Growing up, Wilma Wieneke never had the opportunity to dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating with her friends.
That’s why she goes all out on Halloween night now, buying plenty of candy and other treats to pass out to neighborhood children who visit.
“My mom didn’t really like Halloween. She grew up in the country and didn’t have neighbors,” Wieneke said. “So when we lived in town on Jeffersonville Avenue, there were a lot of renters around and Mom wouldn’t let me go. She just saw no reason for it.”
But Wieneke said getting to see children so “happy and excited” is enough reason for her.
Her house on Greenbrier Drive in Seymour has become a popular destination for many kids and their parents over the years. Some come every year until they are too old to trick-or-treat.
She makes it a point to pick up a wide assortment of candy including chocolate, gummies and suckers, but also likes to have spooky little toys and party favors to hand out too.
She recalls one year, when some older kids came twice, but changed costumes.
“I knew it was them the second time, but I thought that was so funny,” she said.
Because she wants each child to get what they want, she fills up bowls and sets them on a table right inside her front door. When kids knock, she invites them in to choose something from each bowl.
“I tell the parents it’s OK and they can come inside with them too if they want,” she said.
Wieneke has lived at the residence since 1963 and has always handed out candy, but has gotten more involved in the holiday in the past decade.
“I just love seeing the kids,” she said. “They will come the first time, holding their parent’s hand, just scared to death. Then the next year I see them, they aren’t scared and don’t need mom and dad. They just come right up to the door and are excited.”
To help her, Wieneke invites her daughters over for Halloween and makes sure to have plenty of treats for them too. This year, she cooked up a big pot of chili and cupcakes.
She knows a lot of people don’t like Halloween, but for her it’s all about kids having fun and being kids.
“They say it’s just candy, but I think it’s more,” she said. “It makes children happy. They love it.”
On Halloween night, it’s not unusual for a line to form outside Wieneke’s home.
Some years are better than others and often the number of trick-or-treaters she sees depends on the weather.
“If it’s raining, we won’t get as many, but I would say 75 to 100,” she said.
She sees a lot of scary costumes, but her favorites are the little girls’ princess costumes.
“I like the homemade ones, too,” she said.