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Image: October Snowstorm Hits The Northeast
William Thomas Cain  /  Getty Images
A festive home in Doylestown, PA is blanketed in snow; thousands in Pennsylvania and Delaware were left without power from the early winter storm.
TODAY staff and wire
updated 10/31/2011 5:22:01 PM ET 2011-10-31T21:22:01

This weekend, Mother Nature showed she has the power to do something that no goblin or ghoul, no witches’ spell or hockey mask-wearing axe murderer can do — cancel Halloween.

Story: Snow-downed trees could trip up NYC Marathon

Trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities have been postponed in communities from Maine to New Jersey after this weekend’s nor’easter created dangerous conditions. Mother Nature tricked those who didn’t think it snowed in October and treated them to a storm that left a mess of downed power lines, fallen trees and heavy snow across the Northeast. Twelve deaths were also reported as a result of the storm, which also caused more power outages than Hurricane Irene in some places.

Video: Northeast recovering from freak snowstorm (on this page)
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States of emergency have been declared in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and parts of New York, and many Northeast towns have postponed trick-or-treating to Thursday or Friday. In the case of Charlton, Mass., Halloween will be celebrated on Nov. 8, just 16 days before Thanksgiving.

Other Massachusetts towns like Auburn, Worcester and Leicester have also postponed Halloween, citing power outages, inaccessible and downed trees as hazards that could make trick-or-treating unsafe for families. Plainfield, Mass., was hit with 27 inches of snow, and Windsor piled up 26 inches.

“We need time to clean up and enjoy the trick or treating and all of the festivities knowing that we will be safe,” Worcester City Manager Michael V. O'Brien told the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. “We don't want families and children maneuvering around piles of snow and downed trees.”

Video: Creepy crafts: Kid-friendly Halloween projects

In Summit, N.J., trick-or-treating has been postponed to Friday, thanks to power outages, live electrical wires and downed trees that have made it difficult and dangerous to maneuver around town. Summit mayor Jordon Glatt issued a statement asking residents to stay inside for their own safety. Temperatures are expected to be in the 60s this week to melt the snowfall and make it safer for trick-or-treaters by the end of the week.

The last time New Jersey recorded any snowfall in October was 1952, and it was less than an inch, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of the state were hit with more than a foot on Saturday, including 19 inches in West Milford. The storm resulted in 102 school districts either being closed on Monday or having delayed openings, so Halloween costumes across the state sat unworn.

Video: Meet TODAY’s littlest trick-or-treaters

"You had this storm, you had Hurricane Irene, you had the flooding last spring and you had the nasty storms last winter," Hamilton Township, N.J., resident Tom Jacobsen told the Associated Press. "I'm starting to think we really ticked off Mother Nature somehow because we've been getting spanked by her for about a year now."

Paranoid parents x-ray Halloween candy

More than three million homes lost power as a result of the rare and historic October snowstorm, which set records for snowfall in October in numerous areas. In Connecticut, 750,000 customers were still without power Monday, according to The Hartford Courant. In Brookfield, Conn., trick-or-treating has been postponed to Saturday, and Democratic State Representative Tim Larson has proposed legislation that would designate the final Saturday in October as the day to celebrate Halloween across Connecticut.

In South Windsor, Conn., police and the town manager were recommending against trick-or-treating, but parents in neighborhoods that still had power were welcome to take their children out, said Vanessa Perry, assistant to the town manager.

One mother, Cyndi Stoddard, said she was frustrated the town did not propose another date for Halloween. She had to break the news to her 4-year-old daughter, who was planning to dress as a snow princess.

"My youngest is upset. She doesn't understand," Stoddard said. "I feel bad for the kids. It's minor in the scheme of things but it's a big thing for kids."

Twelve-year-old McKenzie Gallasso was deciding between dressing as a witch or a werewolf when the phone rang Monday with the bad news.

"I was upset because I really wanted to go trick-and-treating and get candy," said McKenzie, who added her mother did not want her to go out anyway because of the snow. "This year I'll have to eat candy from my mom."

In Concord, N.H., the state’s capitol was walloped with 22.5 inches of snow, the third-biggest snowfall in the state’s history. Trick-or-treating was postponed until next weekend in several New Hampshire towns, including Manchester, which traditionally had its festivities on the Sunday night before the holiday but now will celebrate Halloween on Nov. 6.

Slideshow: TODAY's royal Halloween 2011 (on this page)

Costumed youngsters as far north as Maine had to wait a little longer to put their costumes on because of the storm. A planned celebration and parade in South Berwick, Me., was moved from Sunday to Monday night because of the weather. The storm also hit communities to the west, as Halloween parades in the Pennsylvania communities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Hamburg were all postponed.

Some parents however were finding ways to take their kids trick-or-treating, even if it was canceled in their hometown.

Doreen Kelley, of Foxborough, Mass., said that when she heard the town had called off trick-or-treating, she decided to take her son to her friend's neighborhood in Bellingham, about 20 minutes away.

"My son was disappointed, but I just called my friend and we are going there so he's fine now," Kelley said.

— TODAY.com contributor Scott Stump and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive

Video: Northeast recovering from freak snowstorm

  1. Closed captioning of: Northeast recovering from freak snowstorm

    >>> we begin with the cleanup from that unusual and record-setting snowstorm in october. nbc's ron allen is in hartford, connecticut . ron, good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning to you, matt. you can find this incredible scene in so many communities here in connecticut , the same thing happened, about a foot of snow fell on these trees, still covered with leaves, dragging down the power lines . you can see them dangling across the roadway. this sign says caution, electricity, because the line might be alive and therefore very dangerous. across the state, about 750,000 people are without power and it's very easy to see why it could take a long time to fix all those problems. they're calling the destruction in connecticut unprecedented, even worse than hurricane irene , all because of that disastrous mix of heavy, wet snow and fall foliage, snapping utility lines, knocking out power, and in some places, even sparking fires.

    >> irove up into town and it looked like a war zone with all the trees that were down.

    >> reporter: a record-breaking halloween weekend storm that dumped more than 31 inches of snow in northern new england , and the earliest snow in over 100 years in new york's central park .

    >> i was just thinking maybe it was just a halloween trick that we got a winter storm , you know, but it's actually real. it's real and uncanny and scary.

    >> reporter: and destructive. a huge limb crashed into this house in new york.

    >> the tree fell on my house, and it went through the roof and went into the family room.

    >> reporter: not far away another narrow escape.

    >> if i was staying in the car two more seconds i would be dead today.

    >> reporter: traveling has been treacherous and tedious, especially by air. passengers aboard this jetblue flight, one snapped these pictures, still have not forgiven the airline for leaving them on a plane for seven hours on the ground with no food, water, or bathrooms available.

    >> it almost came to fisticuffs on the plane. there were children who, children under the age of 3 for eight hours on a plane isn't pleasant.

    >> reporter: the storm saturday had forced the flight bound for new jersey to land in connecticut . jetblue apologized, a statement said in part, "the airport experienced intermittent power outages, which made refueling and jetbridge deplaning difficult." full refunds were promised. from new jersey to massachusetts, trying to clean up the mess is what many folks are still doing today across the northeast. many businesses and schools are closed, as streets are clogged with downed trees and power lines . the first halloween that's brought a snow day in a very long time.

    >> she's handling it fine. she wants to build a snowman all day.

    >> reporter: maybe a very pleasant day for her and thousands of other kids who don't have school today but a lot of headaches in connecticut and across new england because of the storm. we've seen people in line for groceries and outside gas stations to get gas, so few are open in some communities and the essence of the problem is trying to fix the power lines , get rid of the trees and repair the damage and it's going to take a while, several days, perhaps a week for some people before the lights are on and before they have power again.

    >> ron allen in hartford this morning, thanks very much. stay

Photos: TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

loading photos...
  1. Matt Lauer and Ann Curry as the royal bride and groom on the set of TODAY's 2011 Halloween celebration.

    "The royal wave is like this?” Curry said in rehearsals. “I don’t know how to do it, so I’m going to go “hey guys!’" (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The royal wedding group included co-hosts Matt Lauer and Ann Curry as the regal bride and groom, Al Roker as party-hearty royal brother Prince Harry, former host Meredith Vieira as the Queen, Natalie Morales as Kate’s vivacious sister Pippa, and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb playing Beatrice and Eugenie, royal daughters of Prince Andrew and Fergie. (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. TODAY’s relative newcomer Savannah Guthrie might be excused for thinking she received the short end of the stick in being tapped to play royal dad Prince Charles. First seeing herself in full Charles regalia, she shouted, “Oh my gosh, that’s hilarious!” and added, “This is probably a career-ender." (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb dressed up as Beatrice and Eugenie, royal daughters of Prince Andrew and Fergie.

    Cameras captured Kotb in a bit of a diva moment when having her head fitted for her royal wig. “Please take this off; I hate it!” she bellowed. (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Natalie Morales strikes a pose as Pippa Middleton. (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. TODAY alum Meredith Vieira, who wowed the Plaza crowd last Halloween as Lady Gaga, returned to join in on the Halloween festivities, eliciting screams from the TODAY personalities as she arrived as the Queen herself. (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Re-making the royal wedding wasn't an easy undertaking. Matt Lauer and Al Roker were outfitted as the Princes from costume shops, and Ann Curry and Natalie Morales' dresses were off-the-rack, but Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s costumes were designed from scratch to recreate the colorful attire of the young princesses. (Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Getting the 'do’s of the royal family just right was the most painstaking endeavor. Each wig worn by the TODAY gang took up to 40 hours to make, using a half-pound each of hair. Here, the TODAY family gathers on the "balcony" for the royal kiss (on the cheek). (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. As Lauer and Curry drove off in a car trailed with balloons, TODAY’s fourth hour correspondent Sarah Haines, dressed as notably pregnant wedding invitee Victoria Beckham, introduced the behind-the-scenes of the hundreds of hours put into the royal Halloween production. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Always repping California, celeb chef Giada De Laurentiis got decked out as Katy Perry for Halloween, thanks to her 3-year-old daughter Jade, who adores the pop star.

    Giada says she decided to "indulge (Jade) in a little Katy Perry, head to toe.” (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. TODAY's littlest fans, decked out on the Plaza. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. “Mummy sends her love!” Kathie Lee Gifford shouted to the couple (Sarah Ferguson, famously, wasn't invited to the real wedding). (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Royal newlyweds Matt Lauer and Ann Curry (as Will and Kate) drove off in a car trailed with balloons.

    And they lived happily ever after... (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
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