Halloween is just around the corner, and every year about this time, I think about the fun I have witnessed or been involved in during this odd little observation.
Also called ''All Hallows' Evening,'' it is acknowledged all around the world.
Wikipedia (I know, I know) says it is ''a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain.
''Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as 'guising'), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack o' lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.''
I don't buy into all that. I just know it's a time for kids, candy and pranks.
Probably one of the best pranks I remember was the one played on me. It happened in 2003 or so.
I live in Howland and had some firewood stacked in my side yard. Bob's Tree Service had cut a tree of mine and trimmed some others. They left the firewood and it was stacked neatly to season.
Some time in the middle of the night, someone or several people moved a lot of the stack into the side street, blocking half of it. When I saw it the next morning, at first I was angry, because it could have caused an accident, but then I got busy moving the firewood back to its original location, hoping none of the neighbors were watching.
I'm a bit of a prankster myself. One year, when my stepdaughter was young, I was really into Halloween. Something about Halloween and kids. Again, this was at my home in Howland, and it was hilarious.
A couple weeks before Halloween, I stuffed a pair of coveralls with newspaper and placed the coveralls in a chair by the front door. I put a fake head on it, and it looked like an old man. I scattered some other fall decorations around and left the porch light on every night, knowing when people drove by they would see it and get used to it.
Come Halloween, I pulled out the stuffing and pulled the coveralls on myself, and sat right where the dummy had been. Then, as children would approach the door, I would move ever-so-slightly.
I quit doing it after about the third or fourth trick-or-treater because I scared one little girl a little too much.
Halloween is a fun time. It was a tradition when I was growing up to watch scary movies as late as possible, tell ghost stories, and Mother would make caramel apples. As I get older, I still like to watch the trick-or-treaters and listen to them shuffling through the leaves in the yard, giggling and laughing.
Have a safe and happy Halloween. And don't eat too much candy.
And if you are a prankster, please be a nice one.
Robinson is editor of the Tribune Chronicle.