Real Life Out-Spooks Supernatural this Halloween

Witches, goblins and ghosts used to be standard Halloween costumes. But some schools and communities have banned such so-called pagan symbolism. So, on the eve of Halloween, we offer some alternatives ripped from the headlines.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Tomorrow is Halloween, and all over the country, there are all sorts of new restrictions and new twists. A suburban Long Island high school banned Halloween costumes altogether because last year, some girls dressed as Captain Underpants - your children would understand or your grandchildren.

Schools in New Jersey and New York say children should leave fake pitchforks, guns, swords and other toy weapons at home because they send the wrong message. Some schools have banned pagan symbolism - no witches, warlocks or skeletons. A contest to the school in Contra Costa California rewards the best ecologically themed costume.

Halloween is supposed to be haunting. So here's a way to keep things scary. Find up-to-date fears to monger in the Halloween marketplace.

(Soundbite of doorbell)

Unidentified Man #1: Trick or treat. I have something for you. For three years, I make you completely happy, then the interest rate resets.

(Soundbite of doorbell)

Unidentified Man #2: Site survey, I'm with Blackwater. We're driving a convoy through your neighborhood tomorrow.

(Soundbite of doorbell)

Unidentified Woman: Trick or treat. We're selling cheap toys. They're made in China.

(Soundbite of doorbell)

Unidentified Man #3: I'm here to fix your cable or at least I'll try to.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Well, maybe those, especially that last one, are just too scary.

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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