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Hundreds attend Safe Trick or Treat

The Ohio University Bobcat waved at 15-month-old Atticus Bea, but little Atticus was not quite sure what to think. As the bobcat crinkled its paw and tilted its head, the little boy in the Pooh bear outfit sat in a stroller, taking it all in.

Other kids buzzed by and accepted candy and offered a hug. It was, after all, Ironton’s annual Safe Trick or Treat, the one night of the year when it is perfectly safe to wrap your arms around a six-foot wild animal, the one night of the year when tiny pixies can mingle politely in line with Freddie Krueger and everyone goes home happy.

Costumes

Luke McGraw carried a scimitar and promised he was ready with his dance routine. He and some fellow sixth graders at St. Lawrence Elementary were dressed as the Shriner’s Oriental Band that Lawrence countians are accustomed to seeing march down Third Street on another popular holiday.

“Joseph Payton and I are the ones who came up with this,” Luke said. “My cousin (Gary Runyon) is the president of the Shriners.”

A little humor

Lori Mannon, of Kitts Hill, was an out-of-the-ordinary trick or treater, perhaps because her outfit emphasized the potential for a trick: she came dressed as a large pink whoopee cushion.

“I saw this in a magazine and thought it was too cute to pass up,” she explained.

Not far away, Brianna Diamond, 6, of Ironton, was a bright yellow chicken while her sister, Tatum, 4, was a cow. But their sibling rivalry had a marketing twist to it: Around Tatum’s neck hung a sign that read “eat more chicken.”

Oh, fright!

Kenny Adkins, of Ironton, large pink tongue hung far below his contorted mouth and his hair was frizzed into an indistinct disarray.

“I’m supposed to be a werewolf,” he explained. “But I don’t know where they get that. I think I’m more like a monster or maybe the grim reaper.”

Gone to the dogs

Some canines accompanied their owners to the party Monday night. Choco the Chihuahua came with Gavin Davis, who was dressed as a skeleton. Kortnie Woods, 11, of Ironton, came dressed as a cave woman and her long-coated Chihuahua was dressed to match.

Out of the ordinary

Every other day of the year, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Lawless does not treat jail inmates to candy. But then, Halloween changes things.

He gladly dished the goodies to Troy Balmer, of Franklin Furnace, who came dressed in the black and white stripes that Lawless should find quite familiar. Why did Balmer decide to dress as inmate 33407?

“I don’t know,” he shrugged.

“This is our first time here,” his mom, Robin said. “This is nice.”

Balmer wasn’t the only inmate parading through the trick or treat line Monday night. There were others as well.

In on the act

Savto the magician and a gypsy sat perched on bar stools in front of Uncle Charlie’s Comic Strip Caf/ handing out candy. Any other day of the week, they may look like ordinary business operators, but this one night of the year, they joined the kids and donned costumes. Why?

“Because I wanted to treat the kids,” Savto explained.

“That’s exactly what it’s all about,” added Dick Brown, a friend who stopped by to watch the fun.

“It’s for the children,” Savto agreed. “Halloween is for children and Uncle Charlie’s is for the kids, too.”

Down the street at Brown Funeral Chapel, funeral director Eugene Brown took trick or treat to a whole new level.

In front of the chapel, a skeleton lay in an open casket.

“We call him Mr. Bones,” Brown said.

As he greeted people outside, something else greeted visitors inside the chapel. Real people lay quietly in caskets and as lines of onlookers filed by as they might at a real visitation, the dearly departed would raise their heads for a scare.

“We’ve done this every year since we’ve been open and people praise us for it, for some odd reason,” Brown said.