During our first Halloween living together on a military base my then-husband and I hadn’t planned on celebrating or giving out candy, but when I saw the dozens of children parading around the neighborhood in costumes I felt guilty and we took a trip to the nearby gas station to pick up a few bags.

On our way back through the neighborhood Shayne asked me to drive slower as he rolled down the passenger side window and offered his candy-filled hand to a group of children on the sidewalk. They looked in at us aghast and I receded in embarrassment. “You can’t do that!” I hissed. “Why not?” he said smugly as the children, at first tentative, reached over to take the candy.

After moving to a rural area of North Carolina this year, I learned Shayne was not the only one unfazed by the old Stranger Danger refrain.

Ever wonder what kids in the country who don’t live walking distance from houses do on Halloween? They go Trunk-or-Treating.

When I first heard of this tradition I thought it must be a joke, but it has since been confirmed by a number of locals.

Cars will pick a parking lot- namely a church or supermarket– and park in a circle so that the back ends face the center. Children parade around in costume and collect candy from the trunks of cars.

My first Halloween in North Carolina, I went on a mission to find and photograph a trunk-or-treat. I figured the only thing creepier than a stranger handing out candy from the trunk of her car on Halloween would be a woman, not in costume, photographing the fun. I’d have to be discreet.

Try as I did, I didn’t see a single trick-or-treater let alone a trunk-or-treat on the deserted roads I drove down. I’m left only to imagine the merriment that no doubt occurred last night in parking lots across the country.



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