Via the Instapundit
comes a WSJ article by Lenore Skenazy titled "'Stranger Danger' and the Decline of Halloween - No child has ever been killed by poisoned candy. Ever."
Think of how Halloween used to be the one day of the year when gaggles of kids took to the streets by themselves—at night even. Big fun! Low cost! But once the party moved inside, to keep kids safe from the nonexistent poisoners, in came all the nonsense. The battery-operated caskets. The hired witch. The Costco veggie trays and plastic everything else. Halloween went from hobo holiday to $6 billion extravaganza.
And it blazed the way for adult-supervised everything else. Let kids make their own fun? Not anymore! Let's sign our toddlers up for "movement" classes! Let's bring on the extracurricular activities, travel soccer and manicure parties for the older kids. Once Halloween got outsourced to adults, no kids-only activity was safe. Goodbye sandlot, hello batting coach!
I remember going trick or treating as a kid without the parents coming around. And this was well before I turned 13. The biggest worry my parents had was that we'd stay warm enough!