When Angie Abel moved to Nineveh at the age of 13, her father introduced her to a longstanding Halloween tradition.

On the last day of October, Nineveh residents gather at the intersection of Nineveh Road and County Road 775S — the only four-way stop in town — and cover the surrounding businesses, trees, signs and utility poles with as much toilet paper as possible. Residents bring their own toilet paper, but some of the businesses also hand them out. And the fun goes until the toilet paper runs out.

The intersection fills with people, no matter the weather. And residents use it as a time to catch up and see their neighbors. Children look forward to the day they are old enough to participate, seeing it as a way to get away with something they wouldn’t usually be allowed to do, residents said.

Homes are off limits, and only toilet paper is used. No one brings eggs or anything else that could leave permanent damage. And clean-up is done by Mother Nature in the days after when the wind blows toilet paper down from the trees and buildings.

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Abel has participated in the annual event for more than 30 years, sharing it with her children and, for the first time this year, her grandchildren. And this year, Abel and her mother Kathy Childers are having their newly opened business, K & A Creative Bargains, join in the fun by handing out rolls of toilet paper to children, she said. In the days leading up to Halloween, Abel had accumulated more than 150 rolls of toilet paper.

The origins of the festivities are unclear and date back nearly 50 years — Abel’s father used to participate as a child.

Parents would bring in truckloads of toilet paper, hand it out to the kids, and watch them have fun throwing it over everything they could, said Jeni Wilson, a lifelong Nineveh resident and owner of Cornerstone Contracting in Nineveh.

“It is a nice, safe time for people to come and hang out and enjoy company,” she said.

The area around the intersection becomes a place for neighbors to gather, with businesses and homes nearby handing out candy, Abel said.

The tradition is described as “good, clean fun,” something kids can do that stops them from getting into trouble elsewhere such as by throwing eggs at houses or cars, Abel said.

“After they go trick-or-treating, what is there to do?” she said. “This gives them some kind of outlet and it’s all in fun, and it is all right out here.”

Abel plans to hand rolls of toilet paper only to kids that have parents with them to supervise, she said.

She’s also gotten a food vendor to come out for the night. Hillbilly Hot Dogs will be at the intersection with his hot dog cart, she said. Abel also decorated her business for Halloween, with pumpkins and yard decorations including ghouls, Halloween signs and dressed-up mannequins.

Sheriff Doug Cox cautions people who are celebrating to show restraint and not do anything that could harm someone or do damage to a vehicle.

Residents say if a vehicle does drive through the intersection during the annual event, they too can expect to be showered with toilet paper.

If the festivities result in any damage to cars driving through the intersection, or if people prohibit traffic from driving through the area, he will send deputies out to resolve the issue, Cox said. Otherwise, deputies will be patrolling all of the county, with a special focus on watching for people speeding where children are out trick-or-treating, he said.

THINGS TO BOO

Ghosts, princesses and
superheroes, get your
candy bags ready for
trick-or-treating tonight.
» Bargersville: 6 to
9 p.m. Trick-or-treaters
also can do a Trunk or
Treat from 6 to 8 p.m.
downtown.
» Edinburgh: 6 to
8 p.m. Trick-or-treaters
also can participate in
a Trunk or Treat at the
Parks and Recreation
building from 5 to
8 p.m.
» Franklin: 5:30 to
8:30 p.m.
» Hickory Creek:
Franklin, 580 Lemley
St.: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
» Morning Pointe:
Franklin, 75 S. Milford
Drive: 5:30 to 7 p.m.
» Greenwood: 6 to
8:30 p.m.
» Indianapolis: 6 to
8 p.m.
» Johnson County,
including unincorporated
areas and
White River
Township: 6 to 8 p.m.
» Prince’s Lakes: 5 to
8 p.m. Trick-or-treaters
also can attend a
Trunk or Treat at the
town hall during trickor-
treating hours.
» New Whiteland: 6 to
8 p.m.
» Trafalgar: 6 to 9 p.m.
» Whiteland: 6 to 9 p.m.

Author photo
Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.