Posted by: poofergirlsperspective | October 31, 2007

Halloween in the 80’s … just good clean fun.

Today is Halloween, for me it is a holiday that comes and goes.  I do have fond memories of the holiday however.  As little kids, our costumes were homemade and finding old clothes and etc. was part of the fun.  I don’t recall much if any money being spent on the holiday around our house when we were little, maybe a little face paint but not much else.  Because we lived in-town and knew all of our neighbors, we traveled around a few blocks, got our “loot” of candy and we called it a night.  I remember one house we would get an apple and another a can of pop and a bag of chips!  I think that it is safe to say that the apple house wasn’t the top house to visit on the list.  When my brothers got a little older and were done trick-or-treating, our simple Halloween got a bit more complicated. 


I have shared with you previously how our childhood included work in concessions.  My dad built popcorn wagons and he also sold popcorn machines and serviced them.  I don’t know exactly how it all came about, but one Halloween it was decided to make popcorn for the little ghosts and goblins.  The first year it was mom in the popcorn wagon, the next year more of us got involved and a small Halloween House on the Lawn developed. 


The front yard when it was all put togther.

I remember the day being a family event and everyone had one job or another.  The last year more props were created, some masks purchased and more time and energy went into the night.  It was an all day affair of setting up.  The older boys did the most work with Dad as they set the front yard up.  Living in-town gave us little room but they worked hard and made the night enjoyable for the neighborhood.  Dad had sound system equipment because he was always in some band or another and so he would set that up, along with lights and music to add to the festivities … he was also known to scare a neighbor child or two by saying their name over the sound system as they walked up the sidewalk to get their popcorn.  


Mom generously serving up the popcorn.

Our homemade painted sign on the popcorn table read “FREE GHOSTLY POPCORN … Made from DEAD corn”.  That makes me laugh. 


Getting ready took lots of time but it was worth the effort.


This one is a little creepy … but creative!


Dracula would peek through the casket when it was closed and slowly open it as kids walked up the sidewalk … scary!

According to the pictures, there were 3 years that the front yard changed from a spot to drop your bike, to a Halloween haven for little ones in one afternoon.  In the early 80’s we were pretty young, the boys in junior high and I was only about 10.  Back then, kids didn’t go trick-or-treating when you were older like they do now a days.  So, the early 80’s was a long time ago!  Decades ago … that is sorta scary.  When I was at my parent’s a couple weeks back and grabbed these photos, we talked a bit about Halloween and mom was worried that maybe she shouldn’t have encouraged ghoulish behavior.  I told her that it was a much different time when we were young, the night was about the neighborhood and the kids, and that it was a family event that everyone enjoyed … it was just good clean fun. 


You couldn’t see the mad man until he ran out of the cave at you.  He was scary too.


This was my favorite … the chopping of this old mans leg was so creative and it looked surprisingly real.   

Halloween in 2007 is much different then it was back in those days. Today it seems to be more commercial; I read this past week that some people are spending more money decorating their homes and purchasing costumes for Halloween then they spend at Christmas.  There are lots of opinions about the holiday, the origins and what it is today compared to years past.  Halloween seems to encompass the good, the bad, and the ugly now adays.  Little ones dressed up like monkeys and cows or an astronaut isn’t a problem for me, but some of the other glorifying of evil and etc. is.  We’ll see how it is when my kids (yet to be born, or even conceived … just for the record) are around to celebrate Halloween and what we will do then with the holiday.  But until then I will recall my fond memories of a time when Halloween was just good clean fun and even getting an apple was a good thing.  



  1. I have so enjoyed reading your blog this afternoon! Will be back!

  2. I enjoyed this last night, and had to laugh remembering how you guys would fly into the yard and jump off your bikes with the wheels still spinning and run inside. But the ghostly popcorn memories were good too…..I think the last year we gave away 400 bags.

  3. Yeah, that reminds me of the halloween decorations we put up this year. A few pumpkins on the step, a bowl of candy…………………um, oh, maybe not so much. haha

    Enjoyed the pictures and story!

  4. Halloween decorations? I was supposed to have some of those?? I did have some candy corn in the house. I remember either seeing pictures or hearing about it from your mother which was just about as good as being there, except I didn’t get to crunch on popcorn.

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