As the leaves rustled, the children gathered back to their little white houses carrying pillowcases filled with the likes of Hershey’s Chocolate Bars, Tootsie Rolls, Pixie Sticks, Beechnut Gum and Bit-O-Honeys. It was finally time to rip off the dime store plastic masks and let the cool air dry the sweaty faces of the trick-or-treaters. Among the clamber of the excited children someone screamed, “There’s The Pumpkin Man!”
Standing in the moonlight was a small-framed person drapped in a black cape wearing tiny white gloves and big black shoes. His head was a glowing pumpkin. He gingerly approached the crowd shaking everyone’s hand while handing out the last round of candy for the evening, never speaking a single word. As the children continued trading candy — particularly the hard taffys wrapped in orange and black wrappers (what were those anyway?) — he disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared.
Who was this Pumpkin Man?
How did he get his head to light up without a cord showing?
Where did he live?
How did he find our houses?
These were all questions that the kids pondered throughout the year and many years to come. His identity was never known among the children. It still remains a mystery to some. Only later in life did I learn that he was a she. It still remains a mystery how she pulled it off.
Even now, I still believe in the magic of those Halloween nights and how SHE captivated us so. We love you Mary. Thank you for providing us a timeless Halloween tradition and such a wonderful childhood memory.