Halloween Memories: Carbondale, Illinois
We lived in Carbondale for my 5th and 6th grades. I was still into trick-or-treating, but the days of store bought costumes was behind me. Instead I would dress as a pirate. In the fifth grade, I was a pirate in a play at school. It was a fun play. There were a couple witches, and in the end they defeat me by taking my neck bone. I had to pretend I had no neck bone, with my head flapping back and forth. At any rate, the pirate costume stuck for Halloween.
This was a year of “watch out for the big kids who will steal your candy.” And so in addition to trick-or-treating, there was the need to be on the lookout for those who were too old to trick-or-treat, but not too old to be out looking for someone who would be easy prey. What a sense of paranoia that caused, because I remember them coming after people and getting them to run and spill candy out of their bags.
The first year we trick-or-treated up and down our street with all the side courts and streets. My second year in Carbondale we lived in an apartment complex. I am sure I went as a pirate again, but don’t remember much of that year. I do remember a branch party we had close to the Branch Garden. This had been a Civil War Battle site. Of course not a big battle, but you could still see bomb craters in the terrain. We set up a haunted hike and took the younger kids on a hike going past the crater and with other scary things. It was sort of a creepy area, with over hanging trees. I helped build a mannequin which we dropped out of a tree at the kids. One of the older kids ruined everything when he tackled the mannequin. It was suppose to be the highlight of the hike, and ended up being the low-light because a mannequin on the ground is not near as scary as one hanging from a tree, swinging back and forth.