The day was turning to dusk as Shayna Mims, Kristen Turner, and Tayla Motley walked apprehensively from Shayna's aunt's house on Wallwerth Drive in West Toledo.
The girls clenched each other's hands as they climbed the steps to a neighbor's front door.
When the storm door opened, Tayla, 6, was the first to break the silence. “Trick or treat,” she said, holding out a plastic pumpkin bucket. She was rewarded with a packet of M&Ms.
Shayna, 4, was disguised as Bubbles, a character from the Powerpuff Girls cartoon. Tayla masqueraded as a cheerleader, and Kristen, 5, was in a traditional witch outfit.
About five houses down, the girls had found their groove. They skipped through leaves on the sidewalk and ran up to a porch where a jack-o-lantern glowed.
“Trick or treat,” they shouted in unison. They got their treats and ran back to Shayna's grandmother, Sharon Seyfried, who was waiting on the sidewalk.
“I got three pieces of candy,” Shayna told her grandmother.
As they made their way down the sidewalk, Mrs. Seyfried set the ground rules: “No crying. No whining. You go to the door. Say what you got to say and come back.”
Trick-or-treating requires a certain amount of etiquette. The wrong phrase could result in a penalty.
“Did you say thank you?” Mrs. Seyfried asked. “If you don't say thank you, you have to give back your candy.”
By the time the beggars had made their way across Berdan Avenue, dozens of creatures were roaming the streets, and chants of “trick or treat” echoed in the night air. The girls had walked past several ghouls, Cinderella, Superman, and a purple gnome.
Trick-or-treaters didn't have to knock on Karen Hansen's door to get packaged cookies and miniature candy bars. Mrs. Hansen and her mother, LoEmma Snider, 89, sat in lawn chairs at the end of the driveway on Wallwerth, passing out the sugar-filled goodies.
“I have never seen so many adults with the children,” Mrs. Snider said. She and her daughter had handed out about 150 pieces of candy in less than a half-hour.
The begging, walking, and masks overwhelmed Madelyn Vansickle, 2. The toddler, dressed as a blue crayon, had to be carried to get her candy. “She liked walking up to most of the houses, but she doesn't like the scary people too much,” her father, Wayne, said.