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Happy Haunting

Spooky tips for a safe and scary Halloween

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm When you’re out trick or treating through the city tonight you may come across this spooky graveyard.

Pennywise is the title character in Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel It. The character is an ancient cosmic evil who preys upon the children of Derry, Maine, roughly every 27 years, using a variety of powers that include the ability to shapeshift, manipulate, and go unnoticed by adults.

Tonight is the one night that Pennywise may knock on your door and you probably won’t need to panic.

Trick or Treat is tonight in the City of Warren, and most neighboring municipalities, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is also an indoor Trunk or Treat at the Jefferson DeFrees Family Center, 207 Second Ave., Warren from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

City of Warren police offered some safety tips on the city’s website at cityofwarrenpa.gov.

Police advise to:

Times Observer photo by Lorri Drumm If you’re trick or treating adventure takes you through the city you may bump into these slackers who have been sitting around the spooky graveyard fire pit just waiting for some company.

¯ Plan costumes that are bright and reflective or consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

¯ Provide flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

¯ Think twice before using simulated knives, guns, or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.

¯ Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.

¯ Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. Remember that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.

¯ Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.

¯ A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

¯ Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.

¯ Stay in a group, walk slowly, and communicate where you are going.

¯ Only trick-or-treat in well-known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.

¯ Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.

¯ If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.

¯ Never cut across yards or use alleys.

¯ Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.

¯ Always walk – NEVER run across a street.

¯ Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom).

¯ Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway, or alley.

¯ Don’t assume the right-of-way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, it doesn’t mean that others will.

¯ Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.

¯ Treats should not be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.

¯ Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.

¯ Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.