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Halloween in Pocatello then and now

The Pocatello Tribune, Oct. 31, 1941, page 8
POCATELLO — As a trading center and transportation hub, Pocatello has been host to numerous cultures and the traditions of Halloween. Here’s a look at the Gate City’s history with the holiday as well as what to expect this year.
Stopping tricks with treats
As settlers made their own traditions over the years, one that was rather noticeable was a proliferation of destruction of property and violent pranks.
Thankfully, today those traditions have nearly died out. However, early Pocatello did see its share of pranks and property damage during the Halloween season. The city had a unique way of stopping it. In October 1939, according to the Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello held a Pledge Night at The Chief Theater. The youth were tasked to sign the pledge promising “to refrain from damaging property, including automobiles and (harming) people during the Hallowe’en season…” The youth who signed this pledge and received a stamp from the police, were given a free movie reel. It was well received by adults and teachers alike.
The Chief Theater and The Orpheum would show spooky movies for their Halloween events. Their parties had cider and doughnuts, and the young adults continued to attend. In October 1941, the theaters changed their tactic and decided to scare everyone. Anyone who made it through the two “bone-chilling” shows of the evening, without leaving, would receive a ticket to another movie at a later date. This became such a hit that the theaters continued to show horror movies during the Halloween season.
The Pocatello Tribune detailed numerous parties that were held to keep the younger children busy before returning home for the evening. Schools and social clubs would hold Halloween carnivals. Many in attendance would have the option of hearing ghost stories, playing bobbing for apples, horseshoes and more. It was a hit for families and gave the social clubs a chance to earn funds for the rest of the year.
Haunted school
Pocatello High School has a history of urban legends and tales of ghosts.
One of the most prevalent was told by a janitor. While mopping up one evening, a young woman startled him by asking for directions. He pointed her in the right direction and went back to mopping. Within one minute of sending her off, he realized she was dripping wet, and there hadn’t been a rainstorm any time that day. As he turned to talk to her he found she had disappeared. No one could have moved that fast without making any sound, and the doors had been locked.
Another ghost that haunts the main building is in the basement. The north girls’ bathroom has had numerous occasions where people smell flowers when no one is around. Faucets have turned on and off without anyone being in the stalls.
In a locker near the bathroom, a girl is said to have hanged herself. The perfume is said to be hers as she is anchored to the school.
The upstairs library is said to be haunted by a librarian who hung herself from the circular ceiling fixture. One can supposedly see her likeness in the windows when driving around the school three times at midnight.
Stories like these have been reinvigorated by numerous school papers and local paranormal groups.
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Spooky goings-on in 2022
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As today’s world gets scarier, the parties have become close-knit again. Instead of going door to door, though that option is still popular for some, people have converted their car trunks in spooky and funny ways. These trunk-or-treats are a way for parents to give their children a safe place to have some Halloween fun.
As Halloween falls on a Monday this year, there are a variety of things that one can do with the entire family.
Wednesday Oct. 26
Haunted Hollow Family Spooky Alley – Soulscape Yoga Studio – 4 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 27

Trunk-or-Treat – Adventure Orthodontics – 6 to 8 p.m.
Haunted Hollow Spook Alley – Soulscape Yoga Studio – 4 p.m.
Knock Em Dead Comedy Show – Old Town Actor’s Studio – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 28

The Hive Trick or Treat – The Hive Venue- 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Haunted History Walking Tours – Downtown Pocatello – 6 to 10 p.m.
Spooky Skate – Deleta Skating – 7 11 p.m.
Haunted Hollow Family Spooky Alley – Soulscape Yoga Studio – 4 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 29

Zoo Boo 2022 – Zoo Idaho – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Nightmare on Elm St Halloween Fest – Soulscape Yoga Studio – 4 to 10 p.m.
The Great Inflatable Relay – OK Ward Park – 9 a.m. to noon
Haunted History Walking Tours – Downtown Pocatello – 6 to 10 p.m.
Spooky Skate – Deleta Skating – 7 to 11 p.m.
Special Needs Trunk or Treat – Portneuf District Library – 3 p.m.
Farmers Market – Downtown Pavilion – 9 a.m.
Haunted Hollow Family Spook Alley – Soulscape Yoga Studio – 4 p.m.
Kids Wood Sign Workshop – Craftology – 11 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 31

Trunk or Treat/Haunted Bus Tour – ISU Early Learning Center – 4 to 6 p.m.
Trick or Treat Downtown – Downtown Pocatello – 3 to 5:30 p.m.
Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat – Coles Chevrolet – 3 p.m.
1st Responders Halloween – Chubbuck City Hall – 4 p.m.
SRD’s Family Spook Alley – Bannock County Event Center – 7 p.m.
Trick or Treat Petting Zoo – Bannock County Event Center – 5 p.m.
Haunted Hollow Family Spooky Alley – Soulscape Yoga Studio – 4 p.m.

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