Brookhaven homeowner counts on Halloween

Published 10:14 pm Monday, October 23, 2017

Halloween at the Moaks is a Brookhaven tradition.

Dr. Ed Moak’s house on South Jackson Street is the place to be on All Hallow’s Eve.

A tradition of counting each trick-or-treater who stops by for candy started 18 years ago.

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“This makes a small town Halloween celebration unique compared to larger cities,” Moak said. “There’s always a child that comes really early to make sure they can be the No. 1 person in line.”

Moak was intrigued years ago when he noticed the amount of trick-or-treaters on South Jackson Street. He said it seemed like there was more involvement here in Brookhaven than in other communities. So in 1999, he started counting. When he first started, the counts stayed under 500 people but the number grew each year.

“We would give out packages of ramen noodles and canned vegetables when we ran out of candy in the early years,” said Moak. “Now we will buy around 5,000 pieces of candy, which costs around $250 to $300.”

Moak’s record count was 2,030 in 2015. His goal is to surpass that number this year.

“From number 1,300 forward, I will think about some historical aspect that goes with that year. For example if you’re the 1,817th trick-or-treater, I will let you know that’s when Mississippi was admitted into the Union,” said Moak.

He said he tries to make things interesting and fun, and wants the tradition — and the crowd — to keep growing every year.

Moak said it’s a challenge to greet a trick-or-treater every four to five seconds.  “It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush. I’ve been known to sneak candy and get a sugar rush,” said Moak.

For those who want to be in Moak’s count, trick-or-treating within the city limits of Brookhaven is 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Wesson will host a trunk-or-treat celebration in the town park from 5-8 p.m. Families are free to trick-or-treat from 4-10 p.m.

In Monticello, trick-or-treating is 5-7 p.m.