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Spirit of Samhain strong in Andrews

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SPORTS: A couple of zombie athletes and a Care Bear walk down the street during the parade.
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MERMAID: A young mermaid walks in the Lions Club Halloween parade down Main Street.
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HOUSE: A haunted house was set up in downtown Andrews to add to the fun.
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HOUSE: A haunted house was set up in downtown Andrews to add to the fun.
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CLOWN: A group of boys receive candy at the end of the Hutchison’s haunted house.
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GOLF: A masked local drives through downtown Andrews with a crew loaded in a trailer hooked to the back of his golf cart. The Celtic Samhain Festival is where Halloween originated because that is when the Irish believed souls from the underworld would come back to earth.
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BEAR: A young bear cub is carried along during trick-or-treating downtown. Kids of all ages were dressed up as a whole host of scary and cute characters.
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WITCH: A trio of Andrews residents that took part in the Andrews Lions Club Halloween parade.

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@h-ponline.com

Zombies, mermaids, pirates and witches roamed around downtown Andrews on Halloween night, in search of treats and scares.

Folklorists track the origins of Halloween to an old Celtic pegan festival called Samhain, pronounced sah-ween, where people would leave out crops from the recent harvest to appease wandering souls that would emerge from the underworld, according to Indiana University folklore department reports. Now in modern days, people dress themselves up as ghosts, goblins and ghouls and wander around making stops at each house, where people hand out candy or “offerings” to these souls so that nothing bad comes to their household. 

To kick-off a night of trick or treating, the Andrews Lions Club teamed up with the fire department to parade all of the silly and scary trick or treaters through the town.

Phillip Bitzer, president of the Andrews Lions Club, said the trick or treaters who joined the parade were scarce this year compared to prior years since some of them got a head start on trick or treating, but he enjoys putting the parade together to give the community and kids something fun to do.

“They’re going to go trick or treating from now and down there at the city building we have treats for them and from there on, they can go their separate ways and trick or treat until 8:00,” Bitzer explained.

He watched kids parade down Main Street to get candy with his friend Anne from high school, who had traveled back to town for the day. Bitzer said he graduated from Andrews High School and the two of them have memories of what the parade looked like back then, too.

Closer to town hall right outside of Bud’s Sports Bar, Irene Hutchison and her son Douglas had set up a few tents and turned them into a short haunted house.

Irene said she always goes all out for Halloween because it’s her favorite holiday. They said they had done the haunted house last year as well and decided to do it again, to get more people downtown.

“Most people know my mom from the house down the road. They used to love what we did to the house so we decided to bring it down here so kids can just go right down main street,” Douglas explained.

Steve and Julie Dobson also made their way into downtown with their two granddaughters, ages five and almost two. Steve said it was the girls’ first time trick-or-treating and they were pretty excited to get going.

“She’s wanting to run and I said no you gotta stay with papaw,” Steve said with a laugh, pointing to his 5 year old granddaughter dressed in a Rapunzel outfit.

He added that they’re usually handing out candy on Halloween, but they were able to take the girls out this year. Julie said they were enjoying a chance to get out of the house.

Along with the Lions Club handing out candy at the town hall, Andrews town marshal Austin Bullock handed out candy as well.

Outside of downtown, people rode on golf carts decked out in costumes while others traveled in groups on foot, to knock on doors and ring doorbells, all taking part in the holiday.