Read about trick-or-treating, bobbing for apples and other fun activities on Halloween.

On October 31, dozens of children dressed in costumes knock on their neighbors’ doors and yell, “Trick or Treat” when the door opens. Pirates and princesses, ghosts and popular heroes of the day all hold bags open to catch the candy or other goodies that the neighbors drop in.  As they give each child a treat, the neighbors exclaim over the costumes and try to guess who is under the masks.

Today, school dances and neighborhood parties called “block parties” are popular among young and old alike.  More and more adults celebrate Halloween.  They dress up like historical or political figures and go to masquerade parties.  In larger cities, costumed children and their parents gather at shopping malls early in the evening.  Stores and businesses give parties, with games and treats for the children.

Teenagers enjoy costume dances at their schools, and the more outrageous the costume the better! Certain pranks such as soaping car windows and tipping over garbage cans are expected.  But partying and pranks are not the only things that Halloweeners enjoy doing.  Some collect money to buy food and medicine for needy children around the world.

At Halloween parties children play traditional games.  One of the most popular is called pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey:  One child is  blindfolded and spun slowly so that he or she will become dizzy. Then the child must find a paper donkey hanging on the wall and try to pin a tail onto the back.  Another game is bobbing for apples. One child at a time has to get apples from a tub of water without using hands!  How?  By sinking his or her face into the water and biting the apple!

At Halloween parties, people like to tell, and listen to, horror stories.  Usually somebody tells a story in a low voice and  everyone gathers together on the floor or around the fire. There are very many frightening stories to tell.  There are ghost stories. There are tales about witches, goblins or vampires.  Some of the tales are very old, and people in many countries know and tell them.  Usually children tell Halloween stories at night or in the dark because they want to frighten their friends to death.

Read the horror story and be ready to retell it.

Black Ribbon

Once there was a girl, and her name was Jenny.  There always was a black ribbon on her neck. In her class there was a boy, and his name was Alfred.  Alfred liked Jenny, and Jenny liked Alfred.  One day he asked her: “Why do you always have that ribbon?” “I cannot tell you,” said Jenny.

Years passed and Alfred and Jenny married. “Now can you tell me about the black ribbon?” asked Alfred. “Wait”, said Jenny. “I shall tell you when the right time comes”.

Many years passed.  Alfred and Jenny were old.  One day Jenny became very ill.  The doctor told her she was dying. “Alfred”, Jenny said. “Now I can tell you about the black ribbon.  Untie it, and you will see everything.  You will see why I could not tell you before”.  Alfred untied the black ribbon, and Jenny’s head fell off.

Fill in the missing vowels.

I scared some vowels away. Can you fill them in? Booooooooooooooo!

  1. H – ll – w – – n
  2. – ct – b – r
  3. j – ck – o’ l – nt – rn
  4. dr – ss up
  5. w – tch
  6. gh – st
  7. h – – nt – d
  8. d – rk
  9. g – bl – ns
  10. sc – ry
  11. h – – s –
  12. c – nd –
  13. tr – ck or tr – – t
  14. gl – – my
  15. m – nst – r
  16. ch – ldr – n

Witch Weigh / Which Way?

A homophone is a word that sounds exactly like another word but  has  a different spelling and / or a different meaning.  

Circle the correct homophone in each of the sentences below.

  1. (Eye, I) walked (by, buy) your house on my way home.
  2. The (witch, which) could (knot, not) stay on her broom.
  3.  I (one, won) the game with (to, two) homeruns.
  4. (Hour, Our) dog stepped on a (be, bee).
  5. Tom lost his (blew, blue) jacket in the (hi, high) grass.
  6. (We, Wee) should not (waist, waste) food.
  7. The (bare, bear) sat in the (we, wee) chair.
  8. Did you (see, sea) the race between the (hare, hair) and the (foul, fowl)?
  9. (Beet, beat) the eggs before you add the (flower, flour).
  10. I will (meat, meet) you in the (meet, meat) department.
  11. The tent (stake, steak) was wet with (dew, do).
  12. She forgot to (pour, poor) the milk before she (eight, ate).
  13. You’re, Your) usually (pail, pale) when you are sick.
  14. At the (fare, fair), I saw the dancing (bear, bare).
  15. (Its, It’s) impolite to (stair, stare).

Fill in the blanks with the words:

 iron, night, scare, pumpkin, horseshoes, roamed, porches, weapon, costumes, house, torches, cross, candle

In ancient times, people thought that ghosts, demons, and witches _____________ the earth on Halloween night.  People began dressing in terrifying _____________ to try to _____________ these evil spirits away. Fire was believed to be a good _____________ against witches, so some people carried lighted _____________ on Halloween _____________.  Others hollowed out a turnip or _____________, carved a scary face on it, placed a lighted _____________ inside and carried this jack-o’-lantern  around to scare away the witches and all other evil spirits.  Some people placed these jack-o’-lanterns on _____________ or windowsills to  frighten the spirits away from the _____________.  Although fire was considered to be the most trustworthy weapon  against witches, _____________ was also supposed to be good.  Iron  _____________ were carried or hung above doors. Other people relied on making  the sign of the _____________ to keep the evil spirits doorsteps from harming them.

Unscramble the words.   

  1. radk ________________
  2. lpsel ________________
  3. ctiwh  ________________
  4. orhror  ________________
  5. sacer  ________________
  6. soghts ________________
  7. ysopok ________________
  8. emutsoc ________________
  9. kpinpum ________________
  10. olewnleha ________________

Learn the poem

In the Dark Wood

In a dark, dark wood

There’s a dark, dark house.

And in the dark, dark house

There’s a dark, dark room.

And in the dark, dark room

There’s a dark, dark shelf.

And on that dark, dark shelf

There’s a dark, dark box.

And in that dark, dark box

There’s a GHOST!