Around the Village: Trick or Treat Edition

As I mentioned before, trick or treat was rescheduled in my town due to the after-effects of Sandy. Trick or treating in the village is huge, and that's an understatment. It's an institution, really.

Our town is very spread out, but the center of town, the historic district, is what is designated as the "village," and this is where everyone comes to trick or treat. It isn't just people from our town that descend upon the village, it is also little goblins and ghouls from all the surrounding towns, and it's quite magical. Before we moved here, I had been warned. If you decide to live in the village, you had better like Halloween because it is coming for you in a big way. Who better than I, then, to live in a place like this.

One person told me that one year she had a clicker to count all the trick or treaters who came to her door. Even with the clicker, they came too fast, and she lost count at 1,600! I had also been told to not even bother closing my door since you actually get lines coming to your doorway for treats.

The girls scouts in our town actually gather donations of candy to pass out to all of us in the village to give to trick or treaters. It definitely helped, and was much appreciated, but it was a small fraction of the candy we would need. So, we bought massive, gut-busting bags of candy, enough to cover our entire dining table. But I'm that way, I'd rather over-buy than be caught unprepared.

And here is my side door (in New England you use the side door, and rarely ever the front door) all dressed up in its Halloween best for trick or treaters. The little gravestone turns on and a face talks to you, in a melancholy way, of course, when you pass by. I didn't do a great job on the spiderweb, but it was a last minute addition just before the scheduled time for trick or treat. The chairs are there because it was no use going inside at all that night, much better to just stay outside with the candy. The tree just to the right of this shot was wrapped in orange lights, but I failed to photograph it.

If you look closely, you can see my high-strung little dog, standing on top of the couch, looking out the window, getting ready to defend his territory against all the little monsters.

We had spooky music playing outside and it was fun to watch all the adorable kids walking up to our door. Since my daughter took on candy duty, my husband and I, along with some friends, were able to take our younger kids around the neighborhood.

I must say, I am completely head-over-heels, in love with Halloween in my village! I'm gaga, I tell you! There is such a community feel to the event and so many houses were decorated perfectly to evoke an ethereal, spooky, and magical atmosphere.

The photo above was taken at an auto shop in our village. This place is a landmark and adds to the quaintness of the historic district with their vintage gas pumps. Every year these people go all out, even giving out full size candy bars to all the kids.

So, what was the grand total of kids to our house, you ask? Well, I cannot give a completely accurate answer since we didn't keep strict count, but based on the amount of candy we gave away, we believe it was probably just under 2,000. Maybe 1,800?

Perhaps next year I'll use a clicker, but then if I did that I wouldn't get to experience the magic of wandering around my perfectly spooky, perfectly New England village on my favorite night of the year!


  1. The 'trick or treat'/Hallowe'en tradition doesn't really feature on this side of the pond - you certainly don't see houses dressed for this season!

    .....and I hadn't realised you lived in Amherst - my coz and his wife live in Merrimac! ;-)

  2. Hi, Sue! Yes, I remember you mentioning having some relations in Merrimack once. Small world! :) I used to live in England and I adore it there! Just love it! But one huge reason I'd have a hard time moving back is because I'd miss an American Halloween. May seem a silly, trivial thing, but the holiday just brings me so much joy.

    1. I was much impressed with the 'holiday' feeling of an American Halloween season when daughter & I visited a couple of years ago - loved seeing all the pumpkins & scarecrows etc. over here, Hallowe'en has more dark & sinister connotations!
      But we loved all the foody treats (coz's wife is a cook & occasionally has a slot on local TV over there) so we came back home with our clothes feeling a little more 'snug'!
      I have very happy memories of New England - will be planning another trip in the not too distant future! :-)

  3. Love it; I'm so excited for the holidays...or the rest of the holidays. =)

  4. Wow that's amazing! I'm kind of envious- we don't even bother buying candy because no one trick or treats on our street (it's a dead end.) Looks like a fun place to be on Halloween!

  5. That is so cool! It seems like in CA trick or treaters are less and less each year. In the suburbs of LA my mom says each year she can't even get rid of a full bag of candy (and that's giving several pieces to each kid). Glad to know that in other parts of the country it's still important!

  6. I can't relate at all! We had TWO trick or treaters--neighbors from down the street! Needless to say, those two little girls got LOTS of candy!

  7. Kaci - Me too! I love this time of year - September through January. Everything is just a little more exciting.

    Sue - Hope you get to come back soon!

    Pattianne - I've definitely lived in neighborhoods where we didn't get any trick or treaters, or at least very few. This is the first time I've experienced anything like this. It's pretty awesome!!

  8. Leeann - It's sad that trick or treating seems to be vanishing in some places. I've seen that too. So happy I get to live among Halloween madness! :)

    Eileen - Those are some lucky girls! :)

  9. This is absolutely amazing! In general, I've always thought New England loves Halloween, as it just isn't that big of holiday on the West Coast. But 1800 trick-or-treaters?? Your town must be mobbed with kids! How fun! :-)

  10. OH so fun! Essex was a Halloween town too...full with a parade around the village,and like Amherst, thousands from other surrounding towns....just magical! Seriously, compared to the "trunk or treats" that the west has evolved to....there is just no comparison! Our whole village was just flooded with people walking last year...people stood on their doorsteps because the flow didn't stop, like you said! Here in Idaho this year I laughed because there are so few trick or treaters and the parents all drive around in their vehicles and follow theh kids...its's so non-atmospheric and lame! :) Thanks for sharing the magic. Oh, and when we were in amherst we pulled up to get gas at the autoshop, only to realize that yeah, an autoshop, not gas station, but took pictures because it's so cute!

  11. Paigenicholl - It was a total blast! And, yes, I believe Halloween in New England is definitely bigger!

    Megan - I agree! I am not a big fan of the trunk or treats. Just not magical at all. Those are massive out west. There is a cute, real gas station about a quarter of a mile down the road from this auto shop. Actually, probably closer than that. It is in the village as well.

  12. That town is perfect for you! It's funny that you got so many trick-or-treaters, because I just finished writing my Halloween post and guess how many trick-or-treaters we got? Maybe thirty! You would be very disappointed in my neighborhood, that's for sure! Heck, I'm disappointed in my neighborhood after reading this!