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The Changing Face of Halloween

October 30, 2002

Re "Don't Close the Door on Halloween Tradition," Voices, Oct. 26:

Linda Williamson rightly bemoans the transformation of Halloween from a time of neighborhood treats and a few tricks to traffic jams of parents looking for lighted porches. Fear of tainted candy and strangers is traditional. What's new is the scarcity of lighted porches. I agree that the cultural changes taking place are in part a result of fear induced by 24-hour coverage of news events, but I would offer another reason for the shift in attitude: the loss of civility.

My neighbors and I used to decorate our houses and anticipate the visits of ghosts and goblins. A few years ago we started to realize that the kids were not from our neighborhood. In addition, their parents were leaving their fast-food trash, dirty diapers and occasional beer bottles in the street.

The final straw for me came when a young father, who looked like a gangbanger, demanded candy for the infant held in his arms. My lights are out ... for good.

Carrol McCombs

Northridge

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