CLEVELAND - Thursday night, thousands of kids across northeast Ohio went trick-or-treating carefree. But it was a different story on Cleveland's west side with many parents concerned over recent crime.
What to do? Many parents went indoors instead of door-to-door, celebrating Halloween at their local recreation centers. On Cleveland's west side, the Michael Zone Recreation Center was packed with families enjoying a haunted hallway full of food, candy and even a little basketball.
"It's just not safe anymore for the kids to go from home to home, not the mention the weather," Dodia Mayberry said. "I mean how much fun can you have being part of the community, coming out to Zone? I mean, my kids grew up here playing up at the rec and volunteering so, it's a beautiful thing."
Mayberry brought her granddaughter to enjoy her first Halloween there.
"We have Snow White, Monster High and a gruesome doctor here," said Genie Castro of her three children and their costumes.
Choosing to come to the recreation center, Castro said, "I considered that because it's safer and, you know… …the neighborhood, it's not, you know, in my opinion, as safe for them to walk around knocking on doors. It's just something I'm not comfortable with. "
While some parents said recent crime put them on edge, they also said trick-or-treating in general hasn't been as popular in many neighborhoods.
Eva Sosa told NewsChannel5 she used to live on W. 73rd St. and Lorain Avenue.
"When I first moved there in '91," she said, "I used to have a lot of kids come to my house and as time went by, it started deteriorating down and down and down."
Robert Howard, a volunteer at the recreation center, said, "A lot of kids get disappointed sometimes they go door to door and there's not nobody passing out candy or the weather might be bad so it's a good thing for them to come here."
The kids seemed to be having a blast enjoying the Halloween festivities and decorations, and grandparents loved it too.
"She's going to be running around like a nut after all this candy, but hey, I don't have to deal with it, the mother does," said Sosa laughing.
Other folks in different parts of Cleveland's west side did make it out trick-or-treating. A tweet received said about "125+" trick-or-treaters were seen in Ohio City.