And yes, bad things happened. My brother came home one year, beaten up and missing his candy. Older kids had stolen it and roughed him up. I'm sure he's not the only one that happened to. Yet he still went out the next year, and my mom let him. She realized that you can't protect your kids from every bad thing in life. At some point, you just have to let them go, let them be kids, and pray that things turn out ok in the end. Through almost 15 years of trick or treating, none of us were really hurt. No one we knew was hurt.
I realize most people think 'that was a different time', but It really wasn't. It was the 70's. There was most assuredly as many if not more creeps and weirdos wanting to abduct our kids as there are now. Why do we assume that all our neighbors now, who we know and who know us, will fill our children's sacks with razor blades?? Why do we let this fear of the unknown stop us from letting our kids experience one of the coolest holiday traditions ever? I don't know.
I don't remember what my last Halloween costume was, but I do remember the sound and the feel of dead leaves crunching beneath my feet as I ran in the dark, my candy bag bouncing beside me. I remember the smell of autumn air and the muted laughter as we ran house to house, rang the bell, and asked a stranger for a treat.