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01 November 2019 00:33

Jack-o'-lantern Halloween Van Cortlandt Manor

The Halloween clock is ticking and little ghosts and goblins are eager to get started on their trick or treating rounds. The perfect time to head out for candy collection varies from place to place. October 31 falls on a Thursday this year, making it a school night so people will want to get an early start on their Halloween rounds. Sunset in Alabama on Thursday will be 5:54 p.m. CT so you can expect many people to head out about 6 p.m. CT. According to TrickorTreatTimes.com, most cities "officially" kick off trick or treating around 5 - 6 p.m. It's best to visit houses with their lights on, a sign they are ready to treat youngsters.

It's best to wrap up trick or treating by no later than 9 p.m. Those times are in keeping with a 2015 survey that found almost 40 percent said they planned to head out for trick or treating at 6 p.m.; 27 percent said they would wrap up activities by 8 p.m., 37 percent said by 9 p.m. The Halloween rounds may be shortened by tonight's cold weather. The National Weather Service has issued freeze warnings for north and part of central Alabama in anticipation of temperatures falling below the freezing mark by Friday morning. Temperatures across Alabama could fall as low as 29 degrees overnight, according to the National Weather Service in Huntsville. You can see a complete Halloween night forecast here. Shortly after dark tonight, your doorbell rings.

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You approach the door – candy bowl in hand – ready to treat some little superheroes, clowns or princesses. Instead, you discover a pre-teen or even a teenager holding a bag and wanting treats of their own. That scenario crops up every year and raises the question: how old is too old to go trick or treating? A 2015 survey on fivethirtyeight.com showed 57 percent thought somewhere between 12 and 15 as being too old to go door-to-door asking for candy. Other people were more flexible. Almost 19 percent said they thought it was fine to go trick or treating past age 18. A Cinncinati.com poll agreed, with 52 percent saying they didn't think there should be a cutoff on trick or treating age. Fifteen years old was the limit for 17 percent; 14 was third with 13 percent. Not everyone is in the spooky spirit, however. Fivethirtyeight.com found 10 percent of people said they didn't celebrate Halloween at all. Fifty-eight percent handed out candy, compared to 42 percent who didn't and must have been prepared for the tricks. Some cities have attempted to codify who can and who can't trick or treat, only to have the matter haunt them for years. Chesapeake, Virginia has a decades-old law that threatens teenagers with a fine or even jail time if they trick-or-treat. The city has a law on the books limiting trick-or-treating to anyone 14 and younger. City officials are quick to point out revisions have taken out any mention of jail time and the law – which stemmed from a firecracker being thrown into a trick-or-treater's bag – has never really been enforced. That doesn't keep news of the ban from going viral on social media around the Halloween holiday. Recently, city officials posted a message on Facebook saying that this law has never been enforced. "It only existed to give police an option, should things get out of hand on Halloween. In fact, it was created following a particularly violent Halloween in a neighboring city," city officials said. "While we appreciate all of the concern and attention we received from around the country last year, we'd like to assure everyone that, in fact, we do not arrest teens for trick-or-treating and never have."