Daleks and witches and things: Halloween on Vermont Avenue

Witches, goblins, Daleks, more witches, and superheroes vied for the attention of homeowners on a tree-lined West Asheville street on Monday night, Oct. 31. For a while now, Vermont Avenue has been the neighborhood’s ‘go-to” place for trick-or-treaters. Rain or wind, cold or hot, the Halloween-happy folks of Vermont Avenue are there year after year. This year was no exception, and even though the spooky holiday fell on a cold Monday night, the crowds came.

“It might be a bit off from peak years,” long-time Vermont Avenue resident Martha Hungerford said, “but it looks to me like there are more little kids. I would say about 1,000 or so.” Hungerford and her daughter, Brenda Ploss, have lived on Vermont for 31 years and have seen it all. “Costumes you would not believe, kids from all over,” said Ploss.

A few doors down, Steph Monson and Darren Dahl were dispensing candy near a very life-like witch, which made noises and moved when you got near. Fog and weird lights completed the eerie effect. Lots of kids thought the witch was real, and jumped when it moved. A few years ago, homeowner Colin Sheehan ran out of candy and handed out frozen corn. He was dressed like a head-injured patient. Sheehan said, “A lot of the kids looked at me like I was a real head injury, and weren’t sure if they should take the corn. It was all I had left. It is work, but I love to do it.”

Across the street, Bruce Ingle was in a very creepy clown mask fighting off the teenaged double dippers. “Get out of here, I know you!” he said to one older goblin. “I seen you here twice. Don’t even try the double-dip thing, I invented it,” he said with a wink, and quietly said, “I don’t care [if they get more candy], but the kids like it when I yell at them.” While buying candy, bag after bag of it, earlier in the day, Ingle garnered some attention. A woman in line asked what he needed so much for. He told her about Vermont Avenue; she took several of the bags from his cart and bought them for him.

At another house, a man just appeared and set several large bags of candy on the porch, waved and walked off.

All up and down Vermont, and spilling over onto Olney and Russell Streets, the sidewalks were full on this All Hallows Eve. The Asheville Police Department was there passing out stickers to kids, and keeping the blue lights on to calm traffic. There has never been a bad incident on Vermont, and everyone’s hope is that it will stay that way for years to come —now people who grew up with this West Asheville tradition have kids and even grand-kids walking the tree-lined street.

photos and story by Bill Rhodes


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Daleks and witches and things: Halloween on Vermont Avenue

  1. zen

    Nice! Just building community and a nice little article at the same time. Good job, Bill!

  2. Steven Rash

    As a Vermont Ave resident, I have to say that although it’s a car payment’s worth of candy every year it so worth it.

  3. JBo

    Wish you could have seen Kennilworth – that neighborhood was off the hook last night with awesome houses & costumes as well.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.