Nostalgia Truths: Halloween Was Better Then

halloween prank tp houses

Oh, it's true. Damn true.

I bet you thought all these 'Nostalgia Truths' were going to be me just shitting on the past and destroying your precious childhood memories one by one. Well, you were wrong because not everything is better today than it was in the past and in this case Halloween today can't hold a candle to Halloween between 1970-2000.

1970 to 2000 you say? Yes, I do say. And to the unknowing mind those might seem like arbitrary dates when they, in fact, highlight the golden years of Halloween.

See (American) Halloween started off rough and tumble with kids going out causing mayhem, setting fires and playing pranks on the asshole next door. But by the 1930s people began to push the idea of trick-or-treating where instead of accepting the prank you could payoff the local youths with candy. Fine, that is a good trade off, give me candy and I won't throw dogshit at your house. And that deal seemed to really quell most of the vandalism for the next 40 years. But around 1970 the tides started to shift back to the earlier traditions of the holiday.

Why? because some people stopped following the rules.

Somewhere through the years many of people stopped handing out treats or they started handing out toothbrushes. These were not the agreed upon terms for the cease fire so naturally the war had to begin again.

The war to take back the night began in the 70s with light pranks. Soaping of car windows, pumpkins smashed on the porch and toilet paper covering your lawn and vehicle. These pranks weren't played on everyone they were reserved for the ones who didn't honor the 'Halloween Code'. And for the most part it never went beyond that.

The 80s were a weird decade because at the beginning we saw the fear of poisoned candy come into play and in 1982 we almost saw the death of Halloween as we know it. Also we saw the rise of Devil's Night where no longer was a bonfire going to cut it, you had to burn down a city block (Note: it sounds extreme but most of these fires were lit in abandoned buildings.) Yet Americans have a great ability to forget and by 1985 kids were running rampant playing pranks and staying out till near midnight collecting candy. All was well until....

The 90s were the last great decade for the mischievous night dwellers and the connoisseur of candy alike. You could run all night collecting sacks of candy and when you were rebuffed from collecting your sweets you unleashed a fury of eggs on the person who dare withhold those sweet treasures from your grasp. There was no time limit yet on trick-or-treating and no one called the police for throwing eggs, corn or bags of poo at a house. Hell even the cops agreed that this was the only time of the year that this was acceptable.

All seemed well till around 1998 when the rumblings of a designated trick-or-treat time started happening. Some towns adopted this while others didn't but each year the rumors grew till they were no longer rumors. In a act to stop kids from running the streets all night a time for trick-or-treating had been set around the nation and, to really fuck with the kids, no longer did it start at dark. The new rule saw Trick-or-Treat start when it was day and end when it got dark. They said it was for the safety of the people but really it was to stop the youth from pranking and clogging the streets all night.

After 2000 The holiday just went down the shitter. No more kids playing pranks or filling their sacks with candy. People stopped handing out good treats and started handing out apples because little Billy down the street was allergic to peanuts or they just stopped handing out treats all together.

Now the holiday is just a husk of its former self. Only one in every four house give anything out and that is if your lucky. Houses now have special pumpkins because god forbid Billy touches something with gluten in it. Some towns try to limit the ability for costumes to have full face masks and the time for actual trick-or-treating has shrunk to near nonexistence. The pranks are not doable because of curfew and those who do deserve the prank now have 100 cameras and the FBI on speed dial.

Halloween was the one time of the year that let every kid, for one night, gorge on candy till they puked their brains out, play pranks on those who deserve it and be free from the watchful eye of the overbearing parent. It was a time when youths could purge the mischievousness from their system feel the excitement of danger when, in actuality, there was no real danger.

What was once acceptable has now been labeled heinous criminal activity. We once lived by a code of  "no harm, no foul" but now everything (mentally) harms everyone. This is why Halloween was better then, than it is now. 

Rich Stile @TheDevilsEyes1

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