Homeowners Survey Damage From Halloween Perfect Storm

PRIDE’S CROSSING, Mass.  In this upscale community on Boston’s North Shore, residents are used to dealing with property damage from wind and rain off the Atlantic.  “We’re a hardy, sea-faring people,” says Charles “Biff” Watson, a descendant of one of the early traders who built their fortunes selling spices they brought back from China.  “But this,” he says as he indicates scattered wreckage on his front lawn with a wave of his hand, “I can’t understand how a just and merciful God could allow this to happen.”

Possible perps caught on closed-circuit camera.


Watson is referring not to an autumn hurricane, a common occurrence on the east coast, but to an uprooted mailbox into which a gang of teenagers stuffed a pumpkin, befouling an assortment of Christmas catalogs that were delivered while he and his wife Trixie were away at their vacation home on Cape Cod.  “I thought war crimes were banned by the United Nations,” Trixie says as she shakes her head.  “Those Trick or Treat for UNICEF kids should act as peacekeepers or something.”

The Hiroshima of TP’ing


Property and casualty insurers say Halloween 2016 was the most devastating on record, with eggings, shaving cream and toilet paper damage approaching a billion dollars nationwide.  “For some reason we had a real upsurge this year,” says Nolan Evasherkski, an actuary at Modern Moosehead Insurance Company.  “Last year 15.1% of all homes were vandalized,” he says.  “This year, the figure was 15.2%.  That sort of dramatic increase sets my heart racing.”

“My friends egged me on.”


Some blamed the slow-growth economy and the feelings of alienation among young people that a tight job market and lower household incomes have generated.  “We won’t know until the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its numbers today,” said Washburn University economist Norwell Salley.  ”Until then, I’m following popular singer Eydie Gorme, who blames the upsurge on the bossa nova, with its magic spell.”

Eydie Gorme:  Blames everything on the bossa nova.


Residents of this town are especially upset because many took precautions designed to ward off the young hooligans.  “We bought a tastefully offensive set of Smith & Hawken Yanni-themed wind chimes,” says Mindy Farber, whose 6-bedroom colonial was egged.  “When I play his music indoors my cat’s hair falls out in clumps, so I thought it would work on kids.”


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