A safer alternative to trick-or-treating

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- Ghosts and monsters are just some of the horrors you'll find on Halloween, but for some parents, just as scary can be letting their kids trick or treat outside in the dark.

So Wednesday, thousands of parents headed to the Mesa Mall, trading traditional trick or treating for a safer alternative.

It's not everyday you see the mall transformed from a shopping venue to the hub of trick- or- treating in town. For some parents, it helped put their minds at ease.

"I love it. I feel like they care about the kids. I feel like they care that they have a good time and a safe time," said mother Courtney Jacobs.

Jacobs brings her kids to the mall every Halloween, because she says it's safer than traditional, outdoor trick- or- treating.

"I am kind of freaked out about the whole craziness going on in the news about the kids," she said. "I don't want them to be by themselves, you never know. If you can't pay attention to one and the other goes, what happens then? Or what happens if somebody runs up and grabs your kid while you're out walking? You don't know who they are; they have masks."

Instead of strangers, it's mall employees handing out the goods.

"I started working, folded a few clothes, then they told me you're just going to hand out candy, and I was like yes," Aeropostale employee David Herbert said. For Herbert, there’s no better day of work than Halloween.

"The best part is honestly seeing all the costumes. They're just awesome, seeing Mario Brothers, some of the princesses I guess," he said.

More than 60 stores handed out candy, and mall officials said they think more than 2,000 people showed up-- one of the biggest turnouts in the program's 20 year history-- for a day of frights and fears that parents hope will only last for one day.

Data shows that Halloween is by far the deadliest day of the year for young pedestrians. A ten year study showed an average of 5.5 deaths each Halloween, compared with just 2.6 the rest of the year.

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