Tuesday, April 26, 2022
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Lethbridge no longer linked to the first “trick or treat” in print

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – It would seem Lethbridge no longer has a claim to fame for the phrase “trick-or-treat.”

Back in 2012, several researchers cited the 4 November 1927 Lethbridge Herald as the first to ever print the phrase.

“TRICK OR TREAT” IS DEMAND
(From Our Own Correspondent)
BLACKIE, Nov. 3 – Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word ‘trick or treat’ to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.”

Belinda Crowson is President of the Lethbridge Historical Society.

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She tells MyLethbridgeNow it was fun while it lasted but it turns out, the term did not actually originate here.

Crowson says “for a while there we thought that the Lethbridge Herald was the first place to have “trick-or-treat” in print and that came out in a Smithsonian article a few years ago. But, greater research shows that we were not, unfortunately. We were early but we were not the first place where that was ever in print.”

Crowson says she can’t recall which community now holds the honour but believes it’s still somewhere in western Canada.

She also says Oct. 31 in Lethbridge used to be a big night of pranks, saying kids would take part in “gate night” where they’d remove gates from yards and hide them around the city.

Crowson says the occasional outhouse was also moved on Halloween night, sometimes onto a streetcar track for it to be pushed down the route by the unknowing driver.

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