As the daughter of a Pentecostal preacher-- Wait! I heard what you thought. "That explains a lot." Look, ain't nobody ask you. LOL Anyway, back to my story-- I was never allowed to participate in Halloween activities as a kid and by the time I became an adult, I had such serious convictions about not celebrating "The Devil's Holiday" that I've never attended a Halloween party.  Of course, for the sake of being politically correct, schools would have "harvest festivals" that my siblings and I could attend, and in more recent years, I've seen more churches hosting events for children on Halloween night where the attendees could collect candy the same as their secular counterparts without actually taking part in the Halloween observance.

I have ALWAYS been a fan of scary movies, and even went on a "ghost hunting excursion" when I was in college. That's another HILARIOUS story for another day. I even remember trying to "sneak" into a haunted house in the basement of Stillman College's Knox Hall, only to be caught by my older brother, who loudly rebuked me, "Jade! What are you doing? You know we don't celebrate Halloween!"  Yes, he said it loud and in front of all my friends. I laughed it off, got out of line, and went back to my dorm room.

But in more recent years, I've become a bit more interested in discovering truth rather than just accepting what I'd been taught as factual. I've read up on the origins of Halloween, and because I'd never celebrated Halloween as a kid, I had no idea that there were associated rules of etiquette, such as keeping off outside lights if you're not giving out candy and turning off the lights once you've run out. I found a list of rules to follow regarding trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, etc.

I'm still unsure of my personal stance regarding Halloween. I don't think I have to be celebrating per se, to go to the Main Avenue Mortuary in downtown Northport or that I am glorifying the conjuring of the dead to allow myself to be chased by zombies.  But I certainly look forward to taking my daughter to the yard of Tuscaloosa County Commissioner Bobby Miller.  Mr. Miller decorates his yard for EVERYTHING, often including interactive displays for children to enjoy.  I may even allow her to collect a few pieces of candy.  Woodland Forrest has always been a great area for trick-or-treaters. The roads are curvy and too hilly for speeders, and most of the streets are covered with families walking door to door.  Other good neighborhoods for trick-or-treating are Skyland Park and Sky Ranch in the Skyland area, the Manora Estates, Inverness, and Englewood, and Hinton Place areas off Highway 69 S, Lincoln Park, The Glens, and Country Club Hills in the West End, and Forest Lake in central Tuscaloosa. In addition, many businesses and government entities classify themselves as "safe havens" for trick-or-treaters.

What are your favorite places to trick-or-treat, and do any of these give you more candy than others?