LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - Anonymous fliers were distributed throughout a SoCal neighborhood instructing all residents to participate in traditional Halloween rituals between certain hours on October 31st, and it struck a nerve with neighbors.
The printed fliers stated that "all Residents In The Bristow Park community of City of Commerce are Obligated to hand out candy October 31, 2022 Holloween night At the start hour of 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Midnight."
The note suggests that the act will bring "Life back to the community" post-pandemic. Instead of a name, it was signed by "your neighborhood watch Captain."
"At first I was very angry - I said - who’s demanding I do this? I do it anyway - why can’t they come say thank you for giving candy?" said longtime City of Commerce resident Julia Diaz.
Her family was equally irritated, as they all spend months preparing their home for Halloween each year for personal reasons.
"I do it because I love it, and I also lost a son in the month of October, and it’s a dedication to my son. And I love that my neighbors get to see it and kids come by and I enjoy to see their reaction," Julia said.
She buried her son Jeremy Joseph in his Wolverine Halloween costume and honors him by making the season special for other kids. So the suggestion that she alter her plans because of a demanding flier felt like a slap in the face.
"I don’t know this person. Nobody knows this person. I’m still kind of flabbergasted by it," said her daughter Juliahrose.
With the cost of living on the rise, Julia also scoffed at the suggestion that their neighbors spend money that they don’t necessarily have.
"We have a lot of low-income people around here - we struggle - I put on the lights at 8 o’clock and shut them off cause my oldest says - ‘the bill!'"
The flier also sparked debate online, with reactions ranging from anger to support. Local kids in a nearby park were almost unanimously in favor of the idea of a candy handout mandate.
The City of Commerce Public Safety Division said it is aware of the fliers, but clarified that they have no merit whatsoever, and residents should mark the holiday however they choose.