Entries in Halloween (10)


USC Halloween Party Shooting Leaves Four Injured

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A shooter is still at large after shots rang out at a packed University of Southern California Halloween party, leaving four injured.

USC emergency officials notified students about the shooting, which took place at approximately 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Tutor Campus Center on its University Park campus in Los Angeles.

Officials told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV that an argument broke out at the campus-approved gathering at the university.  An individual opened fire, striking the intended target, according to officials.  That person was taken to a hospital and remains in critical condition, KABC reported.

Three innocent bystanders were also shot, but their injuries were said to be non-life threatening, according to KABC.  Two men have been detained.

A witnessed who did not want to be named told The Los Angeles Times that there were approximately 100 people outside the crowded party, along with campus police, when at least four shots rang out.

"Everyone started running.  I saw a guy who was shot in the leg.  He was limping and screaming for his friends to help him.  'I got shot.  Can someone give me a ride?'  His friends were helping him walk," the witness told the newspaper.  "People were screaming and running away."

The university sent an email to students and alumni explaining that there was a shooting and how to remain safe.

"The suspect is at large.  Stay away from the area.  Seek shelter in a secure location until the incident is resolved.  Be aware of your surroundings," the email said.

The university said that updates on the situation will follow as new and confirmed information becomes available.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Girl in Halloween Costume Mistaken for Skunk Shot by Cousin

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP, Pa.) -- An 8-year-old girl in New Sewickley Township, Pa., dressed for Halloween in a black costume and a black hat with a white feather was shot over the weekend by her cousin who thought she was a skunk.

In a statement Monday, New Sewickley Township Chief of Police Ronald Leindecker said the girl was at a Halloween bonfire at a family member's home around 10 p.m. The girl, whose name has not been released, was said to have been playing on a hillside when the home's owner, Janet Grant, mistook her for the noxious pest.

Police said Grant then asked her son, Thomas Grant, who police said was the victim's cousin, to shoot the pest.

According to the statement, Grant then retrieved a shotgun from the home. While his mother shined a flashlight at what they believed was a skunk, Thomas fired the gun, striking the girl in the shoulder and abdomen.

The girl was flown by helicopter about 30 miles to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, where she underwent surgery and where, according to police, she remains in critical condition.

"He is extremely devastated by the actions that took place," Leindecker told ABC's Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE. "It's a tragic incident that occurred. It's not something he dreamed would ever happen."

Leindecker said Thomas Grant was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the shooting. Although authorities have not yet filed charges, the police chief did meet with the Beaver County district attorney, and plans to work with the Pennsylvania Game Commission about possible charges related to animal gaming laws.

Leindecker said charges could still be filed pending an investigation.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top 20 Best Cities for Trick-or-Treating

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For all you serious candy seekers hitting the streets this Halloween, look no further.

On Monday, real estate website announced the results of their fourth annual Trick-or-Treat Index, ranking the top 20 best cities for little ghosts and goblins around the nation to collect the most terrifyingly tasty treats.

Zillow's Trick-or-Treat Index "represents cities that will provide the most candy, with the least walking and safety risk," the firm said in a statement. And in addition to the obvious fun factor and high candy collection rate, the website credits four "more holistic" variables that were taken into consideration when calculating the index: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials.

San Francisco has come out on top two years in a row. But Albuquerque, N.M., must have started handing out raisins rather than Reese's, since it's no longer on the list.

Zillow gets even more specific for the hardcore sweet seekers, breaking down the top cities into the best-ranking neighborhoods for safe, yet frightening fun. If you're in San Francisco, you might want to take your spooky self over to the Presido Heights neighborhood, and if you're in Boston, try out Beacon Hill.

With about two weeks left until Halloween, hold on to your pointy witch hats, because here is the full list of the nation's top 20 best cities for trick-or-treating:

1. San Francisco
2. Boston
3. Honolulu
4. Seattle
5. San Jose, Calif.
6. Chicago
7. Los Angeles
8. Portland
9. Philadelphia
10. Washington, D.C.
11. Minneapolis
12. Pittsburgh
13. Denver
14. Miami
15. San Diego
16. Milwaukee
17. Buffalo
18. Cincinnati
19. Virginia Beach, Va.
20. Baltimore

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio



California Sex Offenders Fighting Halloween Ban

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) -- Five California sex offenders and their families are suing the city of Simi Valley, Calif., claiming that Halloween restrictions placed on them through a new law violate their right to free speech.

The group filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court Friday against Simi Valley, a city 37 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Under the ordinance, Simi Valley's 119 registered sex offenders are banned from displaying Halloween decorations at their homes.  They are required on Oct. 31 to turn off all exterior lighting and post a sign on their doors that reads in at least one-inch-tall letters: "No candy or treats at this residence."

"People are thinking this is because registrants want to pass out candy to children.  That is not the case for me," a 46-year-old registered sex offender and father of two told ABC News.

He is one of the anonymous plaintiffs suing the city to have the law struck down, and asked that his name not be used.

"This ordinance affects the residents," he said.  "It is being enforced on my wife and my children.  My kids can not even carve a pumpkin and put it on the front porch."

Janice Bellucci, an attorney representing the plaintiffs and head of California Reform Our Sex Offender Laws, an advocacy group that fights for the civil rights of registered sex offenders, said the sign requirement was particularly troubling.

"I'm concerned someone may try to harm them or their family members or their home," she said.  "The advice I've given them is to go somewhere else on Halloween night."

David Caceras, assistant Simi Valley city attorney, said his office had not yet been served with the lawsuit and would be unable to comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Girl Hung in Frightening Accident at St. Louis Haunted House

Comstock/Thinkstock(FENTON, Mo.) -- A frightening accident at a St Louis-area haunted house left a 17-year-old girl hospitalized.

It happened at Creepyworld, a popular Halloween attraction in Fenton, Mo., that bills itself as “America’s biggest and scariest Screampark.” According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the girl was working as an actress in the haunted town last Thursday night when she somehow got a noose that was being used as a prop wrapped around her neck.

“The noose was hanging over a bathtub," Sheriff’s Department Capt. Ron Arnhart said. “For whatever reason, her head wound up in the noose and it looked like she lost her footing and slipped off the edge of the tub.”

A co-worker who makes rounds to check on employees found the teenager, whose name has not been released, unconscious and hanging.

“She’s been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit, and her medical condition is improving,” Arnhart said. “Our investigation is ongoing, but at this point we believe it was a terrible accident.”

Investigators say the girl was working in that section of the house of horrors by herself. Police don’t know if any visitors to the haunted house might have witnessed the injured teen struggling for help, or if they might have thought it was all part of the frightening show.

“We very much hope this young lady makes a full recovery,” Arnhart said.

Police say Creepyworld employs nearly 100 workers, and draws huge crowds every Halloween season. A YouTube video posted on the park’s website shows haunted houses filled with dismembered body parts, zombies, a torture chamber, murderous bikers armed with chainsaws and a haunted pig farm. Like most elaborate haunted houses and amusement parks, Creepyworld’s website warns anyone with asthma, seizures or a heart condition to steer clear.

Calls and emails to Creepyworld and its media representatives were not returned.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Law Prohibits Sex Offenders From Answering Door on Halloween

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- With children getting ready to go door to door trick-or-treating Monday for Halloween, communities near Los Angeles are taking action to protect their children from sex offenders and other criminals.

Riverside County passed an ordinance Oct. 16 prohibiting sex offenders from opening the door to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, turning their exterior lights on after dark and putting up Halloween decorations on Oct. 31.

Orange and San Jacinto cities have similar rules.

The ordinance states that “the events of Halloween could put children unknowingly in close proximity to sexual offenders who have committed violations against children.”

“Usually we have the predator going after the prey, but Halloween causes incidental contact between the prey coming to the predator, and so I want to minimize that contact,” Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone told ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

“These ordinances have been on the books in the cities of Orange and San Jacinto, and to my knowledge there have been no challenges, but we’re always up for the challenge if somebody wants to challenge it, I’ll always err on the side of children’s safety,” Stone said.

If sex offenders are caught in violation of the new ordinance, it will be considered a misdemeanor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Winter Storm: Nor'easter Brings Snow, Rain to East Coast

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A strong storm system is moving up the East Coast Saturday morning as it pounded the region with cold temperatures, rain, wind and up to a foot of snow in some areas.

"West of the I-95 corridor, that's where we expect the heaviest snows to develop today, through Saturday night and Sunday, said Bruce Sullivan from the National Weather Service.

The rare October Nor'easter is expected to hit at least 10 states from North Carolina to Maine.

Inland communities are expected to bear the brunt of the storm with heavy wet snow forecast to fall starting in the afternoon from Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

High lying regions could get between 10 and 12 inches of thick snow.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Snow on Halloween for the Northeast?

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Trick-or-treaters in the Northeast may need coats to go with their costumes if Mother Nature has her way. There are two storms heading towards New York City, Boston and Washington D.C., and each has the potential to bring the region its first snow of the season.

Part of the snowstorm that is bringing 1-2 feet of snow to the Front Range of the Rockies will break off and move east, resulting in snow for parts of New England and higher elevations in the interior Northeast on Thursday afternoon. Some inland areas could see 2-4 inches of snow by Thursday night.

Major East Coast cities will likely see chilly rain with temperatures in the 40′s and 50′s. The snow and rain will end Thursday night with colder and blustery conditions on Friday.

The second storm will be a nor’easter that will likely bring New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia their first snowflakes of the season on Saturday. The major cities should expect to receive mostly sprinkles and flurries, nothing more than a dusting.

The storm will develop early Saturday off the coast of the Carolinas and move up the Northeast during the day. The storm, depending on its route, may dump up to a foot of snow in the interior of the Northeast.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is Halloween the New Christmas?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In days of old, the sight of houses covered in over-the-top light decorations, miles of yard displays and extravagant spending on sweets meant only one thing: Christmas was near.

Now, the celebration begins two months earlier, in October, for Halloween.

The holiday that once meant just quaint trick-or-treating and a costume contest or two is now second only to Christmas when it comes to celebrating, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation.

Nearly 69 percent of Americans say they intend to celebrate the holiday this Monday, Oct. 31, the highest amount in the survey’s nine-year history.

Nearly half of those celebrating will decorate their homes and/or yard, and each will spend an average $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy -- a figure second only to the amount spent by individuals on Christmas décor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ghouls, Goblins Treated to White House Celebration

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Secret Service doesn't approve of tricks, but there will be plenty of treats for the costumed children of military families invited to the White House for a Halloween celebration on Sunday.

Families will be offered fruit and cookies, among other snacks, a contrast to the M&M's that President Obama gave trick or treaters last year. First Lady Michelle Obama has been campaigning for healthy eating.

It's a party that the president's daughters, Sasha and Malia, have been eagerly awaiting.

President Obama will be in Cleveland - his final campaign stop before Tuesday's midterm election - before returning to Washington later in the day.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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