The Rules of Trick or Treating …

The obligatory picture of Tara with an axe

The obligatory picture of Tara with an axe


…or ‘How Not To Behave WHen Trick or Treating’.

I’ll admit I’m a miserable git when it comes to Halloween. I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when its over. We sort of ‘do Halloween’ without ‘doing Halloween’ if that makes sense.

I could harp on about how awful it is celebrating spooks and evil beings (that good old Catholic upbringing coming in again) but there’s not much point. I think each to their own, if you want to celebrate Halloween, go ahead – have a fabulous night! We do carve pumpkins and the girls make their own decorations for the house, which have been brilliant this year. See, I’m not totally miserable!

One thing I cannot abide though, is Trick or Treating. Its not just the accepting sweets from a stranger thing, whilst teaching our kids about stranger danger – although that is a jolly good point. I find it hard to think of something I’d like less than to drag the kids around the streets, knocking on people’s doors.

Before you start thinking that my kids are deprived …they have all been to a party tonight (Tara dressed as Tinkerbell, but what does a 2yo know?) and I’ve given them so many sweets myself that the dentist will be a-knocking tomorrow.

Some people get Trick or Treating so wrong though. I’ve seen it all here tonight. Here’s my guide on How not to Trick or Treat…

  • Silence – I’ve answered the door to more kids standing there looking terrified than to anyone saying ‘Trick or Treat’. Parents, tell your kids to at least have some manners and say hello at the door.
  • Say Thank You –ย nuff said!
  • Dress up properly – A school uniform with a Scream mask does not make a costume.
  • Too Scary – This is a message to the adults. There is absolutely no need to walk around with a face like you’ve just stepped out of Seattle Grace ER.
  • Adults, you don’t need to hold out your hand for sweets – If you are older than 16 its just sad!
  • Don’t say, “We’re not from round ere. We’d get the cr@p beaten out of us round our way”. I kid you not, a woman said it to me tonight. My kids are still stunned.
  • Don’t also say, “Keep away from that cat, Lad” “He can’t stand cats. Hates ’em!” – Got news for you, love. That cat lives here and is lovely. You don’t and you’re not. (And I don’t know if her son is really called Lad)
  • If you call round after 8PM and wake my kids up, you’ll end up with the dregs of the sweets that we’ve been saving from party bags since last October.

And so its over for another year. I’ve got no more eyeliner left from drawing spiders on the kid’s faces and I’m off to eat my own body weight in Haribo. Happy Halloween!


  1. says

    We haven’t had any here tonight but there were a few before I got home from work. We tend not to open the door as we don’t buy any sweets in for it.

    Another reason we don’t open the door is a few years ago it was all older teenagers in just scream masks and demanding money!

    The only year I’ve ever given out anything was a year we looked after my aunties cat and she gave us a big bowl of Cadbury’s roses and by Halloween all that we’re left were the orange, strawberry and coffee creams. Mwhahaha!

    I can’t believe the adults had there hands out that just rude. I think if you go t or t only go to house with decorations visible. Keep local and be polite.

    Well that was a biy longer than my usual fab post comments I’d mentally planned hehe x

    • Helen says

      Oh I’d forgotten about the begging for money gangs – we’ve not had any of those for a couple of years.

      The orange, strawberry and coffee creams are the BEST! Save them all for me :-)


  2. says

    We would never ‘trick or treat’ at a strangers house and only visit our neighbours in our cu-de-sac who we already know. Our rule is to only visit houses that are decorated (which to be fair in our street – is most!)

  3. says

    I was having this discussion on fb last night. My children get dressed up and then I drive them to ‘trick or treat’ aunties, parents and grandparents. We don’t knock door to door because I don’t want to start a tradition for them that won’t be safe in years to come.

  4. says

    ALSO – if the house doesn’t have outside lights on or any sign of decoration, they probably aren’t playing! I carve a pumpkin for my own amusement but keep it well out of sight, we don’t have kids and we don’t keep sweets in the house.

    • Helen says

      I love that don’t need kids to carve a pumpkin – why should they get all the fun? And you are far more controlled than me – I always have sweets in the house! Hx

  5. says

    I’m a complete Halloween grinch. I don’t really get it to be honest but the bit about adults holding out their hands for sweets made me really chuckle. People do that?! Hahaha, I think I’d be stunned! :)

    • Helen says

      Its the one’s standing there with their hands out in silence that really spook me out! I wonder what they feel like when they get home? x

  6. says

    This post didn’t half make me laugh :) I was actually quite surprised I didn’t have a single trick or treater last night (not that I’m complaining!) I wouldn’t take my little girl trick or treating either I totally agree there are too many other safer ways to have Halloween fun

  7. says

    This did make me laugh, although I can’t complain as all our trick or treaters were lovely. My little boy is too young for the full on Halloween but we did carve a pumpkin and he dressed up to open the door to the other kids.

    I was really impressed as we had a group of teenage lads turn up and when they saw my son a couple of them took their masks off so they wouldn’t scare him, which it thought was really sweet.

    We brought the pumpkin in at half 7 and had no further visitors so a good night for us (and lots of left over sweets for me!)

  8. says

    Last night my friend had a little girl knock on her door and when she offered her sweets she said “I don’t like them, don’t you have anything else” I was shocked when she told me. She said to her “You’ll like what you’re given and you’ll say “Thank You”.” The kid didn’t expect it haha xx

  9. says

    Wow I think we must be lucky – all those here were very nice and polite. We dressed up but stayed in – my sn got to hold the bowl of sweeties and was very excited about the whole thing.

    • Helen says

      I must say, our Violet was very useful and excited at dishing out the sweets – until she became sick of me tutting every time they didn’t say thanks! x

  10. says

    Great post!! I like the ‘only knock on decorated houses’ rules. That does seem to be the case here which is good, although I’ve failed massively the Halloween front this year so we had to beg some trick or treaters to come to the door last night. The kids were desperate to give out some sweets!

  11. says

    We’ve never done trick or treating before but this year I caved and agreed that we’d give it a go. It was actually a really lovely experience, with all the neighbours having pumpkins and decorations out to indicate they were happy to have little visitors (we had our pumpkins carved and out too of course!) and there were lots of little friendly bands of scarily-dressed kids walking around excited with their parents. Most were fairly young and everyone was friendly and happy. It was a nice community experience and I have to say it’s changed my opinion a bit – I was actually quite impressed with what a nice atmosphere it was.

  12. says

    Ahhhhh you’d hate me as your neighbour. As a child who was never allowed to go trick or treating I fully embrace Halloween. I always insist my son goes out and I love dressing up and scaring the kids that knock at our door! We do have rules though. We only ever knock at houses that have pumpkins. x

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