Magician Count Spooky engages kids with a Halloween-themed show. Kaylee McGhee/Collegian
Magician Count Spooky engages kids with a Hal­loween-themed show.
Kaylee McGhee/Collegian

Trick-or-treating found a new meaning for Hillsdale res­i­dents during the annual citywide Hal­loween event, which fea­tured a costume contest, a magic show, and free snacks.

The event, held on Oct. 27 at Hillsdale High School, drew nearly 200 locals dressed in a variety of cos­tumes, ranging from super­heros to roadside attrac­tions.

Parker Falke, 7, dressed as a ball of yarn and said the inspi­ration for his unique costume came from a road trip his family had taken.

“I was thinking about weird places we had been,” Parker said. “and there was this one place with a giant ball of yarn.”

Parker’s younger sister accom­panied him, dressed as a map of the United States. According to the sib­lings, their cos­tumes took about two weeks to make and required help from their parents.

“My mom helped me a lot,” Parker said. “But it was my idea.”

The event allowed kids to show off their cos­tumes in a contest with various age cat­e­gories. Three year old Savanna French par­tic­i­pated in the tod­dlers’ cat­egory dressed as an air­plane.

“She wants to be a pilot when she grows up,” Nikki French, Savanna’s mother, said. “We went to an airshow this summer and saw the Thun­der­birds fly, and she decided that’s what she wanted to do.”

The annual trick-or-treating event allows children, and accom­pa­nying adults, to parade around proudly in their new cos­tumes, according to Hillsdale res­ident Laurel Fazekas, who dressed up as Bat­woman.

“I’ve attended this event since my daughter was born. She’s 11 now,” Fazekas said. “My favorite part is seeing all the kids dressed up. They enjoy it every year.”

According to eight-year-old Jakob Malachi, the thing he looked forward to most was dressing up as Dracula.

“I was Spi­derman last year, but it got all ripped up and thrown away,” Jakob said. “Dracula is better than Spi­derman anyways. Mostly because of the cape.”

Hillsdale res­ident Katie Smith attended the event for the first time and said she was glad she came.

“It’s better than going to random houses,” Smith said.

Vol­un­teers handed out treats such as hot dogs, cookies, cup­cakes, ciders and donuts as locals walked into the high school’s audi­torium.

The event also fea­tured a magic show put on by Count Spooky, or per­forming magician Jim Carmody, who has been per­forming various magic tricks for over 17 years.

“My first show was in fourth grade,” Carmody said. “Usually I perform for more adults than kids.”

Carmody involved kids of all ages in the show, bringing them up on stage to help him perform acts like his “van­ishing birds” trick, which according to Carmody is one of his favorites.

The Ghost­busters theme song played in the back­ground as Count Spooky jumped on stage and yelled “Happy Hal­loween, Hillsdale!”

The magician tried to involve the parents in the magic show as well. Holding up a Donald Trump mask, Count Spooky drew applause accom­panied by occa­sional “boos” from adults, and wild laughter from children.

According to Hillsdale res­ident and parent Laura Titus, the magic show is the best part of the event.

“The kids love it,” she said. “It’s def­i­nitely their favorite part.”

According to Carmody, who per­forms over 350 magic shows a year, the event needs more vol­un­teers, espe­cially because of the growing number of children who attend.

“It’s Hal­loween, though” Carmody said. “It’s always fun.”

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a senior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her fourth year writing for the Collegian and she serves as the paper's Opinions Editor. Kaylee worked in Washington D.C. last year and wrote for the Weekly Standard. Her work has also appeared in the Detroit News and the Orange County Register. Follow her on Twitter: @KayleeDMcGhee email: