Real Halloween back for long traumatized Pa. town (link broken)
For 16 years, real horror overshadowed the make-believe terror of Halloween in this Pennsylvania town, where trick-or-treating after dark was banned after an 11-year-old girl was abducted off the street and murdered.
But on Friday, pint-sized witches, princesses and vampires will once again be shuffling from house to house at night, thanks to a petition drive by a fifth-grader.
With the town gripped by fear that a child killer was on the loose, trick-or-treating the next day was held in daylight for the first time. Police watched from helicopters as parents led their children from house to house along quiet streets.
Residents also began locking their doors and driving their children to school. And every year afterward, the City Council voted to allow trick-or-treating in the afternoon only, a move duplicated around the same time by many other U.S. cities and towns worried about children’s safety.
Thousands to douse annual Detroit arson tradition
The city that used to burn on the night before Halloween as mischief-makers torched abandoned buildings has largely doused its Devil’s Night by mobilizing tens of thousands of citizens and law-enforcement personnel each year to patrol city neighborhoods.
“It’s unfortunate of course that we have to do this, but this is the hand we’re dealt,” said Luther Keith, executive director of ARISE Detroit!, a coalition of community groups hoping to keep Detroit safe from fires and vandalism around Halloween.
At its peak in 1984, 810 fires were reported in Detroit from Oct. 29 to 31, fueled by, among other things, Devil’s Night’s growing notoriety and the city’s large number of abandoned buildings.
Locally, the news is suggesting that parents check the registered sex offender websites before allowing their children to “Trick or Treat” in the neighborhood.