Not only is Halloween a night for getting a bag full of candy, it’s also a traditional night for pranks.
Over the years, the pranks have changed, but seniors still smile remembering the pranks of their youth, even though some don’t want to tell on themselves.
Several members of an informal coffee group that gathers at Lansing Pharmacy in Marion took delight in sharing their youthful pranks.
Matthew Classen, 83, remembers a Halloween prank that backfired.
He and his high school friends were at a party intended to keep them off the streets on Halloween. The friends, along with three freshman girls, sneaked away from the party.
“We took them out to show them how to turn the toilets over,” Classen said.
In those days, most homes had outhouses.
Just as they approached an outhouse, the property owner stepped out with a gun.
“He said, ‘You little (expletive deleted), I’m going to shoot you,’” Classen recalled.
The leader of the prank patrol dropped to his knees, put his hands in the air, and begged the property owner not to shoot.
As for the younger girls looking on, Classen said they got a lesson as well.
“They found out how the big boys do stuff,” Classen said.
Don Jolley, 88, said he always looked forward to Halloween during election years.
“We’d go out and steal election signs,” Jolley said. “There was always a police cruiser out looking for people out doing those things.”
One Halloween, they spotted a squad car and ran to hide in an alley. The officer was not fooled by this evasion.
“We decided all of us but one would surrender and that one would call all our mothers,” Jolley remembered.
However, the one supposed to call mothers went home and went to bed without letting them know.
Jolley’s mother heard his name announced on the radio about 2 a.m. and went to get them out of jail. While there, Jolley’s mother gave police a piece of her mind, Jolley said.
Charles Heerey, 84, said his funniest Halloween prank memory was the year he and his friends went to the home of a couple rural Aulne girls and left a surprise of about 25 chickens inside.
Another Halloween, he and his friends went around knocking over outhouses.
“One of them fell in,” Heerey said. “The stuff was about three feet deep.”
His friend’s embarrassment lasted longer than one night, though.
“He had to wear those same shoes to school the next day because it was the only pair he had,” Heery said. “We made him ride in the trunk.”