By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) – Halloween is a real treat for Ed and Susan Donovan. On the corner outside their Park Hill home, the couple sets up candy and warm apple cider just like they have for the last 25 years.

“It’s so much fun because these kids just keep coming back,” Susan said.

park hill ghost post 10pkg transfer frame 210 Ghost Post Tradition Thrives In Neighborhood Despite Tragic Catalyst

(credit: CBS)

Their simple setup is called a “Ghost Post.” It is a neighborhood tradition they helped start to keep kids safe while trick or treating.

“It’s too bad that it took a tragedy to get something like this started,” Ed told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

park hill ghost post 10pkg transfer frame 1136 Ghost Post Tradition Thrives In Neighborhood Despite Tragic Catalyst

File footage from 1993 (credit: CBS)

The tradition began after what’s known as the “summer of violence” in 1993. Dozens of people were killed in Denver, including a young man shot on Halloween. Fear nearly cancelled trick-or-treating in Park Hill, until neighbors like Ed and Susan came up with the idea for Ghost Posts to keep watch.

park hill ghost post 10pkg transfer frame 1349 Ghost Post Tradition Thrives In Neighborhood Despite Tragic Catalyst

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Ed and Susan Donovan. (credit: CBS)

“What happened is people signed up to become ‘ghost patrols’ on every corner,” Susan explained. “Parents sat out on the corner with their flash lights and cell phones that were bricks back then. They would talk and be visible and be watching the kids.”

While Susan stood watch while handing out candy and cider from their Ghost Post, Ed was among the other volunteer neighbors patrolling dark corners.

TOGETHER 4 COLORADO: Latest Stories | Watch ‘Together With Karen Leigh’ | Share A Together 4 Colorado Story Idea With CBS4

“There were a lot of dark houses around here back then,” he said. “We walked with flash lights and shined lights in the bushes and made sure there weren’t people back there because there was a real concern for safety.”

park hill ghost post 10pkg transfer frame 690 Ghost Post Tradition Thrives In Neighborhood Despite Tragic Catalyst

(credit: CBS)

As years passed and those concerns went away, Ed and Susan’s Halloween tradition stayed the same.

“She did it by herself in a blizzard one year,” Ed said smiling at his wife.

It’s a tradition now shared across generations.

park hill ghost post 10pkg transfer frame 330 Ghost Post Tradition Thrives In Neighborhood Despite Tragic Catalyst

(credit: CBS)

“Last year, a young lady showed up with a little girl and she said, ‘You know my parents used to bring me to your house for trick-or-treating and hot apple cider, and now I’m a parent and so I’m bringing my daughter here,’” Susan said.

Some kids who stopped by the Donovan’s Ghost Post as little kids still come by to visit the couple and get a warm cup of cider.

“I’ve been coming here with my friends since I was in third grade,” he said. “Now I’m a freshman and it’s still as amazing as ever.”

park hill ghost post 10pkg transfer frame 2272 Ghost Post Tradition Thrives In Neighborhood Despite Tragic Catalyst

(credit: CBS)

To show how much the community loves Ed and Susan, this Halloween neighbors came to them to say thanks and surprise them with a toast.

“Here’s to Ed and Susan,” a neighbor said after popping a bottle of champagne. “Wonderful neighbors and all the wonderful Halloween memories.”

And more memories are sure to be made as Ed and Susan plan to keep their Ghost Post going for years to come.

“We couldn’t do it without great neighbors and friends,” Susan said. “It so much fun!”

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s