Nancy Klingener / WLRN

More than a million cubic yards of debris has been hauled out of the Florida Keys since Hurricane Irma — but there’s still enough wreckage along the sides of the roads to make trick-or-treating a scary prospect in some neighborhoods. And not in a good way.

So Monroe County came up with an alternative: Two debris-free trick-or-treat parties at county parks, one in Bay Point in the Lower Keys and one in Key Largo.


For the past six years, Dr. Marisabel Olivera has had hundreds of kids bring shopping bags filled with Halloween candy into her office, Journey Kids Dental, in Fort Lauderdale.

This may not be good news for your waistline, but your sweet tooth might appreciate it: Halloween candy sales are crackerjack this year.

"Consumer confidence is riding high, so consumers are likely to splurge a little more on edible goodies," David Deull, a senior economist with IHS Markit, said in his analysis of 2017 Halloween spending.

Halloween candy sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent from last year, reaching a seasonally adjusted $4.1 billion, he said.

The “Up and Away” campaign is underway for the Halloween Season. Health officials are warning parents to keep medicines away from their kids to avoid confusing pills with candy.

At a Halloween happy hour recently in Washington, D.C., a small crowd gathered to celebrate the relationship between bats and spirits.

Not spooky spirits. Instead, think tequila and mescal.

"We're here at a bar tonight to talk about [bats], because they are intimately tied to agave," announced Mike Daulton, the executive director of Bat Conservation International, a nonprofit devoted to the well-being of bats.

Candy is not a food known for its use of wholesome ingredients. In fact, it barely qualifies as a food at all. But Jami Curl, the confectioner behind Portland's Quin candy shop, is trying to change that.

So, you're at your friend's elaborately decorated Halloween party. There are cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, bloody handprints on the wall, a frothing potion brewing on the stove. It's creepy! And scary! But is it ... spooky?

Never mind ghosts and goblins, zombies and vampires.

Halloween is upon us and with the coming of this day, comes another reminder that buyers should beware.

What does state law have to do with the house you buy in Florida? A lot, and in ways you might not have imagined. If you're not buying a newly-constructed house, there's a history to be considered. Cooley Law School Assistant Professor Remalia DuBose says laws vary from state to state about what sellers must disclose to potential buyers---like, if the house is haunted.

It was almost too much for Rick Swenson to take.

First, his friend smashed a car by dropping a 1,400-pound pumpkin on it at a charity event — then he had to stand by as that same friend smashed Swenson's personal record by growing another 1,400-pound monster. Swenson, a competitive pumpkin grower from Minnesota, couldn't just let his friend one-up him like this.

Florida Department of Corrections’ probation officers will be working with law enforcement across the state Monday to ensure sex offenders are not interacting with kids this Halloween.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The annual Zombie Bike Ride took over Key West Sunday afternoon, with thousands of the undead riding the island's Atlantic shore at sunset.  

The ride started with a few hundred people in 2009; it has grown each year and now thousands take part.

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

Update: 4:05 p.m. Sept. 2

The Key West City Commission deadlocked 3-3 at its Tuesday evening meeting on the question of whether to recommend that local trick-or-treaters wait till Nov. 1. So local parents and kids are free to go ahead with their traditional walks for candy, even as the partying carries on downtown.


Trick-or-treating or partying? It's a tough choice for Key West. 

That's especially true this year, when the city's biggest annual party, Fantasy Fest, lands on Halloween. 

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/24482

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables wasn't always a hotel. 

It was built in 1926 by a young developer named George Merrick, who's known as the founder of Coral Gables. 

The hotel became a place to host glamorous fashion shows, galas, golf tournaments and water shows in what was then the largest pool in the world.

At a loud party on the 13th floor of the hotel, a gangster named Thomas "Fatty" Walsh was shot and killed by another gangster. That murder yielded a lot of ghost rumors over the years.

tanakawho / Flickr Creative Commons

As you shop around for the perfect Halloween costume, beware.  

Don’t reach for those decorative contact lenses that will transform your boring pupils into green feline eyes or spiral hypnotizers.

The Food and Drug Administration warns these cosmetic lenses sold in Halloween supply stores, flea markets and mall kiosks are illegal and can lead to blindness.

Contact lenses are medical devices that can only be distributed by licensed eye care professionals, according to a federal law passed in 2005.