Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Phantom Helps Spread the Wealth

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Phantom Helps Spread the Wealth

Article excerpt

HALLOWEEN trick or treating is a chancy business.

You hold out your bag and hope for the good stuff: Snickers, Skittles, Baby Ruths and Reese's.

But you could get anything: cheap suckers, generic jawbreakers, or even worse, apples and sugar-free gum. Ugh. Only people who forgot they were ever kids give health food on Halloween.

Now some kids are taking the guesswork out of Halloween. They have a new system that ensures them at least one bag of the best.

It's called Phantoming.

"There seems to be a new Halloween craze going around the neighborhoods these days," said Lucie Francis.

Phantoming caught on in her South County subdivision last year. The Phantom struck at her home 11 days before Halloween.

"My doorbell rang about 10:15 one night," Lucie said. "I went to the door hesitantly. My husband was working the late shift then. l found a huge bag of candy on my front porch, along with a poem and a picture.

"I brought the bag inside and inspected it thoroughly. It contained good wrapped candy: M&Ms, Snickers and Skittles."

The picture was of a ghost in tennis shoes.

The much-copied poem did not have an author's name. I'm not sure anyone will own up. One verse rhymes "may visit" with "fis-bidget."

The first verse should be enough for anyone:

"The Phantom Ghost has come to town

"To leave you some goodies, I see you have found

"If you do not wish a curse to fall,

"Continue this greeting, this Phantom call."

Horrors. That rhyme will give you nightmares. The poem goes from bad to verse with its Phantoming instructions. They are slightly less difficult than assembling an on-sale bicycle.

First, you have to post the Phantom picture on your door, so everyone knows you've got yours. It also helps spread the wealth.

Next you make up two more bags of candy, two more Phantoms and two more notes and deliver them to two more neighbors.

The delivery is made anonymously. The poem says:

"Deliver at dark, when there is no light,

"Ring the doorbell and run, and stay out of sight! …

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