Burleson Halloween of yore was tame
History buff John Duke Smith recently reached into his treasure trove of local Halloween stories from the past while he was a guest on the Burleson Star Live Internet radio show.
But please be warned – the stories Smith retrieved are not exactly Stephen King-level tales of horror.
Smith said after consulting with some “seniors around town,” he managed to put together some small stories revolving around local Halloween chicanery:
• Throwing paper sacks filled with water at cars was a very popular prank.
• At least one person didn’t remember having Halloween activities at all.
“But this was before commercialization,” Smith explained. “None of them had uniforms or little suits (costumes) or that stuff.”
• One resident who was born in Burleson and went to high school here years ago told Smith she could recall making candy before halloween and then going to somebody’s home to play games and eat the candy.
“That was a big, big thing,” Smith said.
• Another resident said she specifically remembered local mischief such as boys climbing up on the water tower.
“Also, she remembered ’Spin the Bottle’ being the big thing around town,” Smith said.
• The son of the night watchman in Burleson for 18 years before law enforcement had an established presence remembered a few things.
The night watchman was the only law enforcement in the area at this time, Smith said.. He carried a German luger with a 12-inch barrel.
“He didn’t run into much trouble,” Smith said. “The kids pretty much respected everything he said.”
On this particular Halloween long gone by, the boys in the Burleson community were particularly rambunctious.
The night watchman “told them, ‘Have your fun, but don’t break anything,’” Smith said.
The local youths then went about undertaking a bunch of mischievous activities, including switching one store’s box of bread with another’s.
Also, the boys retrieved cedar posts from the local hardwood store and placed them in front of every building.
“They had a big time,” Smith said. “They decided to come back to the scene around 6 a.m. to see the expressions of the people they had pranked. … But when they got there they realized someone had put everything they had moved back the way it was.”
As it turns out, the night watchman cleaned up the boys’ mess.
He returned everything to its natural state before 6 a.m.– to the chagrin of the young pranksters.
“They were disappointed they had done all that work for nothing,” Smith said.