Trick or Treat: Why I’m Uneasy with Halloween


I am uneasy with Halloween.

I don’t mind the dressing up per-say but it’s the trick or treating which I am the most uneasy with.

You see, when I was growing up, my parents would never let me go trick or treating and, at the time, I was gutted. Why couldn’t I go and get loads of sweets and chocolate like all of my friends?

I recently asked them why they wouldn’t let me. I suppose I assumed it was from a religious perspective. We are Catholic and a lot of Christians believe Halloween to be of pagan roots so not a suitable celebration.

However I was in for a surprise.

According to my mum and dad it wasn’t really done when I was young (how old do I sound?!) but when I asked when I was a teenager my dad said he didn’t agree  the begging aspect of it.

My mum said if I was young now however, she would let me do it if she went with me.

And surprisingly again, I disagree.

Like I said, the dressing up does not bother me. I had a Halloween-themed birthday party for my 30th because my birthday is the day before (see photo of Rosie the dog dressed up for the occasion-please don’t call the RSPCA!!).

It is the house-to-house calls from children, like my dad said, begging.

When we lived at the old house, I did buy sweets and treats in for trick or treaters but one year, some older children said: ‘have you not got any money?’

This totally put me off. Surely their parents should have taught them to be thankful for whatever people offered them. Some people don’t even open the door.

So at the moment, I would be reluctant to let my daughter go trick or treating when she is older.

Maybe I will change my mind but thankfully, living on the farm, we have few neighbours and I am relieved to say that thanks to rather large gates, dogs and Minty the guard-sheep, no one will be trick or treating at our door.


  1. It was the same for me when I was growing up. I was never allowed to go trick or treating because my parents saw it as begging. We have taken our children out though but they’re still young enough that we have to go with them and we only go up and down our road where we know most people, and most people participate and only sweets are involved. Never money and that’s never expected. I don’t see the harm in it if it’s kept light hearted and if there’s a house where they’ve put a note in the window to say ‘no trick or treaters’ people should respect their wishes.

  2. Unfortunately this is a tradition (if you can call it that) that came from America and I wish it had stayed there. I am sure that there are a lot of parents who think that they can do without all the fuss and expense! I have just been to the supermarket and saw two mums buying their daughters Halloween costumes. Why!! It is such a horrible idea to dress your children up so that they look all ghoulish and scary and if you say anything people think you are miserable and you are told it is just a bit of fun. But is it?

  3. I actually love the dressing up part, the spooky decorations and making “revolting” food, but I never let my boys go Trick or Treating when we were in the UK and put up a sign on our door telling Trick or Treaters not to knock. And why? Several reasons. I felt it was an activity brought in from America and was not traditional for us and was only encouraged by retailers who stand to make money from everyone buying more costumes and sweets. Now it is really getting out of hand and everyone is expected to supply loads of sweets … for some people it an yet another expense they struggle to meet. Like others I don’t like the begging aspect and also had friends who suffered the Trick part having flour, eggs and leaves thrown in the house by older children. My elderly Mother in Law was also visited by teenage so called Trick or Treaters many nights before Halloween which really rather unsettled her. By all means have some spooky Halloween fun but take out the Trick or Treat part. And if that is hard for your children to accept why not arrange a small Halloween party instead.

  4. Not keen on Trick or Treating either. It does seem to stem from a UK tradition, taken over to the US, so maybe its our just desserts that we’ve got it back again. My children have gone trick or treating with american friends for the past few years, but this year I’ve said no and we are celebrating at home. Like you, there is no chance of trick or treaters visiting us. We live in the scary house, down the drive with no lights, and a big dog that would not look out of place in a Harry Potter film. Thanks for sharing. I feel less of a humbug now.

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