Should Kids Say Thank You When Trick or Treating?


Teaching kids to say thank you for Halloween treats (Available from Zazzle:

Halloween excites children. They have a marvelous time in their costumes while hurrying from house to house trying to fill their bag with candy. In the excitement and the rush of the trick or treating, is it realistic to expect them to say “thanks for the candy?”

Some little ones are tongue-tied when the door opens and they just hold up their bag expectantly. Other, bigger kids might grab a handful of candy if you hold the bowl out to them.

The people giving the candy have fun seeing all the costumes and enjoying the children coming to their door. I used to encourage children on my doorstep to at least say “trick or treat,” when I handed out the candy. You can also remind them after they have the candy in their bag. “What do you say?” They will toss a rote, “thank you,” as they jostle their way down the steps.

When I asked friends if children should say Thank You for Halloween treats, they answered:

  • Yes, they should, and hopefully, their parents are around to remind them. But, some children aren’t capable. My daughter did not talk until she was about 6 years old, and I know kids much older who cannot talk. So, you never know! You can’t really assume they are being rude. They might have autism or another developmental issue. (Frischy)
  • Absolutely……we as parents take them trick-or-treating at an early age, and if we teach them to always say thank you, then hopefully it sticks when they are bigger and venture out on their own. (Kathy M.)
  • We were taught to say “thank you” when we were kids and even though my daughter is considered nonverbal, I prompt her to say “trick or treat” and “thank you.” It’s OK if younger kids don’t, but I don’t like to see older children who can’t say thank you or anything. And years ago, we used to talk to them when we gave out candy, commenting on their costumes, etc. Nowadays, it seems they are gone in a flash with no time for a word, much less two: thank you. (A.J.T.)
Teach children to say

Teach children to say “thank you” when trick or treating (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

(Originally published on Bubblews by Virginia Allain)

Haunted House in Chelsea, Kansas

manka house card
The old farmhouse in Kansas where the mysterious footsteps were heard night after night. (photo provided by Monte Manka)

Spooky Memories of a Kansas Farmhouse

Do you have memories of something that frightened you as a child? Maybe footsteps on the stairs after you’ve gone to bed? I’m intrigued by octogenarian Monte Manka who taps into his childhood memories from the 1930s for his poems. He grew up in Chelsea, Kansas in the same county where Gail Martin lived later in life. Chelsea is gone now, hidden under the water of the El Dorado Reservoir.

Here’s his account of something that really scared him as a child. The house his family lived in showed signs of being haunted. I’ve also added some memories his younger sister had of that same house. The house is gone now, so was it really haunted or ???

Read his poem describing the spooky events and also the other evidence presented. See what you think.

As for me, I’m sure glad I didn’t have to climb those stairs each night and lie awake listening to the strange sounds.

Who or What Made the Footsteps on the Stairs Late at Night?

haunted manka meme

Those “Spooky” Farmhouse Stairs

A poem by an octogenarian, Monte Manka about his childhood memories

The stairway in that farmhouse

That led up to the second floor

Meant a way to reach my bedroom

Nothing more.

Newel posts, balusters, banisters

Landing, risers, and treads

I used them daily

When heading for my upstairs bed.

As I grew older

I often wondered who

Engineered this marvel

Such beautiful workmanship, too.

That old railing and Newel Post

Were well hand-worn

Solid walnut wood

Built long before I was born.

If I wanted a midnight snack

Down these stairs, I could not sneak

The pressure on each riser

Let out a telltale squeak.

Many times

As I lay in bed

I pulled the covers

Tight over my head

Because in the stillness of the night

That old stairway would creak

From the bottom step to the top

You’d be scared to speak.

Besides, there was no such thing

As Goblins and Ghosts

Looking to do me harm, I said to myself

As those creaky sounds grew close.

I kept telling myself

While shivering in my bed

I was afraid to fall asleep

Afraid I’d wake up dead.

Thank goodness for that Sandman

He saved my life many a night

By putting me to sleep

And keeping me free from fright.

Mrs manka and farm house

Photos of the farmhouse and of Monte’s mother (in the light colored dress). Photos provided by Monte.

An Odd Incident

Remembered by Monte Manka

One night while we were sitting by the pot-bellied stove in the living room, keeping warm, suddenly a muffled noise and the house began to fill with smoke.

Dad finally got it under control. One of the bricks was missing on the chimney on the top and that brick fell down the chimney and clogged up the draft. Dad and the hired man had to take the stovepipe apart and remove the brick and all was well–

Funny no wind that night, no earthquake ????????????? Monte

old stove

A drawing by Karen Martin showing the black wood stove similar to one in the Manka house.

Another Person’s Experience in That House – Monte’s Sister

“Something came up those stairs every night at precisely the same time, around 10:00 or 10:30 I don’t remember which. The footsteps were clear and distinct from the bottom of the stairs to the top.

I am not the only one in the family that heard that either. Ray commented on that very thing. I thought it was just a kid thing and now I know that it wasn’t.

There were other things that went on in that house as well. That house was a haunted house when I was living in it.

Cordially, Carol”

Another Haunted Place in Kansas

Learn about another haunted place in Kansas – YouTube video.

The Manka House Eventually Burned to the Ground


fire destroyed wayne manka farm house

The Wayne Manka farmhouse after the fire.

In His 90s Now, Monte Manka Lives in Retirement on the West Coast

Monte Manka

Last Minute Costume – Be a Gypsy

Finding the Perfect Gypsy Costume

InCharacter Costumes Women's Fortune Teller CostumeInCharacter Costumes Women’s Fortune Teller CostumeView Details

It’s been years since I dressed up for Halloween. That’s why I wanted to find the perfect costume. Nothing too skimpy, but I wanted it to be a bit flirtatious.

A gypsy costume appealed to me as I have fond memories of dressing in Mom’s ruffled skirt and decking myself out in her costume jewelry. My mother, Gail Lee Martin, put her creative flair into creating great Halloween costumes for her children each year. It’s something you can assemble yourself if you have a full skirt in your closet and lots of jewelry. You can also buy one if you aren’t feeling creative.

Being a gypsy for Halloween was popular in my childhood as you could assemble the outfit from things you had around the house. Add some of Mom’s red lipstick and some rouge and I felt I was the most glamorous gypsy ever.

Here I am with my best friend, a pair of gypsies ready to go trick-or-treating.

Here I am with my best friend, a pair of gypsies ready to go trick-or-treating. Virginia Martin on the left and my friend, also named Virginia. We both attended IXL School in Arkansas City, KS back in the 1950s.

Now I could be a grown-up gypsy with real gold bangles and a sexy off-the-shoulder blouse. I could even get a crystal ball and entertain all my friends by telling their fortune.

This costume filled the bill with the colorful layers just like a real gypsy would have. Since I have super-short hair, I’m going to add a wig with long curly hair to arrange artfully cascading across my bare shoulders.

Quality: Many of the gypsy costumes available were too bare or too flimsy, obviously made of sleazy inexpensive fabric. This one gets raves from those who bought it. They say it’s a much higher quality than you usually get in a Halloween outfit. I can see from the picture that I’m going to really like it.

Finding the Right Wig

 To my mind, a gypsy ought to have luxurious, long curling dark hair. You can opt for auburn but I wouldn’t go with blonde. Black or brunette is best.

Gypsy Black Wig Hat Scarf Kerchief Gold Coins Costume Accessory Fortune TellerGypsy Black Wig Hat Scarf Kerchief Gold Coins Costume Accessory Fortune TellerView DetailsRockabilly Wig in Black - Adult Std.Rockabilly Wig in Black – Adult Std.View DetailsSmiffy's Women's Long Wavy Auburn Wig with Faux Skin Parting, One Size, Superstar Wig, 5020570422878Smiffy’s Women’s Long Wavy Auburn Wig with Faux Skin Parting, One Size, Superstar Wig, 5020570422878View DetailsREECHO 20REECHO 20View Details

The Accessories Complete the Look

When I was little, we raided Mom’s jewelry box for dangling earrings, gold chains and pearls and bangles for our wrists. Chances are you have some gold chains and pendants that you could combine to feel like a gypsy.

If you don’t have the right “gypsy look” jewelry on hand, take a look at what I’ve found. These are so fabulous that you’ll keep them for wearing with other outfits through the year.

I searched Amazon for jewelry for belly dancers, gypsies, fortune tellers and these were my favorites.

Vintage Engraved Coin Bib Necklace (Antique Gold)Vintage Engraved Coin Bib Necklace (Antique Gold)View DetailsMystic Fortune Teller Dangling Gypsy Costume NecklaceMystic Fortune Teller Dangling Gypsy Costume NecklaceView DetailsGypsy Coin Necklace Costume AccessoryGypsy Coin Necklace Costume AccessoryView Details

Shoes or Boots?: I haven’t decided on the footwear to go with it yet. This one shows it with boots, but I’m thinking slim slippers like dancers wear or sandals that lace up the leg might work for me.

Madden Women's Toe Ring SandalMadden Women’s Toe Ring SandalView DetailsWomen's Pom Pom Gypsy Lace Up Strappy Flat SandalsWomen’s Pom Pom Gypsy Lace Up Strappy Flat SandalsView DetailsFuntasma Women's Gypsy Ankle-Strap Sandal,GoldFuntasma Women’s Gypsy Ankle-Strap Sandal,GoldView DetailsBoho Coin Rhinestone Gypsy Boot Bracelet Bling Chain Artisan Personalized Jewelry Handmade in USABoho Coin Rhinestone Gypsy Boot Bracelet Bling Chain Artisan Personalized Jewelry Handmade in USAView DetailsMinishion Women's Dance ShoesMinishion Women’s Dance ShoesView Details

Gypsy costumes have been popular for generations. My mother had a photo from 1930 that showed her parents, Clarence and Ruth McGhee, in their homemade gypsy costumes. Ruth was a good seamstress and likely she sewed these up on her Singer sewing machine.

They wore their costumes to a Halloween party in Teterville, Kansas.

Mother and Daddy The Gypsies

My grandparents, Ruth and Clarence McGhee, dressed as gypsies for a community Halloween event.

Halloween in the Good Old Days

Back in the 1920s and 1930s when Gail Lee McGhee was growing up, Halloween was celebrated in a simpler way than today. Since she lived in an oil field camp in the Flint Hills of Kansas, there was no door-to-door trick or treating. A community Halloween party was held at the Teterville School with adults and children wearing costumes.

Gail wrote about her clown costume that her mother made for her and her sister and about the fright she had when she saw her mother and father in gypsy costumes. The party games included bobbing for apples. You can read her story of that 1930 Halloween on the Our Echo website.

Bats and Girl Halloween CardBats and Girl Halloween CardView DetailsVintage Little Witch and Black Cat Halloween CardVintage Little Witch and Black Cat Halloween CardView DetailsGhost Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Child PostcardGhost Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Child PostcardView DetailsJack O Lantern Pumpkin Ghost Child PostcardJack O Lantern Pumpkin Ghost Child PostcardView DetailsHalloween Retro Vintage Children's Costume Party PostcardHalloween Retro Vintage Children’s Costume Party PostcardView Details

Decorations from the time included carved pumpkins and black cats. There was none of the zombies and gory costumes that are seen today.

Retro Black Cats Can Be Scary or Cute

Many people collect vintage Halloween items. They make great decorations for a Halloween party or for the Halloween season. They show up on eBay and if you’re the lucky bidder, you can decorate with Halloween cats too.

The designs have been reproduced on tote bags and t-shirts as well. I’ve collected a sampling of the best here for your review.

Vintage Halloween CardVintage Halloween CardView DetailsHalloween Greetings Card Cat with PumpkinHalloween Greetings Card Cat with PumpkinView DetailsSalem Witch & Black Cat CardSalem Witch & Black Cat CardView DetailsBoy Wizard Halloween Costume CardBoy Wizard Halloween Costume CardView DetailsMoon and Girl in Halloween Costume CardMoon and Girl in Halloween Costume CardView DetailsA Jolly Halloween, CardA Jolly Halloween, CardView DetailsOld Paper Invitation PumpkinOld Paper Invitation PumpkinView Details

A Collector’s Guide to Vintage Halloween Items

There are many Halloween collectibles dating back to the early days of the 1900s. Besides black cats, I’m partial to the sturdy cardboard jack-o-lanterns. Once in awhile you’ll find some of these at an estate sale or maybe in your grandmother’s attic. Check out the background on these and the value with these books.

Halloween Collectables : A Price GuideHalloween Collectables : A Price GuideView DetailsVintage Halloween Collectibles -Third EditionVintage Halloween Collectibles -Third EditionView DetailsHalloween in America: A Collector's Guide With Prices (Schiffer Book for Collectors)Halloween in America: A Collector’s Guide With Prices (Schiffer Book for Collectors)View DetailsTimeless Halloween Collectibles: 1920 to 1949, a Halloween Reference Book from the Beistle Company Archive with Price Guide (Schiffer Book for Collectors)Timeless Halloween Collectibles: 1920 to 1949, a Halloween Reference Book from the Beistle Company Archive with Price Guide (Schiffer Book for Collectors)View Details