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What’s the weirdest thing you’ve gotten on Halloween?

Soda went everywhere


Illustration by Edison Mellor-Goldman, 16, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

When we were 12, my best friend Chelsea and I went trick-or-treating like we always had, despite an increase in people giving out candy with deeply disapproving, skeptical looks and saying, “Aren’t you a little too old for this?” At one house, a man sleepily answered the door and stared at us for a couple seconds. Then he got why there were two girls in strange outfits (I was Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter, Chelsea was a 40s dancer) on his porch. “Oh! Right! Wait one sec,” he said and ran back inside. When he came out, he was carrying two cans of Coke. “’This is all we got, sorry.” He smiled. We happily said “Thanks!” and “Happy Halloween!” … and then Chelsea accidentally dropped the can. Coke sprayed everywhere: onto our shoes, his slippers, the side of the house. It kept fizzing for an awkwardly long time while we apologized, and then a tired-looking woman in a bathrobe came out, got a hose and started washing off their porch. Chelsea was mortified, but I was trying desperately not to laugh. We figured it was a sign—that was our last house for the night.
By Emily Clarke, 15, Palisades Charter HS

‘Rinse twice’

Some people choose the strangest things to hand out on Halloween. Last year while trick-or-treating in the Pacific Palisades, my friends and I walked up to the house of this really creepy old lady who was sitting on the top step of her porch. We got closer and it looked like she was going to hand us small bottles with some sort of magical potion. “Rinse twice,” she told us when we walked away with our peculiar loot. The concoction turned out to be miniature bottles of chocolate shampoo. Where or how she got them will forever be a mystery—possibly a disturbing one. It smelled like chocolate, looked like chocolate, was everything chocolate except of course for the fact that you were not supposed to taste it (as far as we knew). It was beyond disgusting, but without a doubt entertaining. What else were we going to get? If we collected vanilla hairspray, maybe a peppermint conditioner or some cotton candy hair gel, we could have opened a hair salon branch to Dylan’s Candy Bar.
    We decided we needed to experiment with the stuff, just to figure out if it was some cruel joke that would make our hair fall out of our scalps. My poor dog became our guinea pig. It turned his tail a dark, muddy color for about a week.
By Jackie Rosen, 16, Palisades Charter HS

A canned surprise

One Halloween when I was a kid, I received my most peculiar treat. One of our neighbors, who was in her 50s, seemed kind of distraught when I rang her doorbell. My brother, sister and I screamed “trick-or-treat.” She stumbled with her words and all she managed to say was “Oh, I, umm” while she looked around for something to give us. My father reassured her it was OK that she didn’t have anything and told us to come on, but she insisted on giving us something. She told us to hold on a second, and returned with her hands behind her back. She then told us to close our eyes and open our trick-or-treat bags, and that we couldn’t open our bags until we got down the street. I could hardly wait. I was hoping for money. We opened our bags at the same time only to find that we all received something different. My brother had gotten crackers, my sister had gotten hot cocoa mix, and I received a can of Vienna sausages. I thought Vienna sausages were nasty and I couldn’t stand the smell of them when I had eaten them in the past. I wish I would have listened to my dad and left instead of receiving the treat, which was more of a trick than a treat.
By Britawnya Craft, 17, Warren HS (Downey)

Peace, love and a shawl

When I was 10 or 11, I went trick-or-treating with one of my friends in Eagle Rock.
    She was dressed up as a pirate and I was a ballerina. We had gotten a lot of candy and were almost done with the neighborhood when we approached a house. It was pale green, while all the other houses were white. The window shutters were broken off, but it had a light on so we rang the doorbell. A lady answered the door and we said, “TRICK-OR-TREAT!!!” She looked like a hippie; she was dressed in a burlap-sack dress with holes for the arms and head and flip-flops. My friend and I gave each other puzzled looks. She said, “Ah, young ones! Peace, peace on you.” She ran back into her house and brought back two handmade leis made with daisies, which she placed around our necks. “These flowers represent peace, and our minds, which blossom like the flowers of the earth. … Candy is not natural, these flowers will be better for your aura,” she said.
    My friend and I just stood there blinking. She went back into her house and brought out two big pieces of what looked like burlap (which turned out to be hemp, when we asked my friend’s mom later). When she gave them to us, they looked kind of like the dress she was wearing! My friend and I started laughing in disbelief; she was staring at us so we stopped. Her eyes got wide and she spoke again, but with seriousness and anger in her voice. “You children don’t know what peace will bring! We need to disestablish the government, cease power! We need to give flowers to everybody to show the meaning of life!” I was so freaked out I just wanted to get out of there, so I quickly told her “Umm … thank you for the flowers and the uh, shawl thing.” I grabbed my friend’s hand and started running toward my friend’s house. The last thing I heard the lady say was “Good-bye, my young flowers. Remember the government is EVIL.” I think that had to be the weirdest Halloween I have ever experienced, but looking back it is really funny.
By Stacey Avnes, 14, Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies