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Parties, Parades, Seances And General Madness For Halloween

November 1, 1987

Undated (AP) _ Small ghosts, goblins and other little monsters strutted the nation’s streets Saturday with the rallying cry ″trick or treat,″ and adults paraded or attended parties in bizarre costumes - or none at all - in the autumnal rites of Halloween.

Costumes ran the gamut from dinosaurs to Tammy Faye Bakker, and parties ranged from San Francisco’s Exotic-Erotic Ball and a huge costume parade in New York’s Greenwich Village to the Fantasy Fest in Key West, Fla.

The All Hallows’ Eve silliness and candy-gathering were marred by violence and arrests. But the number of fires started in Detroit in the annual Devil’s Night violence was down from previous years.

A costumed teen-ager was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist Saturday night near Fontana, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol said.

A 19-year-old man fell three stories from a dormitory room at Ohio University as thousands of Halloween revelers descended on the southeastern Ohio college town of Athens Saturday.

Mark Rummel, a Marine visiting the campus, was taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where he was listed in critical condition with abdominal and head injuries, school and hospital officials said.

Athens police said they did not know how many arrests they had made for rowdiness Saturday night, after 43 arrests Friday night for intoxication, disorderly conduct and vandalism. Similarly in Carbondale, Ill., a downtown gathering turned raucous and Lt. Jerry Reno said, ″We’re arresting them on average 20 to 25 an hour,″ mostly for underage drinking.

Children in Mount Ephraim, N.J., were allowed to go trick-or-treating for the first time in three years after a ban prompted by a rash of candy tampering was lifted. Many hospitals there and elsewhere across the country offered free X-raying of goodies.

The ban was instituted after a rash of tainted candy three years ago in this one-square-mile community of 4,800 people.

Magicians David Copperfield, Harry Blackstone Jr. and The Amazing Randi scheduled a tribute at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles to magician and escape artist Harry Houdini, who died on Halloween in 1926.

Others tried unsuccessfully to contact Houdini’s spirit in a live seance on a nationally syndicated TV program.

Stations in Chicago and Los Angeles received protest calls about the seance. Religious talk show host John Ankerberg called the event ″anti- Christian;″ a judge in Chattanooga, Tenn., denied a request to stop the broadcast on WTVC on grounds the seance violated a city law against fortune- telling.

Sheldon Cooper, president of Tribune Entertainment Co., said the company’s ″In Search of Houdini″ was ″done in the spirit of entertainment. ... People love to see illusions and magic.″

A New Jersey man for the 11th straight year turned his front yard into a graveyard haunted by corpses, red-eyed gargoyles, a wall of skulls, lights to cast eerie shadows and a fog machine.

A graveyard watchman with a rat-eaten face sat in a chair in Richard Hanf’s front yard in Hamburg, N.J., wearing a costume made of soiled clothes that Hanf said he used to ″clean a car a couple of times to get that dirty look.″

Hanf was laid off three months ago but ″to tell you the truth, I’ve been so busy here, I haven’t time to look for another job.″

San Francisco’s Exotic-Erotic Ball, which has drawn thousands for the past seven years, was billed as ″costume optional.″ Promoter Perry Mann estimated that 1 percent or 2 percent would show up in the buff, and 30 percent to 40 percent would be scantily dressed.

In Key West, Fla., the ninth annual Fantasy Fest drew an estimated 35,000 revelers, including the traditional witches and werewolves, along with people dressed like body parts, contraceptives, and a three-person fiberboard and paper-mache costume that was a bathroom wall, complete with facilities and graffiti.

″We got drunk one night and thought it up,″ said Kelly Smith, who wore one-third of the costume.

In New York, police said a Greenwich Village parade attracted the expected 80,000 marchers and 750,000 spectators, along with 38 bands, 13 floats, 1,000 police officers and a 200-pound pumpkin. Children created a 17-foot skeleton to lead the parade carrying the anti-drug message ″Crack Kills.″

In New Orleans, an offbeat tour of the historic French Quarter was offered. ″We will be visiting cemeteries, homes of gruesome murders and other eerie places,″ said Robert Cangelosi, president of the Friends of the Cabildo, a museum.

At the Costume Gallery in Burlington, N.J., a dinosaur outfit was the most popular new get-up, said store manager Nancy Kramer. At other stores, employees were too busy to talk about which costumes were scaring up the most business.

One character once nationally recognized as as a monster, or Munster, was ready for a party in Austin, Texas. Butch Patrick, who played 10-year-old Eddie Munster on the 1960s TV sitcom about suburban monsters, ″The Munsters,″ was tapped as host of the Eddie Munster Monster Bash.

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