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As I'm reading the various articles in the book "Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life" (Edited by Jack Santino), I came across a Halloween practice I'd never been aware of. The use of noisemakers during Trick-or-Treating.

In the article "Things that Go Snap-Rattle-Clang-Toot-Crank in the Night" by Carl B. Holmberg, he describes it as using a noisemaker when you approach the door of a prospective treat-giver to announce your presence. This seems to be used in place of knocking on doors or using doorbells. It would also seem to be a practice that died off after the 1960s, with prominence throughout the 40's - 60's.

The practice seems to be an activity that existed only in some areas of the country, while not in other areas at all.

Has any of our forum members here partaken of this activity? What memories do you have of it?
 

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I've never heard of such a practice either. If something went down around here like that, the ones making the noise would probably recieve a rear-end full of rock salt being discharged from an even louder noisemaker known as a shotgun. The noise following that would most definitely be screaming. :jol:
 

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Sinister said:
the ones making the noise would probably recieve a rear-end full of rock salt beig discharged from an even louder noisemaker known as a shotgun. The noise following that would most definitely be screaming. :jol:
Woah .. remind me not to go trick or treating in your neighborhood ;) Like you guys, I haven't heard of that practice .. I would probably think someone was crazy if they showed up at my door making noise like that :googly:
 

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I'll have to ask around about this one. I do have some of the older wooden handled Halloween noisemakers in one of my collections, as well as some of the early plastic handled ones.
 

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Wow that brought back some memories. I remember some of my first tricker treating days getting those little noise makers as the treat rather than candy. In my neighborhood most treat givers would be standing at the door so you never even had to ring the bell. At some houses the person would ask you to do a trick before they even gave you a small toy or piece of candy. I remember avoiding those houses as I got older.
Once we got our noisemakers we would walk down the street making noise but I don't remember using them inplace of ringing a doorbell.
 

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I've read that the origin of wearing costumes was to confuse the spirits of the dead who came back on All Hallows eve to find other souls to take. Maybe the real origins of noise makers was to scare them off.
 
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