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From the Huntington Advertiser of Huntington, WV, comes this letter from “a tax payer” regarding Halloween, dated October 31, 1899:


The observance of the evening of October 31st, in Huntington, seems to have sadly deteriorated, or at least is very different from that in the balance of the world. The old time pleasantness and superstitions connected with “Hallow eve,” are lost sight of here, and in their stead are introduced drunkenness and vandalism. The night is made hideous. Women and children terrorized, property wantonly destroyed and life endangered. The night is looked forward to with dread. Now this is all wrong, and some vigorous measures should be taken to protect citizens and taxpayers from the outrages committed on this night in the past few years. Let the city give us the protection we are entitled to. Put on a special police force sufficiently strong for the purpose. $150 or $200 had better be thus invested than to have this much or more property maliciously destroyed and life made miserable besides. Nay, more than this may be averted. A man’s house is his castle, and if the authorities are inadequate to protect him, and he is subjected to the outrages heretofore perpetrated, he may be forced to protect himself, and some serious tragedy result, which under the circumstances the law can only justify. It is to be hoped the authorities will take action in the matter, and lawless individuals take warning in time.


Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 31 October 1899.