Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SouthPark | Halloween 1991

SouthPark, Charlotte, North Carolina. "Black widow" balloon spider hovering near the food court, Halloween 1991. (Pat Richardson)

Just in time for Halloween comes these great SouthPark pictures and memories from Patrick Richardson:

In the late 80's-early 90's SouthPark started to do trick-or-treating in the mall. I think it was in response to keeping kids safe. They would play eerie music over the mall's PA and all the stores would give out candy.

The cool thing was that the mall was decorated in all things Halloween. They even had actors dressed as monsters, mummies, ghosts, and witches prowling around the mall. They would usually get around 3,000 kids.

The mid-90's saw the abrupt end of this short- lived tradition.

The tradition may have been short-lived, but it's fondly remembered here at LiveMalls. Enjoy.

SouthPark, Charlotte, North Carolina. An Ann Taylor employee handing out candy, Halloween 1991. (Pat Richardson)

SouthPark, Charlotte, North Carolina. Balloon towers from the mall's Halloween decorations, 1991. (Pat Richardson)

Previously on LiveMalls
SouthPark, The Early Years
SouthPark 1975
SouthPark, circa 1990
The Evolution of the Fountain Court at SouthPark
Belk, SouthPark
Dillard's, SouthPark
Hecht's, SouthPark
Nordstrom, SouthPark
Neiman Marcus, SouthPark


  1. You know, I remember malls doing this but don't remember them ever stopping. I think I just haven't been to a mall on Halloween and just assumed they kept it up. Do you know if malls intentionally moved away from trick-or-treating for any specific reason? It seems to be a good idea to me, especially for smaller kids.

    The last time I saw it was at the Independence Mall in Kingston, MA in 1999.

  2. Some of why you don't see Halloween celebrations in malls has to do with shifting attitudes towards the holiday.

    It's always been a fun holiday, more for kids and lighthearted fun than for actual mischief, but in the past few years, certain groups have tried to play up the occult aspects, and have protested to the point that some communities have banned Halloween celebrations. In turn, seeing as it became a controverisal holiday, the malls backed up from the celebration of Halloween.

    Luckily, community organizations picked up where malls and individuals dropped off and kids can still have safe, fun Haloween celebrations, but eliminating it at the malls, I think, was a bad idea. How can you beat climate controlled, well-lighted, and (in the case of SouthPark) straight up cool?

  3. The occult? Wow. I've heard Virginia is outrageously conservative, but that takes the cake. The malls, some shopping centers, and some downtowns still offer safe trick-or-treating. It's a popular alternative to traditional door-to-door, which has all but faded since malls started offering it.

  4. Some convervative things happen in Virginia, but there's still plenty of people that have a sense of humor and want to have fun.