Part 3

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore

[OCT. 30, 2000]  Adults everywhere are carving pumpkins, hanging black bats and white ghosts from porch ceilings, and attending or hosting bashes where they serve ghoulish concoctions and compete in costume contests.

[click here for Part 1]

[click here for Part 2]

History of Halloween

There are several schools of thought on whether this annual celebration is a kind of demon worship or a harmless version of an ancient ritual. According to the American Folklife Center, Halloween began in Celtic Ireland as a festival celebrating dead spirits. The Celts divided the year by four major holidays, and the most significant holiday of the Celtic year was Samhain, meaning "summer’s end," on Oct. 31. They believed spirits of the dead came back on this day to mingle with the living. The people would extinguish the fires in their homes, dress up in ghoulish costumes and noisily parade around town to frighten away the spirits. People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits and vegetables and lit bonfires in honor of the dead to help them on their journey and keep them away from the living.


The Celtic belief in supernatural creatures persisted, and it was thought the souls of the dead were hanging around with fairies, witches and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left to placate them, and as centuries passed, people began dressing like the creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This practice, called mumming, is where trick-or-treating began. To this day, witches, ghosts and skeleton figures of the dead are among favorite costumes.

Another theory is that trick-or-treating had its beginnings in All Souls Day, a Nov. 2 event, when people would walk to area villages and beg for soul cakes, made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more cakes they received, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of those feeding them. It was believed the dead remained in limbo after death, and prayer could expedite a soul’s passage to heaven. All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows, continued the ancient Celtic traditions. The event later became known as Hallow Evening, then Hallowe’en, an ancient Celtic, pre-Christian New Year’s Day in contemporary costume.


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The theory that Halloween was introduced in America in the 1840s by Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine is similar to other theories that credits the holiday to immigrants from many countries. By the late 1800s, more than seven million people came to settle in America, each bringing harvest traditions. But it was in the Victorian era that celebrating the holiday became a social event for adults, who threw parties, wore costumes and played games.

On Hallows Eve, windows were soaped and outhouses were turned over. This eventually got out of hand, so activities were organized to keep children harmlessly occupied. The Boy Scouts of America helped institute Trick or Treat night in America, and by the 1930s it was a tradition.

Pumpkins have always helped herald in autumn, and the tradition of carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is also rich in history. The Celts carved turnips into lanterns to ward off evil spirits on All Hallows Eve, and the custom was brought to America by Irish immigrants who chose pumpkins because they were easier to obtain and carve.


Besides jack-o’-lanterns, nearly all of the Halloween traditions can be traced to the Celtic day of the dead. Each mysterious custom associated with the holiday has its own history. Even though the focus on spirits, death and serious issues once associated with the holiday has been softened and watered down since the early beginnings, Halloween continues to be a celebration.

So, during the time between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, why not dispel the myth that trick-or-treating, wearing costumes and watching an eerie Vincent Price movie is only for the youth of America. Throw a party, decorate your home and bake up a batch of monster-breath brownies — you may discover what all the gorey fuss is about.

[Penny Zimmerman-Wills]

Lincoln Ag Center
1441 State Route 10 East
Lincoln, IL

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Part 2

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore

[OCT. 28, 2000]  Adults everywhere are carving pumpkins, hanging black bats and white ghosts from porch ceilings, and attending or hosting bashes where they serve ghoulish concoctions and compete in costume contests.

[click here for Part 1]

The International Mass Retail Association predicts nearly all Americans will buy candy, wear costumes and decorate their homes with everything from glowing pumpkins, black cats and spider webs to mummies on the porch and witches on the roof. The association also claims one-fourth of the adult population will dress up — as everything from Elvira to their favorite political candidate — and go to a party to celebrate with friends.

Actually, Halloween wasn’t originally intended as a children’s holiday at all, but over the years has become synonymous with kids eating candy corn, taffy apples, asking strangers and neighbors for treats, and dressing up as the latest craze in cartoon characters. But for adults who enjoy this holiday dedicated to ghosts and goblins, it’s an excuse to dress up as a fantasy character, act like a child again, watch scary movies and go to parties.


Trends for Halloween 2000 include a strong resurgence towards the traditional, dark and macabre costumes, such as witches, vampires and the Grim Reaper. The decorating focuses on realism, with more fog machines and elaborate yard haunts, complete with graveyards and creepy music.

Halloween-based parties are definitely popular this year, and decorating experts offer many tips for transforming your humble abode into a den of horror for your party guests. Dim the lights and replace regular light bulbs with orange or black ones (available at specialty lighting shops) to cast an eerie glow. Carve a few jack-o’-lanterns with scary expressions and place around the patio and front porch. Cover couches and chairs with old white sheets, haunted-house style (guests will never know it’s a coy device to protect your furniture from pet hair). Then, decorate corners and doorways with faux spider webs. For a final touch, scrawl a scary message on your bathroom mirror with red lipstick.




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Of course, all those monsters at your party will be hungry, so serve bowls of blood-spattered popcorn (drizzle with melted butter mixed with a few drops of red food coloring), gummy worms, and pitchers of Bloody Marys and a blood-red punch with the frozen floating hand, of course. There are several websites, magazines and cookbooks which include wonderful recipes to get anyone in the spirit. Even though the dishes have names like spooky punch, spider muffins, wacky werewolves, baked monster eyes, and maggot and fire-ant pilaf, they are actually full of fall flavor, orange and black in color, and great to serve at a fun or elegant dinner party. Many recipes use ingredients of the season, including cranberries, pumpkins, pears, squash and apples in classic or unusual combinations. Pop a scary movie into the VCR to top it all off.


Other party ideas include making party bags filled with pumpkin spice candles, Halloween tattoos and small pumpkins for guests to take home. Party themes or activities may include a costume party with prizes awarded for most creative, scariest and most convincing; a pumpkin party with pumpkin carving or decorating contests; bobbing for apples; and the mummy wrap, where each team of three gets one roll of toilet paper, and the first to wrap the designed mummy wins. Pin the nose on the jack-o’-lantern is another version of pin the nose on the donkey. Everyone gets a turn to pin the nose on the jack-o’-lantern. They need to be blindfolded, and don't forget to spin them three times. The one who pins their nose the closest is the winner. A piñata is fun at any party and can be made from papier-mâché or purchased from a store. Fill it with lots of goodies and let your blindfolded guests take turns trying to break the piñata.

(To be continued. Monday's posting will be about the history of Halloween.)

[Penny Zimmerman-Wills]


[click here for Part 3]

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Part 1

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore

[OCT. 27, 2000]  Adults everywhere are carving pumpkins, hanging black bats and white ghosts from porch ceilings, and attending or hosting bashes where they serve ghoulish concoctions and compete in costume contests.

"Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"  —  Hambert Wolfe

"A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice."  

— Edgar Watson Howe, 1911

While Christmas still reigns as the king of holidays in terms of popularity and consumer spending, Halloween ranks in a respectable second place as a $5 billion industry, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). And while the holiday is most associated with children’s activities, it has been steadily gaining in popularity with adults. In fact, in recent years, sales of costumes for adults have outpaced costumes for kids.


"I really think it’s the whole pretend thing. You don’t have to be yourself. You can let loose and be whoever you want to be and dress the part," said Scott Schwendinger, manager of Johnnie Brock’s Dungeon at White Oaks Mall in Springfield. The Halloween store, a seasonal franchise based in St. Louis, Mo., has been doing good business since opening its doors in September, Schwendinger said. The store remains open until Oct. 31.


The NRF reports that more than half of U.S. employees are allowed to observe Halloween at work, and 39 percent say they wouldn’t think twice about spending the day as a vampire, witch or ghost while doing their daily tasks at work.


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The most popular-selling costumes being purchased by Springfield customers this year are traditional vampires, witches, Cleopatra, hippies, flappers and gangsters. A new line of costumes in plus-sizes, offered for the first time this year, are also a big hit. "It’s a new addition to the market, and it’s been well received. Usually, costumes are one size fits most, not all, so we’re really striving to break into that market," Schwendinger said. "Children are obviously the biggest part of our market, but we do carry a full line of costumes for adults, who are buying costumes sooner now. We’ve sold out a couple of vampire costumes already. We do have gorey stuff, but we have fun stuff too. We are very family-oriented."

If there’s any doubt adults have a fondness for all things spooky, just check out the Internet, which is loaded with websites posting everything from recipes, costumes and decorations to party ideas, ghost stories and many adult-oriented Halloween sources of the supernatural.

Even Martha Stewart is getting in the spirit. Her new holiday magazine arrived on bookstands just in time for Halloween and is filled with tips on decorating for a party, recipes for baked goods and other tips. The domestic goddess of decorating even graces the cover dressed as an evil witch.

(To be continued. Saturday's posting will include Halloween party ideas.)

[Penny Zimmerman-Wills]

A list of Halloween websites with information on everything from
history, costumes, recipes and all things spooky (for adults)

A list of popular scary movies to pop in the VCR at Halloween parties

"The Bride of Frankenstein"

"The Exorcist"

"Halloween Psycho"

"The Shining"

"The Haunting"

"The Tingler"

"The Blair Witch Project"


"Return of the Living Dead"

"Texas Chainsaw Massacre"


"Night of the Scarecrow"

"Pet Cemetery"

"The Mummy" - with Boris Karloff

"The Omen"

[click here for Part 2 of "Halloween isn't just for kids anymore"]

Think You're Pregnant?



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#5 Arcade Building, Lincoln

Claire's Needleworks
and Frame Shop
"We Frame It All"
On the square
in downtown Lincoln
M-F 10-5  Sat 10-4

Family Custom Cleaners
is now open at 621 Woodlawn.

5th Street Wash House has closed and will soon reopen at the new location.

Broadway Cleaners remains open during this time.

October is Energy Awareness Month

[OCT. 16-21, 2000]  As you know, winter is just around the corner. With gas prices going up, the colder months will surely have a bitter bite. Lincoln Junior Woman’s Club would like to help keep your costs down by giving you a few energy saving tips. Oct. 15 through 21 is Lincoln Junior Woman’s Club Week. Each day, an energy awareness tip will be posted. See below.

All energy information was provided by CILCO. If you would like more information on saving energy, visit CILCO at

Lincoln Junior Woman’s Club is a not-for-profit organization which was established in 1961. We are an affiliate of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs and the 17th District of the Illinois Federation of Woman’s Clubs. The I.F.W.C. is the largest and the oldest organization of volunteer women in Illinois, with 40,000 members throughout the state. Our club averages 50 members and was pleased to donate over $6,000 and thousands of volunteer hours to our community in the last year.

Tips to save energy

Install an insulating blanket to your hot water heater to improve energy efficiency.

Reduce the hot water temperature to 140 degrees or a warm setting.

Insulate hot water pipes and cold water pipes.

Use the energy-saving cycle on your dishwasher.

Use cooler wash temperatures and faster spin cycles for your clothes.

Dry at least two loads of clothes at a time to take advantage of the heat still in the dryer.

Hang clothes out on a clothesline on nice days.

Use a crockpot whenever you can.

When cooking on a stove, use the smallest pan necessary to get the job done.

Keep refrigerator doors closed and their magnetic seals intact.

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Don't leave computers on when not in use. The monitor generates heat, and you're wasting energy. 

Try to do dishwashing and laundry in the late evening well after the sun has gone down or in the early morning. The cost of generating electricity reduces after midnight through the early morning.

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Increase the amount of insulation in your attic. The higher the R-value of insulation, the less energy it will take to heat or cool.

Insulate your foundation walls. If your basement or crawl space is unheated, insulate your floor joists.

Make sure your windows have good seals and the window jams are tight. This will reduce air infiltration.

Inspect, repair or replace weather seal on doors to reduce air infiltration.

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Well-placed planting and foliage surrounding your house can add beauty and save your energy dollars.

Living in the country is becoming increasingly popular. As we move out of the cities into the less populated areas to enjoy the beauty of our environment, we should keep in mind that protecting our environment starts at home. Developing a microclimate around a rural home can add beauty in a more comfortable environment and big savings in the heating and cooling costs over time.

Windbreaks and shade are essential to cutting the costs of heating and cooling as well as providing longer life to the dwellings we live in. Windbreaks or "shelterbelt planting" can account for up to a 50 percent reduction in wind, which translates to a 20 to 40 percent reduction in heating costs. In calmer spots, wind barriers will reduce fuel use by 10 percent or more. Windbreaks should be placed at right angles to the prevailing winter winds. The windbreak should be longer than the area to be protected. Even a few well-placed trees can make a difference in your savings.

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Don't move your thermostat temperature up and down during the day; try to keep a consistent level of heating. Changing the thermostat temperature back and forth to extremes causes your heater to work harder, costing you more money.

You can purchase a programmable set-back thermostat to raise and lower the temperature automatically. Program it to lower the temperature after you leave for work and then raise the temperature about an hour before you arrive home. This works well in the summer when you're cooling, too.

If you're going to be out of town several days, lower your thermostat's cooling temperature. Remember not to jeopardize your pet's health while you are gone.

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Use screw-in-type compact fluorescent bulbs rather than ordinary incandescent household bulbs. You'll save between 75 and 80 percent on energy per socket. Also, compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 to13 times longer and operate cooler than incandescent bulbs.

Remember: When you permanently leave rooms in your house, turn the lights out and appliances off, including the television and radio.

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Animals for adoption


These animals and more are available to good homes from the Logan County Animal Control at 1515 N. Kickapoo, phone 735-3232.

Fees for animal adoption: dogs, $60/male, $65/female; cats, $35/male, $44/female. The fees include neutering and spaying.

Logan County Animal Control's hours of operation:

Sunday    closed

Monday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday    8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday  –  8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Saturday  –  closed

Warden: Sheila Farmer
Assistant:  Michelle Mote
In-house veterinarian:  Dr. Lester Thompson

Big to little, most these dogs will make wonderful lifelong companions when you take them home and provide solid, steady training, grooming and general care. Get educated about what you choose. If you give them the time and care they need, you will be rewarded with much more than you gave them. They are entertaining, fun, comforting, and will lift you up for days on end.

Be prepared to take the necessary time when you bring home a puppy, kitten, dog, cat or any other pet, and you will be blessed.

[Bandit is a happy little dog, playful and good with children.   This cute little 1-year-old pup/dog has had his shots. He doesn’t need much care in the way of grooming — the not-much-maintenance, lots-of-performance type.   He needs housebreaking.]

[Lady is a 3-year-old female, very sweet and good with kids.  She has her shots. Her former owners did not have time to spend with her.  They didn’t spend much time with her.  She is in need of house training. She would be a real looker with regular grooming.]

Think You're Pregnant?



(217) 735-4838

Free and Confidential:
Pregnancy Testing. Information and Counseling. Supportive Services.

#5 Arcade Building, Lincoln

Claire's Needleworks
and Frame Shop
"We Frame It All"
On the square
in downtown Lincoln
M-F 10-5  Sat 10-4

Family Custom Cleaners
is now open at 621 Woodlawn.

5th Street Wash House has closed and will soon reopen at the new location.

Broadway Cleaners remains open during this time.

[Claudia is a 2-year-old sheltie mix.
She is sweet and well-suited to a home with children.]

Ten reasons to adopt a shelter dog

 1.  I'll bring out your playful side!

 2.  I'll lend an ear to your troubles.

 3.   I'll keep you fit and trim.

 4.   We'll look out for each other.

 5.   We'll sniff out fun together!

 6.   I'll keep you right on schedule.

 7.   I'll love you with all my heart.

 8.   We'll have a tail-waggin' good time!

 9.   We'll snuggle on a quiet evening.

10.   We'll be best friends always.


[Orange male kitten 8 weeks old,
sweet as can be — what else could you want!]

[Just in, the lighter one of these two already has a home.  The darker kitten is hollerin’ about it!  Only about 4 weeks of age, this young male is forced to make his way in the world now.]

[Please adopt a playful yellow and white kitten, 
born about four months ago on a farm.]

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