Cieslewicz said. ''As long as it's a peaceful, I don't care if I'm there until 5 in the morning.''


On the Net:


Wis. City Braces for Halloween Party,
NYT, 28.10.2006,
us/AP-Halloween-Party.html - broken link










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