Undated (AP) _ Real fear edged out the store-bought variety in some cities this Halloween.

In Los Angeles, gunmen howling ''trick or treat'' fired into a church Sunday night, injuring a woman standing at the altar, police said.

''Many people started crying and praying,'' said Rosa Basquez, a parishioner at Verbo De Dios church.

The victim, 47-year-old Maria de Jesus Garcia, was in serious condition after surgery for a stomach wound, police Lt. Earl Paysinger said.

In Fullerton, Calif., two 9-year-old girls out trick-or-treating were struck and killed by a pizza delivery van Sunday evening.

The cousins were just a block from home when they were hit, police Sgt. Neal Baldwin said.

The accident was under investigation, and the girls' names were not immediately released pending notification of relatives. Police were considering whether to file charges against the van's driver.

In Denver, a teen-ager escorting youngsters on a trick-or-treat outing was taunted and then shot to death by suspected gang members.

Carl Banks, 18, had suffered irreversible brain damage in the Sunday evening shooting and was declared dead at Denver General Hospital. Police said they had no motive in the attack.

In Massachusetts, wary parents in two communities kept costumed children on a short leash - if they let them out at all.

In Sturbridge, where 10-year-old Holly Piirainen was kidnapped in August and found dead Oct. 23, ''People are leery,'' said Red Denault. ''They're taking their kids down to the parade at the common rather than the trick-or- treating.''

And in Bridgewater, trick-or-treating was canceled after two killers serving life terms escaped from the Massachusetts Correctional Institution. The search for Robert Dellelo, 51, and Joseph Correia, 38, continued early today.

A church in the southeastern Texas community of Nederland offered an alternative version of a haunted house. Actors depicted scenes of abortion, drug use, suicide, Satanism, and the crucifixion, while another playing an angelic Christ told visitors it's time to accept him as savior.

''This is real life,'' said Sylvia Oliver, a member of the Triumph Church. ''Overdosing. Suicide. Alcoholism. Abortion.''

Two Boston mothers caught the lighthearted side of the day they dressed their youngsters up as Elvis Presley.

''They've got the body fat. Look at the cheeks on that kid,'' said Kate Robins, the mother of one tiny, pudgy King.

''Elvis took this toddler-like shape as he got to the end of his life,'' said Janet Steinmetz, mother of the other toddlin' rocker.

In Alexandria, Ind., Bill Romine celebrated Halloween by decorating the grave of his longtime companion with an elaborate display of jack-o'-lanterns, torches, and a plastic spider.

''She would have done the same for me,'' the 34-year-old Romine said of Carol Rader, who died of congenital heart disease in April at age 31.

''She loved it better than Christmas because she had a chance to be around all the kids.''