What If They Held a Halloween and Nobody Came?

The Halloween party was everywhere else. Here, it was just another day.

Weekly Newsletter

The best of The Saturday Evening Post in your inbox!


My friend Larry in Indianapolis had a set up that would put me to shame.

It’s November 1, and I’m feeling a little down today, just a little off. It’s not a huge thing, and I’m not like, depressed, or anything, but I just feel like a person who missed a party he wasn’t planning to go to anyway, but still felt sorry he missed it.

My bags of candy went untouched.

Yesterday was Halloween, and I bought a bunch of candy for the little freeloaders who normally swarm on such an occasion. The candy is untouched. No one showed. No spaced out babies dolled up with wings or a kitty suit; no avaricious 6 year olds in home-made dragon outfits; no pop-culturally relevant Manafort impersonators in jailbird stripes; not even a single over-the-age, trick-or-treating teen who just wants the candy and has made only the barest attempt to impersonate a costume-wearer – maybe a drawn-on mustache or a scarf over the head.

In the afternoon, Sam, 10, was Trump as a NJ Devil (get it?) Later, he would swap out the Trump mask for a hockey mask.

I miss all those moochers. In some ways, I also feel a bit responsible – as though I accidentally put out a negative stay-away vibe that blocked our house from the internal sensors that kids (and their parents) use to direct them to the most generous candy-distro houses. Of course, the real reason is that I live in a 50 plus community. Kids don’t live here! Duh! But outsiders could still come in though, right?

So what do you do with a bunch of candy that you don’t want. Or, rather, that you do want, but no really you don’t. I took it back to the market.

Sam (far right) ended up as a New Jersey Devil, but without the Trump face mask.

That made me feel lousy all over again. Here was this store that had put on a massive display of candy, even discounting some of it, for the big national holiday that is Halloween. And here was this consumer, me, returning it a day late after its value had plummeted. I had violated the store’s trust, is what it felt like. Took their candy out on loan for the possibility of a rapacious attack by young costumed candi-vores. Then brought it back for a full refund.

The young woman at the service desk did not seem at all hostile at my taking advantage of the store’s liberal return policy. “No one came,” I said sheepishly as I dumped my bags of unopened “snack size” munchables on the counter.

“No one came to my house either,” she said, and she told me she lives across the street from a school. I idly wondered if it was possible trick or treating didn’t take place this year? But of course it did. It was everywhere.

Sarah (left) and her friends were “Shadow Hunters” based on a popular book series of the same name.

I got a text from my friend Larry in Indianapolis with a picture of his front yard all gussied up, awaiting the rampaging hordes. I got pictures of my grandchildren out on the town. My grandson Sam, who is ten, started out as Trump, and ended up as a New Jersey Devil (get it?). My granddaughter Sarah, 13, was a shadow hunter based on a book series.

So, the party was held everywhere else but here it seems. Around here, it was just another day.


Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now


  1. Steve, you’re being too hard on yourself in regard to returning the bags of candy, especially if it was a big chain store. If it was a Mom & Pop store that might be different, plus it’s not like they were opened.

    Having feelings of feeling bad (in and of itself) and a conscious about doing the right thing, is a great thing. If more people HAD those feelings we’d have a lot less problems, which ties in with why fewer children are out trick or treating these days nearly everywhere; even in ‘safe’ neighborhoods.

    October is book-ended with the Las Vegas massacre on the 1st and the worst terror attack in New York since 9/11 on the morning of the 31st! That certainly didn’t help. In L.A. where I live, the World Series I’m sure kept a lot of people home in front of the TV that might have been out.

    Next year just have a bag of candy YOU like, just in case, and keep it if no children come by. I love the way you handled the return, but can picture a similar scene in my mind where Larry David on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ turns that simple return into a drawn-out, argumentative nightmare! Something tells me it’s probably because he DID open the bag, passed out a few pieces to a couple of kids that did come around, tried to disguise it with tape, got busted, told he can’t return it, not accepting that…


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *