Trick-or-treating has evolved over the years since the days when I put a sheet over my head and grabbed a plastic, jack-o-lantern-shaped bucket. Candy is still exchanged, but theatrics are moving into the process.

Now, I'm not a purist. However, the simple action of knocking on a door, asking for candy and receiving candy does make it easier for kids to get more candy by going to more houses.

No, no, I'm all for the homeowners to get in on the fun. As a matter of fact, I see Halloween decorations soon reaching the levels of competition usually reserved for outdoor Christmas displays.

Tim Allen, on his television show, "Home Improvement," used to short-out his whole neighborhood and divert airplane traffic with his holiday displays of Christmas lights, plastic Santas and snowmen. It was for laughs, but I've seen displays here that are pretty close.

Christmas lights can last all month for an effect, but Halloween is a one-night deal when it comes to display. So, you have to do a little more to have a similar effect.

We have some good friends who enveloped their front yards in a dry ice fog that really gave you the chills as you walked among the fake tombstones up to their door. They also had spooky music playing, too.

Last year, we took our then 3-year-old daughter, Katie, trick-or-treating for the first time in Olde Town Conyers. We went with our friends, Karen and Ric, and their 2-year-old son, Miguel. Katie was dressed like a pink fairy while Miguel wore a one-piece puppy dog outfit.

The first house we came to had the spooky music playing from big speakers on the front porch. Picture two toddlers slowly walking up to the door as Ric and I stood back.

Suddenly a very loud "roar!" was heard that was like a gun shot at the start of a race for Katie and Miguel. It was quite a sight to see Miguel in his dog costume shimmy up his father, while Katie practically flew up to the top of my shoulders.

My best childhood Halloween memory is of a neighbor in Lake Cindy who set up a table in his driveway under a garage window.

The table had a jack-o-lantern sitting in the middle. When we walked up to the table, the homeowner stuck his hand out of the window, dropped some candy on the table and made 'oooowwwhhh' sounds.

We were cocky, know-it-alls who tried to play it cool. "We know it's you. You're not fooling us," we said.

Then a mannequin's head came out of the window and landed on the table. The fake blood splattered everywhere and we ran away screaming in fright.

No treat that night, but we sure got tricked. Have a safe and happy Halloween.

Jay Jones is a staff reporter for the Rockdale Citizen. E-mail Jay at