When I was a kid we lived in Calgary, Alberta for a very short time. I was eight years old. In my Trick or Treating prime. I was old enough that the occasion no longer scared me. The emotional and physical scars from burning my fingers on the sparklers my first year of Trick or Treating had healed. (Oh, the 1970s. Let's give the small child lit sparklers to hold. until they burn down to her fingers). But I was still young enough so that the night was filled with magic and mystery. Plus of course all the candy.
With a few Halloweens under my belt I was confident I knew how this thing worked. You go to a door. You yell "Trick or treat". There's a small chance you might be asked to actually do a trick or sing a song. But, mainly you hold out your plastic pumpkin and collect the candy.
I even had new friends already. My next door neighbours Leanne and Jill were my age. We were going Trick or Treating together. I was so excited. I felt sorry for them though that they didn't have the cool store bought costume like me with the cheap plastic mask. (I think I was a witch that year.) Instead their mom had turned them both into playing cards with beautifully hand drawn and painted designs on the front and back that they carried over their shoulders.
So I'm giddy with excitement for the Trick or Treating to begin. Our parents aren't even with us. We're roaming the dark streets on our own (again the 70s). We arrive at the first door. We ring the doorbell and I belt out: "Trick or Treat!" at the top of my lungs. But something is not right. I'm still saying the words when I realize my friends are saying something different. Something foreign. Something possibly Albertan. (Even at eight, I had already noted several differences between the provinces, mostly that I was behind at school in my new province but I'd been ahead in BC).
What were my friends saying at the door? "Halloween Apples!"
What? That's no fun. Where's the 'trick'? Where's the 'treat'? Who wants apples? I don't want apples. Leanne and Jill looked at me strangely. I stared back at them. Disappointment hung heavy between us. Nothing was said. This is how it was going to be in this strange new land. I had to say "Halloween Apples" instead of "Trick or Treat". Which I did of course, because I had to get the candy.
We moved the next year to New Brunswick, where thankfully they still said "Trick or Treat". When we moved back to British Columbia they were still saying "Trick or Treat". I never had to say "Halloween Apples" again.
When I tell this story no one else has heard of this. Leanne says now it was a short period of time that kids said that in Calgary. If you look on the Interweb sure enough saying "Halloween Apples" seems to be a regional thing in Canada identified mostly with Alberta and some parts of Manitoba. And it seems to be mostly a thing of the past.
Whatever you say, Happy Halloween.