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A Ghoul Time

It was a collection of contrasts, one you just don’t see on the streets of Ironton every day. There was beauty in the form of a princess, 4-year-old Nan May and Abby Hall, also 4, decked out as Tinkerbell. And then there was the beast: Nick Hill, who was outfitted as a character in the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, complete with dripping blood and a power tool. Falling somewhere in between was Chris Hill, dressed as Ben 10.

The Ironton children stood together outside the Ironton City Center Monday night, waiting for their turn to collect some candy in the annual Safe Trick or Treat, sponsored by the Ironton Business Association.

Family affair

The event drew several hundred youngsters and even a few parents who donned costumes and made the rounds not only at the city center but along the sidewalks outside area businesses.

Eight-year-old Hannah Lynd came dressed as a hunter with a really big trophy: her mom, Kim, who was gamely costumed as a deer.

“Her papaw likes to hunt so she decided to do hunting,” Kim Lynd explained.

Dare to be different

Costumes ranged from typical to truly inventive.

One-year-old Mason Jones sat atop his own little space craft in an alien creature costume. Behind him was a sign that read “Cutest alien in the universe.”

His mom, Megan Jones, pulled him along.

“It was his grandpa’s idea,” she mused. “He spent all day yesterday working on it.”

Kortnie Porter’s costume was inflatable. In it, she was transformed into a cowboy atop an angry bucking bronco.

“It’s different,” she said. “You don’t see anyone else dressing up like this.”

Luke Thompson, of Kitts Hill, came dressed as a 1920s gangster, albeit a most dapper one. With his black and white striped suit, he carried a machine gun.

Howls of fun

Kelli Russell chose to frighten the candy out of those candy bowls. Her goulish mask turned a perfectly normal girl into a perfectly scary ghoul.

“My cousin thought I was scary,” she said.

Jeremy Cohenauer was dressed as a winged demon.

Too cute for words

Kylee McConnell came dressed as a bride, her dark curls beneath a veil of tulle.

“I liked it,” she explained, when asked why she chose her costume. When a reporter asked how old she should be when she put the dress on for real, she replied, “Twenty,” a reply that drew giggles from the employees of Ironton Municipal Court who were among those passing out candy at the city center Monday night.

Ten-month-old twins Kaylee and Kylee Stewart were dressed as orange pumpkin fairies.

Right back at you

Not all of the scares came from the tricksters. Both Suzy Q’s café and the Ironton Police Department had giant scowling black (and fortunately fake) rats guarding their candy bowls.

As the children made their way through the candy line, Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey urged some to pet his rat. A few older ones did, some of the younger ones just stared.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless brought assistance, too, but of a less intimidating kids: McGruff the crime dog.

Keeping it going

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship estimated he had gone through more than four bags of candy in 45 minutes as the line snaked through the city center.

If the line seemed endless — much of the evening it extended outside and down the sidewalk nearly to Fourth Street — the satisfaction of making this Halloween special was worth the effort.

“Just to see the smiles on their faces…” he said.

That sentiment was echoed by Michael Payne, who saw with a large tub outside the Dollar General Store at Third and Center streets, offering candy to another line of children who made their way from store to store looking for that loot.

“I enjoyed this when I was a kid,” Payne said. “Now I’ll do it for everyone else.”