Halloween happenings, plus safety tips from the Asheville Police Department

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Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids, but a worrisome one for parents. Here you’ll find safety tips from the Asheville Police Department that will help make Halloween a good night for all.

Plus a list of City-related Halloween events.


City Halloween happenings

Oct 25-26

Haunted Castle on the Hill, 7-10 p.m. at Stephens Lee Community Center, 30 George

Washington Carver Ave.

Oct 26

Howl-O-Ween, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, featuring educational animal programs, food vendors, and costume contests for kids (and kids at heart!).

Oct 31

Fall-O-Ween, 5-7:30 p.m. at Tempie Avery Montford Center, 34 Pearson Drive.

Trunk or Treat, 6-8 p.m. at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center, 121 Shiloh Road.

Halloween Night @ B Street, 6-8 p.m. at Burton Street Community Center, 134 Burton St.

Vermont Avenue Halloween, 5:30 to 9 p.m. in West Asheville. This is not a City event, however it is a permitted event by the City’s Outdoor Special Events Office. Vermont Avenue will be closed to facilitate a safe environment for children. Houses are decorated to the hilt!


Tips to make trick-or-treating trouble free


  • Create a map of a safe trick-or-treating route and set a time limit for your children to trick-or-treat.
  • Trick-or-treaters should always be in groups. Parents should accompany young children. Make sure older kids trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so you will know where they are going. Tell them to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
  • Children should know their parents’ full names, home phone number and/or cellphone numbers.
  • Try to get your kids to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight, add reflective tape to costumes and bags, and pick well-lit streets.
  • Never go into homes — stay on the porch or stoop when asking for treats.
  • Never go anywhere with strangers or get into strangers’ cars.
  • Look in all directions before crossing the street, and obey all traffic signals. Walk, never run, across the street, and use sidewalks, not the street, for walking.
  • Do not take shortcuts through backyards, alleys or parks.

Costume safety 

  • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective and not flammable; avoid lengthy costumes that could cause tripping.
  • Wear sneakers or comfortable shoes.
  • Use face paint (non-toxic, hypoallergenic) and avoid masks — especially if the eye holes obstruct vision.
  • Don’t wear floppy hats or wigs that slide over the eyes.
  • Avoid toy weapons, or use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid.
  • Stay away from pets. The pet may not recognize the trick-or-treater and become frightened.
  • Use reflective stripes to make costumes more visible.

Check all treats before eating

  • It’s hard for kids to hold back from eating their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while they’re still out is to feed them a meal or a snack beforehand.
  • Only eat unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. By all means, remind kids not to eat everything at once or they’ll be feeling pretty ghoulish for a while!
  • If in doubt, throw it out.

Adult Halloween safety

  • Motorists should drive slowly and be on the alert for excited youngsters.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Halloween is a great time for parties, but sometimes that means drinking. Do not get behind the wheel after BOO-zing!
  • Keep your driveway and porch lit whenever possible and clear your walkways of any tripping hazards for trick-or-treaters.
  • If you’re not planning on being home to hand out treats, turn off all exterior lights and consider leaving a sign on your door saying so.
  • If you host a Halloween party, don’t serve alcohol to minors. Also, make sure your guests have a plan to get home safely if they are drinking.
  • If you’re an adult chaperone for a trick-or-treating group, stay aware of each individual you are responsible for by doing a quick roll call between each stop.