is the only known photo (so far) that we have been able to
find of the "mother" of all Lisle memories! Yes...
The annual Lisle Halloween witch burning! This article is from
31st, 1969 Lisle paper... Which means the photo is from 1968
or earlier. You really can't make out the witch on top but
so many of us know it was there! (Don't we?)
is a picture that was mailed to us by an "anonymous sender."
This appears to be an actual photo. However, until we can confirm
it's authenticity, know that this image looks exactly like
witch burnings in Lisle.
drawing shows a rough representation of the event.
A must listen!
Jerry Seinfeld on Halloween.
Watch the opening of Creature Features!
This video still gives me chills.
Listen to this classic!
This album contained stories and
sound effects that were used at
every Halloween event I can remember.
Listen to this sample and
see if you remember.
about the most "politically incorrect" celebration possible.
it all took place in our sleepy little town!
called the ACLU! Nobody yelled WITCHCRAFT!! Nobody called the Environmental
Protection Agency! Nobody even called a lawyer complaining of "emotional" distress.
Nope, this was just good ol' fashion fun... Without all the whiners
that have taken all the fun out of most things now days.
It was all quite simple actually.. The "Village" would find an old building
or barn that was slated to be torn down. They would save the wood until
Halloween. Then, on Halloween, they would make this huge pile of wood
in the grass playground behind Main Street School. Then they would make
a big stuffed witch (from the waist up) and place it on top of the wood
pile. That night, after trick or treating, everyone met down at the "witch
burn." In the days of only five television channels, this was the ultimate
On the "kid scale" of one to ten??? This was a twelve!
The "MOTHER" of all Halloween events!
It started at seven o'clock so it was already pretty dark out. Most
Halloweens in Lisle were pretty cold but things heated up pretty fast.
we'd arrive at Main Street School, they'd always have that same Halloween
record playing over and over! It seemed like everyone played that
SAME damn recording everywhere you went! For years!
(A few years ago I found
a copy of the recording at a garage sale. You'll know what I'm talking
about the moment you hear it.)
Eventually the men took these huge gas cans and
dowsed the wood pile with gasoline and lit the fire. The Lion's club guys
would have everyone form circles around the fire and slowly rotate everyone
around the fire. Sometimes there would be 3 or more circles going at once.
Then they would hand out those little "Lions
candies. (Like the ones they would sell every year to people in their cars
at the light on Main Street) They would then inspect everyone's costumes
and look for the best. Unfortunately, one year my mother and sisters dressed
me as a girl and I won the costume contest!
I'm still wondering if I may
have issues from that experience today?
The highlight of the night is when the flames reached the witch. I'll
never forget everyone screaming.. Oooh... Aaah!
And of course, The Lisle Fire Department always had a couple of their cool
trucks near by. One truck was used to shine a green light onto the witches
make it glow in the darkness before the fire began.
As a kid, this was such a fun event! Looking back now, I have got to say...This
was one of the most "funky" and unique things we'd do in our small
be replicated today...
For SO many lame reasons.
So... Let's just try to count all the potential violations this event would
First, the fire's glow would illuminate the massive billows of smoke rising
sky and the sparkling embers would dance from the fire and shoot strait up
into the cool night air. So awesome!!
BUT! The light from the fire could keep the neighbors awake, the embers could
ignite some kid's costume or a nearby house and the smoke is sure to increase
the "ozone layer hole!"
Second, burning a witch?? In Lisle?? Imagine how many people you could offend
now days! And Why couldn't we burn a "male warlock" huh?? Jerry Springer could
have a whole panel of offended witches on his show. And surely Lisle would
Third, think of how many non-witches would sue because they don't believe in
witchcraft and they feel that Lisle should play no role in promoting it on
Halloween night or in our schools!
Anyway, I digress... (sorry)
I'm not exactly sure why they stopped having the "witch burnings" in
Lisle. Instead, Lisle decided to just have a haunted house inside of Main Street
School. It was
one of the best around! A large witch head was set up out side next to where
the line was to get into the haunted house. And yes, they played that same
ol' record outside and throughout the building over and over and over.... Eventually
and the witch went away for good. No telling how much the liability insurance
such an event. I'm sure it was huge.
The current Lisle Fire Department now
sits on what used to be the area where the witch burnings took place.
Maybe someday we could have a Halloween "bon-fire" for old times sake.
we do? Instead of having a witch on top of the fire, maybe a stuffed attorney