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Remembering Halloween pranks in Ritzville, 1951 and 1907

"Vandalism Light Here During Halloween Eve," November 1, 1951. Source: Gilson Family Scrapbook.

This image depicts a newspaper clipping in the upper-right corner commenting on the small amount of vandalism in Ritzville on October 31, 1951, declaring it "one of the most orderly Halloweens in years." Chief of Police Joe Schafer reports only one incident "involving an old used car from beside Pete's Garage into [sic] Adams street and overturning it there." The images on the left, probably taken in 1907, tell a different story. Back then, the author boasts, young revelers "overturned outhouses," dragged every large object they could move into the street, then returned early in the morning to take the pictures before the city could restore order. "How we looked at it in glee," remembers the author. Not to worry, though. They were just "boyish pranks" and "no harm was done." You can view this and other scrapbook pages in the Gilson Family Scrapbook.

Story by Frank Oesterheld