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After storm, Halloween cancelled in many towns

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.

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.

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.”

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.

"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."

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 Photos

    Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images North America

    Image: NBC's "Today" 2011 Halloween Celebration

    TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

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    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!’"

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: NBC's "Today" 2011 Halloween Celebration

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    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.

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    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."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: NBC's "Today" 2011 Halloween Celebration

    TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

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    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.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • NBC's "Today" 2011 Halloween Celebration

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    Natalie Morales strikes a pose as Pippa Middleton.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: NBC's "Today" 2011 Halloween Celebration

    TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

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    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.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • NBC's "Today" 2011 Halloween Celebration

    TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

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    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.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    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 / TODAY
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    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.

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    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.

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    TODAY / TODAY
  • TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

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    TODAY's littlest fans, decked out on the Plaza.

    TODAY / TODAY
  • TODAY's royal Halloween 2011

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    “Mummy sends her love!” Kathie Lee Gifford shouted to the couple (Sarah Ferguson, famously, wasn't invited to the real wedding).

    TODAY / TODAY
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    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...

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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.

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