Fright Night!

Published 12:44 pm Monday, October 30, 2017

AHOSKIE – It’s an annual occurrence that’s part of growing up.

The countdown is on for Halloween – 2017, a night full of innocent children dressed in themed clothing who will go in search of sweets and treats from homeowners.

While Halloween is basically all about fun, it also presents dangers lurking in the shadows and Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh wants to protect the safety of all those youngsters who go door-to-door in an effort to fill their bags with candy.

Fitzhugh reminds the public that the age limit is 12 for those making their Halloween rounds. He stated that trick-or-treat hours in Ahoskie are from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

“First and foremost we want all the children to enjoy themselves on Halloween night and to do it in a safe manner,” Fitzhugh said.

He added that adults should keep children within their reach and watch out for vehicles.

“Only go to houses with lights on and children should allow their parents to look over candy and other edible items prior to consuming,” Fitzhugh noted.

The Police Chief advised trick-or-treaters to always walk in groups and never run away from their group.

He said his officers will be out and patrolling for the safety of all citizens.

He reminds parents to think about using reflective tape or stickers on their child’s Halloween costume, making them more visible as they walk from house to house.

Another point of concern is that Halloween masks can often obstruct a child’s vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.

“Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights so they can see better, as well as be seen by drivers,” Fitzhugh suggested.

The Police Chief added that children can help with their own protection by watching closely for turning or backing  vehicles.

“And don’t dart out into the street or cross the street between parked cars,” Fitzhugh warned. “It’s best to cross the street safely at corners. Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.”

He also stressed safety for those driving in residential neighborhoods on Halloween night.

“Stay alert for children out trick-or-treating,” he cautioned. “Drive slowly through those residential neighborhoods. Children tend to become exited on Halloween night and they may move in unpredictable ways.”

Another safety concern involves adults who may be dressed in Halloween attire to attend a party or event. Fitzhugh cautioned them that it’s against the law to wear any type of mask inside a place of business.

“They may forget they’re in costume and need to stop at a place of business while en route to their event,” Fitzhugh said. “I would encourage them to remove their Halloween masks before entering a place of business in an effort not to startled anyone.”

In addition to the normal trick-or-treating event in Ahoskie, the town is also home to another Halloween event. From 6-11 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 28), Sunday (Oct. 29) and Tuesday (Oct. 31), a Haunted House, featuring actors from the Gallery Theatre, is being held in the basement of the Ahoskie Town Hall on Main Street. There is an admission charge.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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