Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Last night was Trick-or-Treat night at the local shopping mall. Don't worry, I'm taking Elizabeth on a for-reals street haunting tomorrow night. We just did the mall thing as an additional fun Halloweeny activity. The mall had a pretty good gig going, with lots of candy and carnival games and some circus performers from the currently touring Cirque de Soleil troupe. Elizabeth liked the juggler dude.

I always like to see what all the kids are wearing for Halloween. At night on the streets its not easy to identify all the costumes, but the conditions here were ideal for ghost-watching.

Superheroes looked to be the favorite choice for the boys. Spider-Man, in both traditional red-and-blue and edgy black variants, seemed to be most popular, but Batman was also well respresented. Power Rangers of various stripes also appeared in numbers. Only three or so kids had Superman costumes, which underlines the weakness of the recent movie I think. I also saw a single Robin and a lone Wolverine (yellow and blue version).

The girls seemed about evenly split between princesses (including my daughter) and witches, at least if you lump the various nebulously defined scary and/or gothy girl's outfits in with the witches. Some of them might have been intended as vampiresses and at least one otherwise witchy costume had fairy wings.

Wolfmen, mummies, and white-sheet ghosts were pretty thin this year, but skeletons and grim reapers could be found in solid numbers. Plenty of Draculas, too. My wife got sick of me calling out "Look, another Dracula!" but I just couldn't help myself. Something about kids dressing up as Dracula just warms my heart. I only saw a single Frankenstein, a teeny little toddler in facepaint with his shirt stuffed for 'muscles'. Too cute.

I could spot only a couple knife/axe/etc wielding maniacs, unless you count the Scream costume. How many kids got that costume because it was a ghost outfit rather than a serial killer from a movie franchise? I dunno. One dude was dressed up exactly like Jason Voorhees Michael Myers from Halloween. He was big enough to be a small adult or an adolescent, was not in the company of anyone, and had no bag for candy. He just wandered around the mall, creeping me the hell out.

Only saw one Darth Vader this year and two Clone Troopers. Just a couple years ago at another such event there were several Vaders and a Yoda or two. At least two kids went as Optimus Prime, one of whom had switched out the cheap mask for the cool voice changer helmet toy. Ninjas remain popular, as all good children know that ninjas are awesome. I saw at least four kids in army guy camo outfits, which made me kinda sad as my first thought was to wonder how many of those four kids had a parent on deployment.

One of the coolest things in kids' costumes this year? The pirates. Not only were there a lot of swashbucklers on the loose, but they were pretty evenly split between boys and girls.