A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 28, 2022
“Shell out, shell out, or we’ll turn your windows inside out!” (Halloween shout)

“Trick or treat!” is a popular Halloween shout. “Shell out!” is another cry that has been popular in Canada, in use since at least the 1890s.

“A large crowd of boys in the ‘shell out’ business were making things lively” was printed in the Toronto (ON) World on November 1, 1893. “Gangs of them would go to the street and yell till further orders, ‘Shell out, Shell out’” was printed in The Evening Star (Toronto, ON) on November 1, 1894. “In all parts of the city the small boy congregated soon after dark with the usual request that the storekeeper ‘shell out’” was printed in the Toronto (ON) World on November 1, 1895.

“Shell out or I’ll break your windows inside out” was printed in The Sault Daily Star (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) on October 31, 1964. “SHELL OUT SHELL OUT OR WE’LL BREAK YOUR WINDOWS INSIDE OUT” was printed in Room of One’s Own (1985). “Shell out, shell out, if you don’t shell out, we’ll break your windows inside out!” was printed in The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan) on November 23, 2000. “Shell out, shell out, or we’ll break your windows inside out” was printed in The Spectator (Hamilton, ON) on April 29, 2003.

“The witches are out—shell out” was printed in The Advocate (Red Deer, Alberta) on October 30, 1973. “Shell-Out, Shell-Out, the witches are out!” was printed in the Windsor (ON) Star on October 27, 1976. “Shell out! shell out! the witches are out! And assorted other skeletons, ghosts and goblins” was printed in the Edmonton (Alberta) Journal on November 1, 1976. “Shell out, shell out, the witches are out” was printed in the Toronto (ON) Star on October 26, 1990. “When we arrived at the first house, we shouted the usual chorus: ‘Shell out! Shell out! We’ll break your windows inside out.’ In some neighbourhoods, they chanted, ‘Shell out! Shell out! The witches are out’” was printed in the book Arse Over Teakettle: An Irreverent Story of Coming of Age during the 1940s in Toronto (2010) by Doug Taylor.

“Halloween apples!” and “Charity, please!” are other Halloween shouts.


Wikipedia: Trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating is a traditional Halloween custom for children and adults in some countries. In the evening before All Saints’ Day (1 November), children in costumes travel from house to house, asking for treats with the phrase “Trick or treat”. The “treat” is usually some form of candy, although in some cultures money is given instead. The “trick” refers to a threat, usually idle, to perform mischief on the homeowner(s) or their property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating usually occurs on the evening of October 31.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
to shell out colloquial (figurative from sense 1).
a. transitive. To disburse, pay up, hand over. Also (rarely) to shell down.
1801 M. Edgeworth Forester in Moral Tales I. 191 One of you..must shell out your corianders [see coriander n. 3].
1816 W. Scott Black Dwarf vii, in Tales of my Landlord 1st Ser. I. 141 The gold is shelled down when ye command, as fast as I have seen the ash-keys fall in a frosty morning.
1817 M. Edgeworth Love & Law i. i, in Comic Dramas 10 To shell out for me the price of a deecent horse.
b. intransitive. To pay up.
1821 P. Egan Life in London ii. iii. 229 If you are too scaly to tip for it I’ll shell out and shame you.
1857 T. Hughes Tom Brown’s School Days i. vi. 127 I’ve got a tick at Sally’s,..but then I hate running it high..towards the end of the half, ‘cause one has to shell out for it all directly one comes back.

Canadiana
1 November 1893, Toronto (ON) World, “Students Wreck a Building,” pg. 1, col. 5:
Hallowe’en is the students’ night.
(...)
A large crowd of boys in the “shell out” business were making things lively between Elm and Gerrard-streets, had smashed a large plate-glass window and were extremely disorderly.

1 November 1894, The Evening Star (Toronto, ON), “The Suburbs,” pg. 8, col. 2:
Queen street, from the Don to Pape avenue, was fairly alive with the festive small boy last night, and it took three or four blue coated guardians of the law to keep them in anything like order. Gangs of them would go to the street and yell till further orders, “Shell out, Shell out.”

Canadiana
1 November 1895, Toronto (ON) World, “The Students Were Out,” pg. 1, col. 2:
The Small Boy.
In all parts of the city the small boy congregated soon after dark with the usual request that the storekeeper “shell out.”

1 November 1898, The Globe (Toronto, ON), pg. 4, col. 1:
MEN WHO EAT HAGGIS.
Caledonians Enjoy Their Annual
Hallowe’en Dinner.
(...)
While thousands of predatory boys stormed the corner groceries last evening with cries of “shell out,” while the students made the theatres ring with their slogans, the proprietors of Hallowe’en dined at the Walker House, congratulated themselves on the success of the Scot at home and abroad, and toasted the sacred haggis. It may be denied that All Hallows Eve is a Scottish festival, but he would be a bold man who would do so when Piper Munro plays in the haggis and the Scots greet it standing. The evening before All Saints’ Day is celebrated all over the world, but in Scotland it takes rank with the psalms and the poems of Burns, the royal games of golf and curling, as one of the country’s foundation pillars. Hallowe’en is preeminently a Scottish festival, honored in song and speech wherever the race is to be found.

Newspapers.com
31 October 1899, The Evening Citizen (Ottawa, ON), pg. 7, col. 3:
HALLOWE’EN
Watch for the Mischief
Maker Tonight.

FAIRIES WILL BE ABOUT
(...)
In the towns the small boys still levy toll on the merchants, as they march along shouting the lusty battle cry, “Shell out,” receiving everything from nuts and fruit to veteran vegetables and superannuated hen fruit.

Newspapers.com
2 November 1909, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Tribune, pg. 12, col. 4:
STUDENTS CELEBRATE.
(...)
Raided Grocery.
Shell out! Shell out! Shell out!

Newspapers.com
9 December 1916, Winnipeg (Manitoba) Evening Tribune, The Tribune Junior, pg. 5, col. 2:
TELLS ABOUT HALLOWE’EN
(...)
They dress up, go to parties, and the children stop around the shops yelling: “Shell out! Shell out!” Sometimes the shop-keepers fill a bag with fruit or cakes and hand it to the children.
GRODON, MELSTED, 673 Bannatyne avenue.

Newspapers.com
31 October 1964, The Sault Daily Star (Sault Ste. Marie, ON), “Hallowe’en Not Losing Any Appeal” by The Canadian Press, pg. 2, col. 4:
The threat of “Shell out or I’ll break your windows inside out” will still bellow through most Canadian neighborhoods, but as more of a long-standing Hallowe’en war cry.

Newspapers.com
30 October 1973, The Advocate (Red Deer, Alberta), “Halloween...Pennies for UNICEF,” pg. 8, cols. 6-7:
In dressing up in scary costumes and knocking on doors calling, “the witches are out—shell out” or “trick or treat, give us something good to eat,” modern children act out remnants of ideas that people once believed.

Newspapers.com
27 October 1976, Windsor (ON) Star, pg. 29, col. 4 ad:
Halloween
Costumes

Shell-Out, Shell-Out, the witches are out!
(Sentry Discount Department Stores.—ed.)

Newspapers.com
1 November 1976, Edmonton (Alberta) Journal, pg. 1, col. 3 photo caption:
Shell out! shell out! the witches are out! And assorted other skeletons, ghosts and goblins. A look at the Halloween festivities on Page 17.

Google Books
Room of One’s Own
Volume 10, Issue 2
1985
Pg. 75:
“SHELL OUT SHELL OUT OR WE’LL BREAK YOUR WINDOWS INSIDE OUT,” we holler. “TRICK OR TREAT!”

26 October 1990, Toronto (ON) Star, “Sun blamed for wrinkles, spots” by Stasia Evasuk, pg. B3:
“Shell out, shell out, the witches are out.”

31 October 1992, Hamilton (ON) Spectator, “Our Halloween traditions have roots in ancient rituals” by Elizabeth Patton, pg. T1:
You might not suspect any historical explanation for the chant “Shell out, shell out, the witches are out.” But look harder.

Google Groups: rec.radio.shortwave
Hallowe’en Hollers
JERRY NORMANDIN
Oct 16, 1994, 5:23:31 PM
In article <7820...@f769.n115.z1.ftn>, (Marg Meikle) writes:
>I’m attempting to collect some regional sayings and celebrations for
>Hallowe’en. Here in Vancouver, Canada we knock on the door and shout
>“Trick or Treat” ... although kids today are appalled if you suggest that
>they might have to perform a trick for a treat. And we have fireworks
>shows in neighbourhoods afterwards.
>
>In the prairies I know that a lot of people say “Hallowe’en Apples” and I
>understand that in Toronto folks use the “Shell out, Shell out, the
>witches are out” line.

Google Groups: alt.support.childfree
Trick or treating--a survey
Rabbit
Nov 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM
>
>
> Aaron insists that Trick-or-Treaters follow the proper protocol. One MUST
> say “Trick or Treat”, if they don’t, they get a stern “What do you say?”
> It’s shocking how many kids have to THINK ABOUT IT!

I came to Canada from the southern US in 1964, and the only phrase I’d ever heard was “Trick or treat”. But the children here would say, “Shell out, shell out, the witches are out!” I’d never heard of it. I was the only one in our neighborhood who said “Trick or treat”. I don’t know what they say around here now ...

Newspapers.com
23 November 2000, The Leader-Post (Regina, Saskatchewan), “Common Sense” by Josiah Rise, pg. A11:
They approach government like it was some house on a Halloween run shouting, “Shell out, shell out, if you don’t shell out, we’ll break your windows inside out!”

29 April 2003, The Spectator (Hamilton, ON), “Family declined another ride on The Incline” by Ted Wilcox, pg. D8:
A letter from Jim Panes of Grimsby:

Dear Ted:
In your April 8 column, “trick or treat” was mentioned. The North End I lived in was the north end of Toronto. And the words we used on Halloween were: “Shell out, shell out, or we’ll break your windows inside out.” This fearsome piece of extortion was enough to ensure candies from intimidated householders, so we were never forced to make good (or bad) on the threat.

Newspapers.com
29 October 2004, Daily Herald-Tribune (Grand Prairie, Alberta), “Halloween is for the kids for goodness sakes” by Bill Scott, pg. 65, col. 1:
We’d often cry “Shell out! Shell out! The witches are out!” as we trod up the front steps of houses with a jack-o-lantern beaming from the window.

Google Groups: alt.fan.cecil-adams
Halloween in Detroit
Bill Kinkaid
Nov 6, 2005, 1:46:03 AM
“If you don’t shell out
we’ll turn your windows inside out”.
--
Bill in Vancouver

Google Books
Arse Over Teakettle:
An Irreverent Story of Coming of Age during the 1940s in Toronto
A Toronto Trilogy—Book One

By Doug Taylor
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc.
2010
Pg. 206:
When we arrived at the first house, we shouted the usual chorus: “Shell out! Shell out! We’ll break your windows inside out.”

In some neighbourhoods, they chanted, “Shell out! Shell out! The witches are out.”

The words trick or treat were American and unknown to us.

Twitter
Gremliny Nussboo
@emilynussbaum·Jul 3, 2020
HALLOWEEN APPLES?? I did not know this. https://newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/make-america-canada-again

Sharrona pro-abortion Pearl🇺🇦
@Sharronapearl
Replying to @emilynussbaum
I have never heard it and I spent a lot of time being Canadian.  We did, however, say “shell out” instead of “trick or treat.”
4:17 PM · Jul 3, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Melba Girard
@MelbaGirard
#InsteadOfSayingTrickOrTreatJustSay
Shell out!
Shell out!
The Witches are out!
5:56 PM · Oct 24, 2022·Twitter Web App

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, October 28, 2022 • Permalink