Despite $9 billion in consumer spending on costumes and candy, cities and towns across the country are spooked by Halloween forecasts and are canceling trick-or-treat festivities.
Officials across the eastern U.S. are citing bouts of severe wind or rain that could make going door-to-door more dangerous, partly because of vehicle traffic on slick, darkened roads. Here are the cities that could be affected:
It’s expected to be cold and wet in the Windy City, with forecasts calling for record-breaking amounts of snow. Several locations are delaying trick-or-treating hours, local reports said, including Vernon Hills, which changed the date from Thursday to Saturday.
“This decision was made following requests to change the hours and in consultation with our chief of police,” per a town statement. "The intention is to maximize participation in celebrations, while encouraging the safety of our youngest residents."
The forecast is not much brighter in Cleveland. High winds, cold and rain are expected in the city and some communities are changing trick-or-treating dates and hours.
Halloween will now be in November for people in Wellington, Williard and Ontario. Ghosts and goblins in Newton Falls and Port Clinton will have to wait until then as well.
Heavy rain and wind along the shore are leaving some Connecticut towns wary about heading out. The National Weather Service forecasts storms, and many locals took notice.
“Due to the weather, activities will be postponed until Saturday night,” East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson, whose role is the equivalent of mayor, posted on Facebook. “Please keep your little goblins safe (and dry) and bring them out to your neighborhood during the usual times on Saturday.”
However, not every town in the Constitution state is on board with moving masqueraders. Fairfield police posted on their Facebook page late Tuesday, “we understand that with the weather forecast, many residents have asked about changing the date of “Trick-or-Treating” this year. The Town of Fairfield, CT is not in the position to make this change due to many logistical and communication issues. As always, we recommend close supervision of all your precious trick-or-treaters."
Massachusetts and New Hampshire:
Wind and rain may cancel Halloween in these states. Live performances and a fireworks show have been canceled in Salem, Mass., which gained notoriety for the 17th-century witch trials.. Rhode Island residents are taking extra caution, too.
At least seven Pennsylvania counties have postponed trick-or-treating due to heavy rain, including Allegheny, Armstrong and Butler counties. The last time a major delay occurred in these towns was in 2012, due to Superstorm Sandy, according to a local Pittsburgh TV station.
Heavy rain and wind have spooked some Virginia towns out of trick-or-treating. Lexington, for example, pushed Halloween into November. Other towns have called for extra caution.
Not everyone is on board with the delays. Christiansburg, Virginia, told residents it does not determine when they can trick-or-treat. Delays in New Jersey have sparked heated debates, and some Chicago families have no plans to adjust their Halloween dates.
"Halloween will be recognized on Halloween, Oct. 31,” Orland Hills Village Trustee Kyle R. Hastings wrote on Facebook. “If we switch Halloween because it’s [too] cold and snowy, we all also have to follow suit in switching Christmas if it’s too warm for Santa, and then switching the Fourth of July if it’s too cold and wet for BBQ’s."