CBC Digital Archives

Real heroes for post-9/11 Halloween

Masked, bewigged and in disguise, the voices demand: "Trick or treat!" "Halloween apples!" "Shell out, shell out, the witches are out!" It's Oct. 31, a night when Canadian kids don costumes, hold parties and knock on doors in search of candy. From apple-bobbing in the country to drag queens in the city, CBC Digital Archives takes a look at changing ways of celebrating Halloween.

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Firefighters' helmets are flying off the shelves at costume outfitter Malabar. Police officers' hats are popular too. As Halloween 2001 approaches, the traumatic attacks of Sept. 11 - and the response by New York City police and firefighters - are fresh in the minds of costume-seekers who want to pay tribute to the heroes of that day. This 2001 report from CBC-TV's Marketplace visits a Mississauga Wal-Mart, where costume sales show a trend away from fantasy superheroes in favour of real-life heroes.
• Time for Kids, a junior edition of the U.S. newsmagazine Time, reported in October 2001 that many children were planning to wear patriotic costumes for Halloween. Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty and the colours red, white and blue were all in high demand. Other costumes were U.S.A. cheerleaders and soldiers.
  • The Globe and Mail also reported on the real-life heroes trend for Halloween 2001, noting that it was also popular in Canada. Conversely, no one was clamouring to dress as Osama bin Laden, the man believed to be the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks. A costume shop owner in Thornhill, Ont. said that her sheik costumes, usually quite popular, were languishing on their hangers. "Everybody looks at them and goes 'Ha ha, bin Laden,' and that's it," Lili Khan told the newspaper. 

Medium: Television
Program: Marketplace
Broadcast Date: Oct. 24, 2001
Guest(s): Raylene Deluca, Solange Lavack-Pambrun, Alan Nelson, Andrew Peltier
Host: Erica Johnson
Reporter: Susan Ormiston
Duration: 3:34

Last updated: October 27, 2014

Page consulted on October 27, 2014

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