Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the PCMC! To celebrate, here is a photograph of a Halloween party in Gatun, taken in 1922.

What was celebrating Halloween like in the Canal Zone? Do you remember any unique traditions?

cKIC Document 0005


  • Panama Museum Collection

    I love this picture of Halloween. Halloween was always a fun holiday on the Zone. My memories as a child in Margarita at Halloween are still very clear to me. Every Halloween from the time I was five to eight years old I went to the costume party at the Margarita gym for the holiday. When I was five my mother made me a costume where I was a black cat. I won first prize and how exciting this was to be picked with the best costume. My mother got the idea of me being a cat, as my pet at the time was my black cat Blacky. Every year until I was eight my mother made a costume for the Halloween party. There was games to play and it was a wonderful time going to these parties.
    I still have most of the pictures of me before going to the gym to attend the Halloween Party.

  • Carl N. Berg of Cocoli, CZ

    Cocoli was a Pan-Canal townsite from 1940 to early 1952, when it reverted to a Navy housing
    area annexed to Rodman NavSta two miles south. When I lived in Cocoli from summer 1947 to March 1960, my growing-up years, Halloween was not as big a day as Fourth of July, Christmas, or New Year’s Day. Costume dress-up was not popular, as I remember, but evening trick-or-treat for candy and trick-pranks were established pursuits. The group of boys I was a part of enjoyed three mean pranks: using bar soap on car windows, throwing the main circuit breaker on the electrical service panel (near wash tubs at back of carports) at four-family quarters, and squirting passing public buses with water from the nearest (maybe thirty feet) hose at the gas station air-water pump. Occasionally a bus driver would slam the brakes and give us chase through the nearby back yards of the bachelor quarters on Tamarindo Avenue. I think it was a younger group of kids who began decorating the big tree in front of our clubhouse with toilet paper.
    –Carl N. Berg of Cocoli

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