SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Calhoun Halloween Daze Of Yore

By Bob Weaver 2017

It was about 1950 and virtually every bus house (or outhouse) in Calhoun was toppled, sometimes heavily damaging them, and good folks answered their door to find a burning paper sack on their porch, when the owner dutifully stomped the fire, they mashed their foot into a runny pile of cow poop.

Yes, it was Halloween in the good ole days of "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver," favorite TV shows of the time.

Traveling from the Village of Hur to Grantsville, my dad's car would be "corned," a ritual that seemed to bring delight to ornery boys who dipped corn kernels from the barn to toss on passing motorists. Even worse, sometimes they used eggs. Corning was sometimes called tick-tacking and included throwing corn at house windows.

Coming up Mt. Zion hill the car would be stopped by a burning mound of hay, smack dab in the middle of the road. Burning stuff on county highways was part of the annual ritual, in addition to hanging stuffed figures of human beings from trees in front yards, a warning, with the noose pulled tightly around the neck.

Perhaps the most widely used transgression was soaping windows. Every kid could get a bar of soap, to soap the neighbors windows. In Grantsville, virtually every business window would be soaped, sometimes imprinting a few cuss words to really stir up the "do-gooders." Sometimes they used paraffin, which was harder to remove.

Not to forget blowing stuff up, homemade explosions from gasoline filled bottles or sticks of unused dynamite to shake the whole plantation, or just firing off a shotgun.

Placing large objects like hay rakes on the top of barns was a work hardy effort, or tipping fodder shocks or cows.

Down on Slider Fork some boys dug a grave near the residence of a cantankerous old-timer, placing his name on a sign.

Mild-mannered trick or treaters would take a roll of toilet paper and twist it through bushes and trees, or for the even more mild-mannered, just go up and knock of peoples doors, knock and run like heck.

In those times, the local gendarmes would be responding to calls all around the county, while hundreds of county children crowded Main Street in Grantsville for a big Halloween event.

We now live in a civilized world where folks just go and spend a lot of money on candy and costumes, photograph selfies and our kids or grandkids and put then on their Facebook page.