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The Trick-or-Treat age limit

Trick-or-Treating is not appropriate for high school students

Lily Durham

Staff Writer

October 27, 2021

We all have memories of trick-or-treating, planning our costumes months in advance, marking out the houses with the best candy, and coming home and trading candy with our friends. These Halloween traditions are a key part of childhood, but at what age is that no longer appropriate? Now do not get me wrong, free candy does not sound like a bad deal, but trick or treating is for kids, not teenagers.

To first debate this age-old question, one must know the origins and history of trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating goes back to around the ninth century, young people would dress up in a costume, go to wealthy people’s houses and perform a “trick” such as singing, telling a joke, or reciting a poem. In return, the homeowners would give them a “treat” such as coins, nuts, or fruits. Many years later in the USA during the Great Depression, Halloween would end in many acts of vandalism and acts of violence. The tradition was not practiced as much until the postwar “baby boom” during the 1940s-50s. The tradition quickly became a common practice for little kids to dress up and get candy.

Trick-or-treating was made for those who could not afford food. The same can still be said for nowadays: children do not have jobs, and thus they can not afford to buy candy. For many children, this is their only chance to have candy. Many high school students have jobs and cars and can go buy candy for themselves. High school students can also choose candy that they like and not be stuck with unwanted candy. If you can drive yourself to the store and pay for candy with the money you made, there is no reason you should be going house to house asking for it.

While many teenagers who go trick-or-treating cause no problems, there is always going to be someone to ruin it for everyone. The violence and vandalism have been so bad for some towns they have had to ban high school students from trick-or-treating. In Chesapeake Virginia, there is a law designed to prohibit teens up to 14 years old from trick-or-treating. High school students are a lot to take in and can be intimidating to children. I remember being a little kid and not wanting to go to specific houses because teenagers were there and they were very scary to my younger self. I have luckily grown out of the fear, but I know there are kids that did not have that same fear I had.

If you have decided not to go trick-or-treating and are a high school student, there are still many fun and entertaining things to do during Halloween. You now have the freedom of a car and money and can kinda do a lot during Halloween that does not take the fun away from the kids. Even if you still are set on going trick-or-treating, make sure you do so responsibly and have fun.

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