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Stiff fingers reached for children’s hair. Teasing their attention away with candy, Mary Pat Frobey clutched a bloodied, disembodied hand, and moved it tenderly through trick-or-treaters’ locks at James and Stephanie Gaston’s house, 18 Main Street.
Halloween night on Tuesday, October 31, found a swarm of demons, monsters, fairies, and frights — children, parents, and homeowners alike — filling sidewalks and front lawns from the police station at 3 Main Street, up past the flagpole, and just beyond Currituck Road.
With the sun still shining above rooflines at 4:30 that afternoon, younger children were harbingers to the candy-and-thrill-seeking flood that would soon clog the street. Sharing a seat with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and tattered pirate’s clothes hanging off the long-gone sailor’s bones was Nick Wolf, greeting guests at 48 Main Street. Behind him in a second-story window was a haunt invisible until darkness came. Soon showing its shimmering colors was a restless ghost sliding restlessly around a large window frame.
John Madzula, 40 Main Street, made an emergency trip to the grocery store Tuesday evening as he realized his candy stash would not be enough for the relentless trick-or-treaters. After reaching into his emptying trays, the parade swarmed away. Friends Erin Howe, Lauren Uffer, and Jordan Almeida joined the queue at each residence, filling bags with treats as they went.
Brid Craddock, 59 Main Street, gave out candy with help from her daughter, Katie Pessin, and Erik Muzzey. Just a few doors away were games and goodies filling the Edmond Town Hall lawn, courtesy of Grace Family Church, Newtown. Sharing the space was Mt Pleasant Hospital for
Animals, with a booth set up there. Mary Simpson’s dog, Ty, sat patiently as many hands reached to stroke her fur. A few feet away was Dr Joshua Baum’s “skeleton crew” (office staff), helping him to get new toothbrushes into children’s hands. Dressed as the Tooth Fairy with tissue paper wings and white stocking, Dr Baum greeted hundreds of eager faces on Tuesday.
At his sister Sarah Phillips’s house, 35 Main Street, Ben Champagne with his wife Andrea, and son and daughter Noah and Ava, were excited for the revelry.
Far down the hill at the Newtown Police Department, and for the first time this year, were the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corp crew members. According to Dan Craigin and Patty Prestera, they were handing out “safe toys,” including glow sticks, and toys for children with allergies.
Dashing for the other side of the street at the crosswalk near Glover Avenue was one masked-monster shouting, “Mom, I can’t see a thing.”
Passing by the Mario Brothers decorations at Kim and Palmer Chiappetta’s house, 6 Main Street, another ghoul yelled, “So spooky.” As moonlight brightened a dark sky, other characters lurked: one father dressed as a dragon led his little girl, a princess, from house to house. Bouncing above the crowd was a single red balloon. Carrying the balloon, an unlucky sight from the Stephen King book, It, was “the character that got dragged into the sewer,” as the killer clown sought its victims. Another man led toy dogs on a leash — the dog walker statue at The Pleasance on the corner of Main and Route 302.
Shadows deepened into night and the parade continued until candy supplies ran out. Unofficial counts of between 2,050 and 2,300 trick-or-treaters visited residences in the center of town this year.