- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 1, 2001

Halloween merriment was more subdued in the area this year, but the trick-or-treaters and costumed characters who ventured into the night said they were undaunted by anthrax threats or terrorist hoaxes.
In University Park, the ghosts and goblins were on display, but residents who walked along the neighborhood's tree-lined streets weren't scared. They said this Halloween is no different from any other.
In the twilight, the Moore family put the finishing touches on their Halloween display. David Moore pounded a gravestone into the ground while his wife, Jennifer, carved one of their four pumpkins.
"We're all kind of looking forward to doing something family- and kid-oriented," Mrs. Moore said. "We always have fun with this holiday."
Their daughters, Emily, 10, and Abby, 7, weren't in costume yet, but the faded whiskers from Abby's leopard outfit were still discernible from her day in school. Emily planned to dress as Scarlett O'Hara.
Along with a few skeletons, several jungle animals and a dancer, many costumes struck a patriotic theme. Katie Ashcraft, 11, dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
"Since the things that have been happening, I kind of felt doing something patriotic would be fun to do," she said.
Kyle Moore, 6, chose to dress as Superman. A blue fleece vest covered the "S" on his chest, but his cape hung out over his collar.
"I just like him," Kyle said.
His mother, Judy Spears, waited behind him on the sidewalk.
"We're just doing the same thing we always do," she said.
In front of many of the single-family houses, decorative scarecrows and cobwebs were juxtaposed with patriotic symbols.
"It's permanent now," said Eleanor Kerr of the American flag on her front porch, obstructed but not hidden by the cobwebs.
By 6 p.m., trick-or-treaters dotted the streets of residential neighborhoods in Silver Spring, almost invariably accompanied by their parents.
In one case, three generations of family members walked down the street together, dressed in fairy wings and witches' hats. While grandmother Peg Downey said it is a tradition with her family to go trick-or-treating together, some other parents said they were being extra cautious this year in deciding to accompany their children themselves. Others said they were only going to the homes of people they knew.
"We will not go past our block this year," said Frances Campbell who was with her brother, Wellington Martin, and her three children. For her daughter, Leandra, 5, this was the first year trick-or-treating, and she said she picked out her Pink Panther outfit herself. "I love the candy," she said, adding that her favorites were the Dots.
But she would have to wait to enjoy it until she got home: Mrs. Campbell had given her children strict orders that they could eat the candy only after she had had a chance to look it over.
"This is not a neighborhood where someone will slip anthrax into a child's candy," said Charles Magnetti, who was out near Franklin Avenue with his wife, Carol, and son, Lorenzo, 3, who was dressed as a dragon.
Carol Berry of Gaithersburg and the bevy of children with her, which included several spacemen, estimated that there were probably about a third of the trick-or-treaters they normally see out.
Sarah Semple, 7, a second-grader at Fields Road Elementary and her friend trick or treated with UNICEF boxes.
"School gave it to us, and I really want to help the kids who need clothes, food, toys and medicine," Sarah said.
It was a subdued Halloween at Westfield Shoppingtown in Wheaton. An e-mail warning earlier this month told people to stay away from shopping malls on Halloween because they were terrorist targets.
"We did initially say, 'Maybe we shouldn't do anything at all,'" said John Leslie III, who brought his 21/2-year-old son, John Leslie IV. Young John was dressed as a pumpkin, and it was his first trick-or-treating experience.
Mr. Leslie said the FBI's announcement that the e-mail was a hoax put his fears to rest.
At the Mall in Columbia, General Manager Karen Geary said it canceled trick or treating at the request of the Howard County Police Department.
But many of the hundred or so children who showed up in costume had not gotten the word and walked around with empty bags.
"It's very disappointing." Elaida Anson said. Mrs. Anson was there with her two grandchildren, Kyle Bowen, 3, and Isabel Bowen, 1. The children were dressed as matching ladybugs.
"Last year, every single store gave out candy," Mrs. Anson said.
Mall management arranged a program of magic tricks, balloon art and face painting, and gave children who attended pencils, stuffed animals and store gift certificates.
In Georgetown, there was a heavy police presence and some fire trucks, but far fewer people than in past years.
Samera Sayed, owner of Afghan Kabob on M Street, said there were only five persons in her restaurant.
"It's very quiet down here tonight," she said, referring to costumes as well as customers. "We've lost so many customers since the tragedy."

Vaishali Honawar, Margie Hyslop, Donna DeMarco and Tim Lemke contributed to this article.


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