Halloween then and now - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Halloween then and now

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We know we we're just being good parents. We know it's better to be safe than sorry. We know we have a responsibility to protect our children.

But, really, wasn't Halloween easier when we didn't know so much?

"It was easy, it really was,'' said Jennifer Knowles of Savannah. "It was just ok, go ahead and have fun. We'd throw our candy on the floor and sort through it, pick out the candy corn, of course.''

Somewhere along the way, though, fun, costumes and candy became secondary factors of Halloween, which is now mostly an exercise in parental control, every trunk or treat and supervised goodie grab taking it further and further from what it used to be.

"I grew up in an apartment and we had free run of the apartment,'' said Lenni Snyder, of Bethesda, Md. "So it was great fun actually.''

My mother likes to tell the story of one of my first Halloween's, when at every house I would sit down on the steps and eat whatever candy I had just been given and when I got such a stomach ache that she thought she was going to have to take me to the emergency room to have my stomach pumped.

Today's kids don't get their hands on a single treat until they have been picked through and inspected for safety; until their haul, like the holiday itself, has been sanitized.

"My mom and dad didn't say 'don't open that, let me check it first for razor blades,'" said Knowles. "No way.''

Actually, the only thing we were warned about was the urban myth of people giving out apples with razor blades in them.

The joke was on them. Nobody ate the apples.

And nobody really thinks the change in Halloween is really a bad thing.

"They have to be more controlled because the world is not like it was when you and I were children,'' said Vanesa Harney, of Frankfurt, Ky. "We can't send our kids onto the next block without worrying. If we knew then what we knew now.''

If we did, Halloween would have been different. But we still wouldn't have eaten the apples.

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