Halloween Etiquette: Trick or Treat


There is nothing wrong with celebrating Halloween. Whether with a fun party, a creative costume, or some delicious candy while you’re curled up on the sofa watching Hocus Pocus in the dark. It can be so fun, especially for kiddos who have been waiting to be a super hero and princess all year.

There is also nothing wrong with choosing not to celebrate Halloween. Whether due to religious preferences, or personal dislike, that choice is yours. You shouldn’t feel pressured into celebrating something you’re not comfortable with, or just don’t like.

However, whether you’re a celebrator or a stay-away-from-witches-and-ghosts kind of person, there are some etiquette rules you should be aware of for the coming holiday festivities.

If you choose to celebrate:

  1. Please choose an appropriate costume for Trick-or-Treat. No, your child should not be a “slutty” anything, and neither should you. Also, keep their age in mind. The most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen was a 7 year old dressed like Pennywise the Clown from IT. For the love of everything good, please use some common sense when dressing your child for Halloween.
  2. Knock one time, and then move on. Don’t sit at one house and knock 10 times until someone finally opens their door. If you don’t get an answer within 30 seconds of your first knock, move on to the next house.
  3. If the light is off, do not knock. Dark porches are a sign that Trick-or-Treaters aretrickortreat not welcomed to that home, or that the owners are out. Move along to the next home.
  4. Don’t complain about what you’re given. If you get a handful of wax bottles and gumdrops, smile and say thank you. Remember, strangers spent their money to provide candy for you. Be thankful and move on.
  5. Say Thank you and you’re welcome! Please don’t forsake your basic manners just because it’s a chaotic holiday and you’re hiding behind a mask.
  6. Do not step into the house of a stranger. Even if it’s the sweetest elderly lady who invites you in for cookies, if she’s not your grandmother or well-known great aunt, politely decline and leave.
  7. Don’t handout homemade treats. Please spend a few extra dollars and buy pre-packaged treats or candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters coming to your door. If you can’t afford that, flip your porch lights off and curl up with the original Addam’s family on TV. It’ll be over soon.

If you choose not to celebrate:

  1. Turn your porch light off. The symbol that you do not want trick-or-treaters is a dark porch. What if they ring the doorbell anyway? Easy: no light means no candy. Don’t answer the door.
  2. Don’t judge those who do choose to celebrate. Again, not celebrating is your choice, but celebrating is theirs. It goes both ways.

Either way you go, be sure to be courteous and respectful this Halloween!


Happy Haunting!

Paige Baldwin

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