Halloween in West Asheville

Witches, goblins, Daleks, more witches, and superheros vie for the
attention of homeowners on a tree-lined West Asheville street. Every
year for a long time, Vermont Avenue has been West Asheville’s ‘go-to’
place for trick-or-treaters, rain or wind, cold or hot, the people of
Vermont Ave are there year after year. This year was no exception, and
even though the spooky holiday fell on a cold Monday night, the crowds
came.

“It might be a bit off from peak years,” long-time Vermont Ave
resident Martha Hungerford said, “but it looks to me like there are
more little kids, I would say about 1,000 or so.” Ms Hungerford and
her daughter, Brenda Ploss have lived on Vermont for 31 years and have
seen it all. “Costumes you would not believe, kids from all over,”
said Ms Ploss.

A few doors down Steph Monson and Darren Dahl were dispensing candy
near a very life-like witch, who made noises and moved when you got
near. To complete the confusion, there was fog and weird lights. Lots
of kids thought the witch was real, and jumped when it moved. A couple
of years ago, they ran out of candy and passed out nuggets of frozen
corn to kids, that year the homeowner, Colin Sheehan was dressed like
a head-injured patient. Mr Sheehan said, “A lot of the kids looked at
me like I was a real head injury, and weren’t sure if they should take
the corn. It was all I had left. It is work, but I love to do it.”

Across the street, Bruce Ingle was in a very creepy clown mask
fighting off the teenaged double dippers. “Get out of here, I know
you!” he said to one older goblin, “I seen you here twice. Don’t even
try the double dip thing, I invented it,” he said with a wink, and
quietly said, “I don’t care(if they get more candy), but the kids like
it when I yell at them.” While buying candy, bag after bag of it,
earlier in the day, a woman in line asked what he needed so much for.
He told her about Vermont Avenue, she took several of the bags from
his cart and bought them for him.

At another house, a man just appeared and set several large bags of
candy on the porch, waved and walked off.

All up and down Vermont, and spilling over onto Olney and Russell
Steets, the sidewalks were full on this All Hallows Eve. The Asheville
Police Department was there passing out stickers to kids, and keeping
the blue lights on to calm traffic. There has never been a bad
incident on Vermont, and everyone’s hope is that it will stay that way
for years to come as now people who grew up with this West Asheville
tradition have kids and even grand-kids walking the tree-lined street.