In our neighborhood, in the town of Wauwatosa, WI, trick-or-treating was initially scheduled for October 27th. Inclement weather called for a reschedule, so it ended up being on Halloween night, which as you know was a Thursday this year. Weather again caused a cancellation, but finally, the night after Halloween, trick-or-treating was held.
It was a fun evening! The kids came out in droves; there were kids in scary costumes like witches, vampires, and creepy clowns, while others had on any number of pop culture-influenced costumes, my favorite of which was a shockingly accurate Endgame-style Iron Man Mark LXXXV Suit.
It was from 4-7pm, which was perfect, because at about 6:50, we gave the last piece of Halloween candy in our home out to an adorable little Mulan.
Now, around here, a few stragglers are to be expected. Kids whose parents weren’t available during the official time, kids who for whatever reason couldn’t make it; whatever the case may be, it’s not unusual to get your doorbell rang a few times over the next day or two.
On Saturday, though, starting at about 4:10pm, our doorbell was ringing just as much as it was the night before. For the first few kids, we were forced to turn them away because we didn’t have any candy. My wife went to the store and picked some up, and we went through another round of trick-or-treating.
We assumed that people might have gotten their dates mixed up, with the reschedule throwing things off. We assumed that was the end of it.
Then Sunday came. I started noticing that the kids coming to our door were the same ones as the previous nights, sometimes in the same groups, other times solo or with different companions. When the Mark LXXXV Suit kid came through for the third time, I looked around, and at that moment I realized that there were substantially more children on the street than guardians. Generally speaking, there are 3 to 4 kids for every supervising adult. Now, there were at least 8-10 kids for every adult.
I kept an eye out the window, waiting for another adult to come by. When one finally did, I stepped outside before the kids got to the doorstep. I recognized the man as Mike, a guy who lived three blocks over, and I only recognized him because I had spoken to him before about the seemingly rotating door of classic cars he has parked in his driveway.
His hair was unkempt, his skin pale. His clothes were disheveled, and he had what I can only assume was a small sliver of dried blood under his nose.
“Hey man…you alright?” I asked him.
Mike seemed to quickly look behind me then very subtly nodded his head before turning away.
I looked behind me, and found a Spider-Man, an Elsa, and two pirates staring up at me.
“You kids…you can go up to the door…we have…candy…for you…”
The kids didn’t move.
I looked back towards Mike, who quickly glanced at the kids and then just as subtly shook his head from side to side.
I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I knew something wasn’t right. I turned back to the kids.
“You guys want some candy?” I said in my most chipper tone while walking back to the door. “Your costumes are great.”
I quickly got inside, shoved candy into the kids’ various receptacles, and closed and locked the door.
“What’s wrong?” Kimmy asked me, reading the very obvious look on my face.
“I don’t know…you know Mike from 109th? Something is going on.”
“DId he say why all the kids are out…again?
“No…he didn’t say anything at all. He looked fucking terrified. And those weird ass little kids were–”
Our conversation was cut short by our doorbell ringing again.
I supplied a Captain America and a non-licensed ghost with a Fun Size Snickers and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup each and sent them on their way.
“You should call the library [where we live, the library doubles as City Hall] and see what’s going on.” I said to Kimmy.
“It’s Saturday, won’t be open until Monday.”
“Fuck, that’s right.”
I looked out the window. To both sides there were kids walking, some towards our house, others away. The rest of the night went without incident, and we hoped against hope that that was the end of it.
Then at 4:07pm yesterday, the doorbell rang.
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.” I said as I got up from the couch; Kimmy stayed seated. “Do these little assholes think we work at Hershey’s?”
I opened our front door and found Rey from the new Star Wars Trilogy, Aladdin, and who I’m pretty sure was the same ghost as the aforementioned incident standing there with their bags held out in front of them, none of whom had the decency to say “trick or treat”.
“Look, kids, you look great, but we’re out of candy. You guys cleaned us all out!” I kept the annoyance out of my tone of voice and spoke in the typical “talking to a kid” tone of voice.
The kids just stood there with their bags held out, not saying a word. I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there in silence as well. It felt like an eternity before any of them moved, with the Aladdin finally breaking the tense standoff, slightly shaking his bag, as if he were annoyed I hadn’t put anything in it yet.
“Dude, I just told we don’t have any candy. Why are you even trick-or-treating still?” if you can’t tell, I’m not the best with kids.
They just kept standing there, staring at me.
“I’m gonna close my door now…go…get candy from the next house.” I said as I shut my door.
I turned to walk back to the couch when a loud THUD shook the picture frames we have near our front door. Another THUD sent one of them sliding to the ground, shattering. I stomped back to the door and flung it open.
“Are you fucking kidding me, you little pieces of shit?!” In the closet next to the front door, we had some leftover candy; I just hadn’t anticipated needing to use it to fend off an attack. I took a handful, pushed the screen door farther open than the kids had it, and threw the candy out onto our front yard. “Go get it, you fuckin’ scavengers, and stay away from our house.”
I slammed our door and turned back towards Kimmy, who was already calling the police. Enough was enough. It was strange enough that all these kids were still out trick-or-treating, but now they were starting to damage the property of people who wouldn’t comply.
“Hi, we live over on Congress, um…and there’s kids–yeah…okay….so, what? Okay I get that, but what are you doing about it? Well now the kids are–hello? Hello?” she took the phone from her ear. “What the fuck?”
“What did they say?”
“That they’ve gotten a bunch of calls about it and are looking into it. Then she hung up.”
“Jesus. Well, we really are almost out of candy. If it’s between buying another bag of candy until this shit is taken care of and having these little bastards fuck our house up, I’m gonna go get some.”
“Will you wait until 7?” Kimmy asked. I then realized that the kids were only trick-or-treating between the officially sanctioned hours, if not the officially sanctioned days.
“Yeah, of course. Wait, why don’t you just come with me?”
“Well, what if today is the day they don’t stop at 7? I know Walgreens is only like 2 minutes away, but I don’t want to come home to find all our windows smashed. I’ll give them candy if I absolutely have to.”
“Should we just leave a bowl on the porch?” I suggested.
“What if a kid comes by and just empties it into his bag?”
A fair point.
7pm rolled around and a few minutes after that I was pulling out of our driveway. As I drove, I noticed kids still walking around, but assumed they were heading home for the night and prayed that Kimmy hadn’t been right about that night being the night they ignored the set times. I went to Walgreens and picked up a few more bags of candy. On the way back, I decided to swing by Mike’s house on 109th, and on the off-chance he was outside, I planned to ask him what the hell was going on.
I turned onto 109th, and the first thing I noticed was the house that had arguably the best Halloween decorations in the neighborhood. Two large inflatable ghouls now sat deflated on their front lawn, with the rest of their decorations similarly messily strewn about.
As I neared Mike’s house, I noticed two houses with their doors open, one of which had a similarly disheveled lawn in addition to a broken front window.
Mike’s house finally came into view, and I immediately noticed the broken windows on his 1967 Cutlass. I pulled up and quickly got out of my car. I walked around the Cutlass and nearly tripped over something in the driveway. That something was Mike’s body, whose skull had been caved in.
I immediately returned to my car and floored it to my home, passing retreating trick-or-treaters who all stood in place and turned their heads to watch as I sped by them. I made my way to 106th, and noticed on our block too that three houses had been similarly vandalized, all of them with their doors left wide open.
As I drove, I called 9-1-1.
“9-1-1, what is your location?” the operator answered.
“There’s a–a body on–I’m on 109th–I was driving on 109th, by Congress, and there’s a body in a driveway.” I just barely managed to get out.
“Yes, sir, we’ve gotten calls about that in the recent hours, we have a unit on the way.”
I was bewildered.
“Wha…what the fuck do you mean ‘in the recent hours’? You’ve known about this for hours and nobody’s here yet?”
The operator didn’t respond right away.
“HELLO?!” I yelled into my phone
“Sir…” the operator whispered. “Just…get to your house and lock your doors. We’re working on it.”
“What the fuck is going on?!”
“Please…sir…just get to your house and lock your doors. Go in your basement. Use the time you have before they come back tomorrow. Please. I’m sorry.”
The call ended at the same time I pulled into our garage. I hurried inside, locking every door behind me as I did.
“KIMMY?!” I yelled out.
She rushed into the kitchen to meet me and wrapped her arms around me, sobbing into my shoulder.
“What, what, what happened?” I asked, inspecting her for any sign of injury.
“They…Kevin and Carol…” she said between sobs.
Kevin and Carol were our neighbors across the street, a kind couple that had a big party every year, to which the entire neighborhood was encouraged to attend.
I ran to our living room and looked out the window. I had been so focused on getting home to make sure my wife was okay that I hadn’t noticed what was going on just across the street. Carol laid halfway in and halfway out of their front door, her face on the pavement. Kevin, a large man, was slumped against the large tree in their front yard, with, from what I could tell from across the street, a pitchfork decoration with the handle shoved down his throat and into his stomach.
“Jesus Christ, was it the kids?” I asked, maybe somewhat rhetorically.
Kimmy nodded in the affirmative.
“Mike too…he’s dead in his driveway.”
“What the fuck is happening?” my wife was doing her best to maintain composure, and I wasn’t far behind her.
“We need to leave.” I said. “Grab some shit, we’ll go to your parents.”
Kimmy normally takes an absurdly long time to get ready for something, but it didn’t take longer than 30 seconds for us to get out to the garage. We got in the car, turned it on, and I pressed the garage door opener. As the door opened, so too came into view three children, a princess, the Flash, and a firefighter, who ducked under the door before it had opened fully.
Two of the kids brandished knives and punctured the back tires of our car, then made their way over to our other vehicle and did the same. Then, as if it were a completely normal thing to do, they put the knives away and held up their candy bags.
“What…the fuck…” Kimmy cried, and I was in too much shock to move.
I finally snapped out of it and opened my door slowly.
“C–Candy? You want candy?” I said.
The kids just stood there with their bags held open.
“K–Kimmy, come on. K-Kids…you wanna go around to the front, I’ll meet you there with some candy?” I talked as I slowly walked around the car and took Kimmy in my arms, but the kids didn’t want to meet us around front.
They followed as I opened our door. We walked backwards into our breezeway, the kids following closely with their bags held out. They followed us through our kitchen and into the living room, where I put two pieces of candy into each of their bags. After I’d done so, the kids closed their bags, at which point I opened our front door, and the children went on their way.
Kimmy and I breathed a sigh of relief, a small victory that was quickly overshadowed by the realization of a greater loss: our means of escape. With a gauntlet of murderous children between us and freedom, we tried to think of alternatives. Anyone who lived nearby wasn’t answering their phone, so Kimmy thought of what might serve as something of an alternative to escape.
I had bought a deadbolt for our front door a few months ago, but never installed it. My wife suggested we use it on the basement door. It took some time, and I had to provide some more kids with candy, but I got it done.
By the time I was finished, it was late. Our porch light was on, and as I was grabbing the last of the supplies we intended to take to the basement, a shadow danced on our living room wall.
Knock knock knock
I opened the door and found a kid that was maybe 9 years old, by himself. He didn’t seem to be wearing a proper costume, but rather he was in dirty clothes that had been sprayed with blood. The look in his eyes can only be described as void of any life. He had a thousand-yard stare and his eyelids hung heavily.
The boy held out a pillowcase that was about ¼ full of candy.
I reached into the bowl next to the door, keeping my eyes on him as I did. I dropped a Mini Kit Kat and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the pillowcase and waited for him to turn around and walk away, but he didn’t. He just continued standing there with his arms and the pillowcase held out.
I reached back to the bowl of candy and gave him two more pieces. Again, he didn’t budge an inch.
“I…uh…I gotta make sure there’s enough for other…for other kids.” I tried to explain in a shaky voice. “It wouldn’t be fair to them if I…you know, if I gave all the candy..to you.”
The kid finally moved, taking a step back. I kept a close eye on him as he walked backwards across our yard. Just as he reached the curb, I heard a scream from nearby. Two houses down, I saw a woman taken down by children in the middle of the street. The boy I’d just given candy to whipped his head around, then pulled a hammer from the back of his waistband and sprinted towards the woman, where he joined the group of kids in beating her to death.
I yelled for Kimmy to get downstairs as I went around and made sure all the doors and windows (for whatever that was worth) around the house were locked. Kimmy had called 9-1-1 several times, but each time got dismissive answers, and it’s gotten to the point now that 9-1-1 isn’t even answering anymore.
We’ve been in our basement since about 2am. In that time, our power has been cut, and we’ve heard numerous windows in our house be shattered, amongst other things. They’ve tried to get into the basement, but so far, the deadbolt has held; we’re just lucky we have a solid basement door.
If you can, please call anyone, call the news in your area. We called ours, but got no response. Please, help us. If you have ideas on what could get someone, ANYONE down here to help us, please do. Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.