Halloween 1984 shows how much the holiday has changed over the years

ByEyewitness News Vault WABC logo
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Halloween 1984: Cops vs. Brooklyn shaving-cream gang
In 1984, the NYPD was ready to take on Halloween hooligans using helicopters with floodlights and cops on the beat.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Halloween has always been an exciting and fright-filled night, especially for young trick-or-treaters dressed in spooky costumes looking to stock up on buckets of candy, but the tradition has changed over the years.

We went back into the Eyewitness News Vault nearly four decades to see how much has changed over the years.

Turns out, there was a lot more mischief amongst the Halloween crusaders back in the day.

On Oct. 31, 1984, the NYPD was ready to take on Halloween hooligans using helicopters with floodlights and cops on the beat.

WABC reporter Will Spens talked to Assistant Chief Robert Colangelo in Brooklyn, who told him that the cops were ready for shaving-cream-spreading teen gangs, cemetery-vandalizing ghouls and other mischievous characters who go bump in the Gotham night.

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Explained Colangelo: "What we do is we increase the number of uniform people we have particularly around houses of workshops, cemeteries, parks. Also, we have decoys from the street crime unit who work in religious areas to combat any people that want to prey on those people."

However, that wasn't enough to stop "a roaming gang of Brooklyn shaving cream spreaders," as Spens brilliantly put it.

A group of kids spent their Halloween spraying shaving cream on each other. They proudly showed off the extra-large eggs they couldn't wait to toss.

Spens asked the kids: "Eggs! What are you going to do with eggs?"

"We are going to throw it at people," one of the kids said matter of factly.

It wasn't long until their items were confiscated, but these kids had some nerve. Watch as one of the teens begs a cop to let him keep his shaving-cream can.


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