By TEDDYE SNELL
A week from today, ghosts, goblins, witches, superheroes and fairies will line the sidewalks of Tahlequah, going from house to house in search of treats or playing tricks.
Those still seeking costumes or decorations for the holiday may want to pay a visit to River City Curiosity Shop, 1411 E. Downing. The store has hundreds of masks and costumes, including the popular personalities from “Duck Dynasty,” along with zombies and superheroes.
Anita Schultz, owner of the shop, said she enjoys decorating.
“It’s funny, though; most people won’t shop for costumes until the week of Halloween,” said Schultz. “We have lots of Halloween props, too.”
A walk through the shop sets off a series of motion-detection ghouls, witches and even a fortune teller.
“We even have a zombie butler who will serve from a bowl of candy,” said Schultz.
One particularly horrifying dummy, the “soul possessor,” has eyes all over his torso that light up when someone passes by.
“We have costumes from infant-size to adult,” said Schultz. “Even the little kids usually want the scary, spooky costumes, but the parents usually say ‘no.’”
According to Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols, Tahlequah has no set hours for trick-or-treating, which will take place Thursday, Oct. 31. General rules of thumb for courtesy and safety should apply, though.
Parents of smaller children may want to begin before dark, and considering Friday, Nov. 1, is a school day and work day for most, ringing a doorbell after 9 p.m. could be iffy, at best.
Heather Winn, family and consumer science educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, offered a couple of tips for parents who plan on trick-or-treating with their children.
“Obviously, only take your children to trick-or-treat at places with which you’re familiar,” said Winn. “Trunk-and-treats or carnivals are also safe options. To limit the amount of sugar your children consume, I’d recommend allowing them to choose one or two pieces of candy per day from their collections.”
According to the American Red Cross, falls, costume mishaps and traffic accidents are the biggest Halloween hazards. Ryan Hardaway, director of the Eastern Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross, offered several safety tips.
“Look for flame-resistant costumes,” said Hardaway in a press release. “Plan the trick-or-treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.”
Hardaway also recommends providing each trick-or-treater with a flashlight, along with adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
Children should only visit homes that have porch lights on and accept treats only at the door. Children should never follow an adult inside a home.
Those who plan to offer treats from their homes can take a number of safety precautions, too.
Hardaway recommends sweeping leaves from the sidewalks and steps to prevent tripping, and restraining household pets that may frighten children.
WHAT YOU SAID
The Daily Press polled online readers, asking how they plan to celebrate Halloween. Of 108 respondents, 22 percent, or 24 people, indicated they will be trick-or-treating. Twenty percent, or 22 respondents, said they will probably go trick-or-treating, attend a church function and take part in a haunted tour or other event. Nineteen percent, or 20 respondents, said they won’t celebrate because they are too busy or have other things planned. Sixteen percent, or 17 voters, said they won’t celebrate Halloween because it has evil connotations. Fifteen percent, or 16 voters, plan to attend a church function. Eight percent, or nine voters, said they plan to take part in a haunted tour or other event sponsored by a school, club, or other non-church entity.