To not let my children go trick or treating

(216 Posts)
Nolikeythespookey Tue 01-Oct-13 18:26:02

I really dislike trick or treating. It is not a British thing - it is a new thing from America and I think it's greedy and intrusive. I don't want my kids going to strangers doors and essentially saying 'give us sweets or we'll do something bad to you'. I think it's horrible manners and not even necessarily safe. I don't think children need a big bucket of 'candy' either.

My kids have been young enough to discourage this so far, but this year one has been invited out trick or treating with friends. I've said we have other plans. He's 6. When they get a bit older and are more aware of the whole thing I won't let them feel left out and will grudgingly allow them to go (with an adult) but I really, really hate this stupid non tradition.

We did used to have 'guising' on hallowe'en in the UK, where kids/guisers had to do a 'party piece/turn' to earn their treat, and I think that's a much nicer thing - bit of give and take and no demanding/threatening from the kids, plus the treat could easily be 20p or an apple.

cantspel Tue 01-Oct-13 18:27:53

mine have never been trick or treating and they have got to middle teens without their lives being blighted by the fact we dont do halloween at all.

Rooners Tue 01-Oct-13 18:29:54

I hate it too, last year our neighbour took his kids and mine, I didn't want them to go, as I didn't want people to think badly of us. I already feel uncomfortable living in a well off area and to go about 'begging' like this is hugely embarrassing to me - but I was ill at the time and felt pushed into it.
I thought they were going to do their street, not mine.

They got so much stuff it was insane, and then it all stayed at the neighbour's house and my children didn't get any of it. hmmhmm

I don't speak to him any more. Tight git.



Was I first? Do I win?

I don't celebrate Hallowe'en and have no feelings about it either way btw.

cherrytomato40 Tue 01-Oct-13 18:31:09

It's up to you obviously but personally I don't see the harm. When they were little the kids loved dressing up and handing out sweets to trick or treaters, last year I took them out for the first time and they loved it, lots of their friends were out too and lots of people had really made an effort to decorate their houses.

We use the universal code of only knocking on doors that have a lit pumpkin outside!

Ragwort Tue 01-Oct-13 18:31:10

I really dislike 'trick or treating' and made sure we were doing other things on Halloween rather than 'forbid' my DS to do it grin. We did allow him to go for the first time when he was 10 and he prompty said it was a waste of time and wished he hadn't bothered !

Although I don't like it, I do get sweets in etc for children who come round, I am not going to give them a lecture on the rights and wrongs of it but it is certainly not something I would ever encourage.

TheCrackFox Tue 01-Oct-13 18:31:21

Trick or Treating has been going on in Scotland for centuries and is called guising - we actually exported the tradition to America who, in turn, have exported it to England. That aside, if you don't like it then you do not have to let your children take part.

Sirzy Tue 01-Oct-13 18:32:02


If you still want to do the Halloween stuff without trick or treating why not have a party/activities in the house?

Bowlersarm Tue 01-Oct-13 18:32:40

I'm a misery about it as well. I hate it. Pleased we live rurally now so don't get any trick or treaters.

Bah humbug...

Mintyy Tue 01-Oct-13 18:32:57

Oooooo, that time of year again?

CocacolaMum Tue 01-Oct-13 18:33:22

I don't really see the issue and am highly sceptical that its in any way knew or American..

FlapJackOLantern Tue 01-Oct-13 18:33:40

HERE WE GO - SAME OLD THING EVERY YEAR: begging, paedophiles behind every door. Yawn yawn.

CocacolaMum Tue 01-Oct-13 18:33:42


(oh lordy the shame)

Felyne Tue 01-Oct-13 18:35:36

I hate it too. I hated sitting at home in the dark pretending to be out and now that I have kids I am dreading when they'll be old enough to want to go. We did a thing in our street once years ago where everyone who wanted to participate hung a picture of a pumpkin on their door, and it was just the kids from our street mainly, they were all similar ages and the parents were there too, and afterward we all had a kind of street party. That was nice.

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Tue 01-Oct-13 18:35:50

No YANBU. I never let my kids do it neither did my parents let us.

If you don't want them to do it then don't

I've never heard of guising, an am British. We used to go trick or treating when I was a child which was some years ago.

I love it, and we only knock on doors are clearly participating so whats the harm. I really enjoy having trick or treaters do our door, its lovely and social as well as often being entertaining. We usually have a halloween party and go trick or treating at some point in the evening.

No one is making it obligatory to celebrate so its still down to personal choice.

Yorkieaddict Tue 01-Oct-13 18:36:37

YANBU. I hate it too. Thankfully DS has not asked to go so far, but I won't be letting him any time soon.

Flicktheswitch Tue 01-Oct-13 18:36:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I don't see a problem. My older ones are teens and would be banned as I think it's way too intimidating, but my eldest takes my 8 an 5yo around with their friends and will do this year probably. They like doing 'tricks' and these are always jokes. It's just what happens where we live, they all do it. In some places where you don't really know people, then I wouldn't do it as it can be intrusive, but here we know everyone, so it's not really begging, just a bit of fun between friends.

And I can't remember, but I think it originated from guising/souling and was brought over to America by us. Who developed and changed and made it bigger, but it is still going around asking for x.

Ragwort Tue 01-Oct-13 18:37:05

FlapJack - the whole of mumsnet is the 'same old thing every year' - weddings/TTC/being pregnant/giving birth/baby's name/interfering in-laws/mother & baby groups/sleep training/weaning/SAHM or WOHM/starting school/birthday parties/Christmas/choosing secondary school/friends/GCSE options/university applications etc etc etc.

How often do you get a really new topic on Mumsnet? grin

wonder why I have wasted 12 years here.

UC Tue 01-Oct-13 18:37:09

Where we live, it's a big event. All the kids get dressed up and go out knocking on doors. However, there is an unwritten rule that you only knock on doors that have pumpkins outside, as this is a sign that the owner is happy to have you knock on the door. Those who want to partake do, those who don't, don't. When it's like this, it's great fun.

wigglesrock Tue 01-Oct-13 18:39:31

I'm in NI, I don't think it's an American export - my granny remembers doing it and shes over 100. I let my kids go the houses in our road that have been decorated or that leave their outside lights on smile . They go at about 7pm and are in for 7.20 smile . Mind you I also let my kids play out in the street, into the giddy lateness 8pm, so I'm clearly on a hiding to nothing anyway wink

FlapJackOLantern Tue 01-Oct-13 18:42:54

You don't Ragwort - and it's boring boring boring grin

(It's almost as though the same posters do the same post every year but under a different user name !)

I've bought the sweets, got the costume, and am really really looking forward to being intimidated by all the littlies in the village smile

MarianneEnjolras Tue 01-Oct-13 18:45:55

Is it really still a "new thing from America"?

I remember my mum telling me I wasn't allowed to go trick or treating because it a "New thing from America" 20 years ago.

IslaValargeone Tue 01-Oct-13 18:47:27

Define 'new thing from America'
I'm not far off 50 and I did it as a kid.
My dc won't be going out but I get stuff in for other kids and we have a mini party, she loves it.
If you don't like it, don't do it.

Tailtwister Tue 01-Oct-13 18:49:10

Ours are too young to have done it, but we stopped having people a few years ago as the 'children' were older teenagers and started asking for money. They were rude and intimidating, so now we just switch the lights of at the front of the house and pretend to be out.


Bowlersarm Tue 01-Oct-13 18:51:18

Maybe it's a regional thing. I am approaching 50 and never heard of it as a child, let alone did it.

Tee2072 Tue 01-Oct-13 18:53:07

Don't blame America. Y'all did it first.


Been going on in Scotland for years and certainly in my neck of the woods for a very long time before anything vaguely American was mooted.


IT'S ONLY THE FIRST OF FUCKING OCTOBER!!! Sheesh, don't normally get this crappery until middle of October at least. This is like fucking shops shoving xmas decorations onto the shelves in August.

UnexpectedStepmum Tue 01-Oct-13 18:55:53

I have fond memories of my dad, who was a bit deaf and quite grumpy, shouting "trickle what? at them until they gave up and went home.

(He also loved having Jehovahs Witnesses call as he was a theologian and could keep them there for literally hours discussing obscure codexes)

wonkylegs Tue 01-Oct-13 18:56:51

It's not a 'new thing from america' - History here
If you don't like don't do it, if you do, do... Leave it at that

stopgap Tue 01-Oct-13 18:57:40

I'm 36, and we did a double whammy of Trick or Treating, followed by Penny for the Guy, and that was nearly thirty years ago in north west England. I think the dressing up in non-ghoulish costumes and parties for adults are new developments, but not going round houses dressed as a witch.

I now live in America, where Halloween is bigger than Christmas, and houses that wish to participate in Halloween are inevitably decked out in decorations. It's also usual for the whole family to go, not just unaccompanied kids.

queenjellybelly Tue 01-Oct-13 18:57:57

We all love Halloween! If its the weekend, we have a party at home but otherwise we take the kids trick or treating. Our street pretty much all make a massive effort with decorations. If a house isn't decorated, we don't knock on the door. Last year our neighbours dressed as zombies and hid under the car on their drive, reaching out as people walked past to knock on their door. Dead funny! Younger kids are always accompanied by adults and everyone, adults included get kitted out in some amazing costumes! It's brilliant. Door knocking always stops by 8:30 so no majorly disturbed bedtimes. I find bonfire night more of a pain in the arse. Fireworks going off for hours until after midnight for weeks before & after the 5th November. Both my kids are terrified of the loud bangs & end up camping on the living room floor with us sleeping on the sofa for nights on end.

And as an American, it's YOUR OWN FAULT.


We are just copycats and made it a bit bigger. But as far as I know, the US didn't invent guising or souling. Or the other similar activities in Portugal, Sweden, Germany and Denmark for example, which has been going on for decades.

hiddenhome Tue 01-Oct-13 18:58:45

We just lock the front gate. Nobody can get in round the back either. I think treat or treating is a ridiculous thing.

justanuthermanicmumsday Tue 01-Oct-13 18:59:54

I don't get Halloween I think it's just commercial bull I wouldn't go so far as saying it teaches kids to be greedy but it can be intrusive to some ppl. Still I would give them sweets or a bit of money they're innocent kids.

Is wise to have kids supervised by adults though which doesn't seem to happen with the kids I've seen.

My parents have never understood it , honestly thought the kids were begging so they'd feel sorry and give them money for food loool

picnicbasketcase Tue 01-Oct-13 19:02:13

I don't like it and don't let my kids do it but I do keep some sweets by the door because I'd rather give them a lolly than have my house pelted with eggs.

flipchart Tue 01-Oct-13 19:02:34

I used to go trick or treating with my dad when I was a kid and I'm nearly 50!

I haven't got a problem. I just buy a few packets of mini mars Bars.and hairbos. It's great to see the effort some kids put into their costumes.

80sMum Tue 01-Oct-13 19:02:57

I don't like trick or treating either. It definitely IS an American import. It began to take off in the UK in the late '80s/early' 90s. Many Britons saw it for the first time in the film ET and it gradually started happening over here.
The popularity is almost entirely due to aggressive marketing, by greeting cards companies initially, of Halloween decorations etc. Such things were unheard of in the UK before about 1988 and had become widespread by the mid '90s.

NellysKnickers Tue 01-Oct-13 19:03:08

I don't like it. Dont let mine do it. I do buy treats for the trick and treaters that come round but don't ever open the door and scoff the lot. Every year.

DontmindifIdo Tue 01-Oct-13 19:06:48

Every year I add the same comment, it's not a new thing, I did it as a child and I am not young (sadly). However, I grew up in the north and it does seem my southern friends didn't do it.

Round here there's a porch light on rule for knocking, rather easy not to join in. But there are some who don't like that while they aren't joining in, aren't being bothered about it, they have to know about it and get all annoyed at other people having fun in a way they don't approve of (and even if it was a new thing, I'm still failing to understand why something being new and from America is a reason it shouldn't be allowed...).

Join in, don't join in, but don't get in a grump because lots of other people are having fun in a way you are not.

trixymalixy Tue 01-Oct-13 19:08:27

FFs!! Do we really have to do this every year?!?!

It fucking is not a fucking American import to the UK. Guising was taken to America by the Scots. We have been doing it for centuries in Scotland Scotland is part of the UK you know!!!!

elfycat Tue 01-Oct-13 19:08:40

I really don't want to be dragged round trick-or-treating --in all weather--with my young DDs, or want them out doing it when they are older. So I've been having a Halloween party in my house. Having friends over all dressed up, silly themed foods and too many sweets. We decorate the hall with stuff, and the doorqway with fake spiders in webs, carve pumpkins (I'm hoping to have some from my garden) and hand out sweets to people who do like traipsing round.

I'm dressing as Medusa. I have my toga and snakes good to go. I'm wondering if it would be a bit much to get prescription red contact lenses this year. I have done previously but I feel obliged to wear them for a month after the expense.

Jackanory1978 Tue 01-Oct-13 19:08:42

You are a miserable bunch!!

I loved it as a kid; a parent accompanied us & we only went to 'prearranged' houses where my parents knew we'd be welcome. We didn't do tricks or anything.

Personally I'm quite disappointed that where we live now there aren't any children that come knocking; I still put my carved pumpkin in the window though & stock up on sweets (which dh eats cos no one ever comes round).

Don't think teenagers should be doing it though, it's very much a little kid thing.

GeeTeeEff Tue 01-Oct-13 19:10:53

A new American thing, oh please.

Mine go out on Halloween, they love it. Our street has a lot of kids so don't venture far, I love it. I'm going to decorate the house this year.

it is not a new thing and we did it as children in the 70's - I am in Scotland and we dress up and have to tell a joke, sing as song, etc to get the sweets. We only go to doors that have lights on/a pumpkin lit, etc and dont even knock on doors with their outside lights off.

TwoEightTwoEightTwoOh Tue 01-Oct-13 19:14:59

Remember Mischief Night? Now that was something to not let your kids do. I remember as a child my parents driving us back from somewhere on Mischief Night and there were bins on fire and stuff!

Ledkr Tue 01-Oct-13 19:16:14

I felt like the op until we moved here and I noticed everyone did it.
It's lovely. Lots if the houses are decorated and we only go to those.
People go to great effort to make little treats like homemade cakes or bags of sweets.
The kids honour in little groups with parents.
We always have a little party with hotdogs and toffee apples and we take them trick or treating after.
It's not late and I very rarely get older kids knocking on my door and if I do they are dressed really imaginatively.
It's just a bit if fun to break up the winter.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Tue 01-Oct-13 19:21:35

Mine have never done it because we (I) had religious objections to it. Now we're atheists and so we could do it this year, DS has already noticed the Halloween stuff in shops so I am wondering if he will ask to go. I've not decided yet. We used to do pumpkin carving and a special dinner and have a family film night when others were trick or treating by way of a compromise.

SelectAUserName Tue 01-Oct-13 19:21:41

We did it when I was a kid in NE England, the only difference being we called it "Penny for Hallowe'en" rather than Trick or Treat.

I think it's a cute thing for younger children to do with a responsible adult and am always happy to get a few packs of sweets in and let them pick from our 'lucky dip' box. I don't agree with teenagers using it as an excuse to all but demand money with menaces, egg old people's houses etc.

cardibach Tue 01-Oct-13 19:23:12

It is definitely regional - I never sis it (or had even heard of it) as a kid in the midlands (I am nearly 50). Now we live in rural mid Wales and I have never seen a house decorated or showing the 'universal' lighted pumpkin.
However, if it is common in your area it is harmless.
It is, though, as a previous poster has said, only the 1st!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Tue 01-Oct-13 19:26:04

My mum didn't like us doing it when I was a child as she saw it as begging. Eventually, she relented a little and we were able to dress up and call at select houses (eg friends who knew to expect us).

I now live in the US, where it is a much bigger celebration than the UK, though that's not to say it originates from here. I just think the Americans make it a much more commercial event. My neighbours have been putting pumpkins outside their doors for 3!!! weeks now and the shops are full of costumes, cards and candy. It's traditional to go to a local pumpkin patch and pick your own - a bit like fruit picking but on a grand scale.

I've noticed costumes here are different. In the UK it used to be 'go as something spooky', so a ghost or witch. Here, people tend to dress up as anything - so more fancy dress than anything linked with the traditional All Hallows Eve concept.

The other thing I've noticed here is that Halloween can become a night of violence. Two years ago a man was murdered in a local restaurant on Halloween, last year various muggings took place - local teenagers were targetted for their iPhones.

If you turn off your porch light in my street, that signals that you don't want to be called on and most people respect that.

justanuthermanicmumsday Tue 01-Oct-13 19:26:28

It's not got same festive feel as in the USA though has it. In the USA the streets and houses are decked with decorations looks pretty amazing, must have cost a packet too. I could understand kids over there wanted to join in or feeling peer pressure to. But In the uk they're even behind with amazing costumes so I don't see the appeal. it's not as popular and I doubt it will ever take off.

ThePuffyShirt Tue 01-Oct-13 19:29:33

I was pretty anti until I accompanied a group of my son & his friends one Hallowe'en, as part of a party.

They had such tremendous fun. We only called at houses where pumpkins were lit, and the householders had gone to great effort with bowls of slimy spaghetti for the kids to root for sweets in, scary costumes & props.

It is only for little kids though. We're having a party & they are 11, too old really so it will be the last one.

sweetestcup Tue 01-Oct-13 19:30:20

So dont do it. Your kids will survive. And for every person like you who really hates it theres someone like me, who loves it! We do the decorating works, house and garden including a talking butler and a graveyard in the front garden. Our kids, and all the local kids love it. Have a smoke machine and I make Halloween cookies and cakes to hand out and we have a buffet afterwards. My DS is 11 and will probably be his last year dressing up so will make the most of it!!

soverylucky Tue 01-Oct-13 19:32:22

I don't do Halloween, don't do trick or treating. Many enjoy doing it but because I think it is wrong we just ignore the whole silly thing.

Pancakeflipper Tue 01-Oct-13 19:33:11

UC - it is like that on our little street ( we also do Christmas things together like lights in the trees and have a carol sing song). If you have a pumpkin then you are available for goodies. And only between the hours of 6 to 8pm. Then us neighbours gather for hot chocolate a cookie together and goodnight.

Fingers crossed never had any problems.

sheldor Tue 01-Oct-13 19:34:52

I had over 16 rings on the door last year.I personally don't mind,i love halloween but i can see how it can be itimidating especially for the elderly

soverylucky Tue 01-Oct-13 19:36:32

Yes it is intimidating. We live in a not so nice area and it is pretty horrible come Halloween. I am scared in my own home so god knows how the pensioners alone feel. Teens banging the door non stop shouting "we know you are in there" and gradually getting more rude. Horrid.

Maryz Tue 01-Oct-13 19:37:40

Has anyone mentioned it isn't American.

It's Scottish and Irish and harmless.

You bunch of Hallowe'en grinches.

Showy, have we had this thread before maybe? It does sound a tad similar - and have I mentioned how much I love your Hallowe'en name?

Pancakeflipper Tue 01-Oct-13 19:39:35

Soverylucky - I would hate it too in your situation.

I think that is the difference. It sounds menacing for you whereas it's just silly fun and an excuse for our street to get together.

I don't mind when it's little ones accompanied by a parent, less keen if it is older ones.
I do think it can be threatening for people on their own or elderly people. My gran is 93 and she hates it, again not the little ones but the older ones. Large groups of teenagers knocking on the door after dark and shouting can't be nice if you're on your own and really really old!

bludgerwitch Tue 01-Oct-13 19:41:58

I'm always disappointed when I don't get kids at my door grin We live out in the boonies and I actually go up to my MiL's for Halloween so I can decorate and get Trick & Treaters to the door!

lizzzyyliveson Tue 01-Oct-13 19:42:13

Snap SelectAUserName. Do you remember singing this? "The sky is blue, the grass is green, can we have a penny for Halloween? If you haven't got a penny a ha' penny will do, if you haven't got a ha' penny God Bless You!" All sung while swinging a hollowed-out turnip lantern at the neighbours. That was the 70s in the NE, so definitely nothing to do with American imports.

Our neighbours' children come guising (we live in Scotland) - they tell a joke or sing a song to earn their sweets. As far as I am aware, they only go to people they know, and their parents go with them - so they aren't going to strangers' houses, nor do they ever behave badly.

That said, I am not a fan of trick or treating, if it does involve going to strangers' houses and/or making them feel intimidated.

Nolikey - can I suggest you do what we used to do when our boys were younger - host a Halloween party, with the traditional games like bobbing for apples, and other games you could adapt to be more Halloween. It could be a costume party, and I bet there are other parents who, like you, don't want their children to go trick or treating, who would be happy to help supervise, or maybe contribute some party food.

I also used to find that the boys enjoyed being allowed to answer the door to the trick or treaters and giving out the sweets.

I may be wrong, but in some areas, I believe that a carved pumpkin lantern on the doorstep is the accepted sign that trick or treaters are welcome to call, and its absence means please don't call. If that caught on everywhere, I think it would really help.

PlumpkinPie Tue 01-Oct-13 19:42:41

We live in the country and don't have a door bell, so far so good for no trick or treaters you'd think but no, their parents will drive their kids around to knock on every door or window for sweets!!!shock
Our kids have been t or t'ing when invited to do so with friends who live in a housing estate and in that case it's the houses with decorations or lit pumpkins that are targeted called on. they loved it but most of their loot was re-donated to the school christmas party. No harm when done sensitively and only the night of Oct 31st!!!

Nolikeythespookey Tue 01-Oct-13 19:43:11

I'm sorry my thread bored some of you - I don't hang out here often enough to see yearly themes come up! grin

I did say it's from Scotland, but guising is not trick or treating. Guising is doing a song/poem for a treat and trick or treating is threatening to do something bad to someone unless they give you money/sweets.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I also find the whole grave/zombie/witch/death theme macabre and not very suitable for children.

Also, perhaps some of you have seen some 'great costumes' but I have mostly seen shiny costumes purchased from Sainsburys/Asda.

shoofly Tue 01-Oct-13 19:43:47

Enough of the American import rubbish. I have great memories of my mum hollowing out a swede (always referred to as a turnip when we were kids) & as a Brownie leader she always did turnips for the Brownie party as well. I'm 42 & we were trick or treating long before we ever saw ET or the 1980's

Maryz Tue 01-Oct-13 19:46:41

I must be older than you Select.

In my day many moons ago we chanted "apples or nuts, cigarettes or butts"

HeySoulSister Tue 01-Oct-13 19:47:54

Oh come on! Op was trying to be all original and different by going against the grain.... Indulge her with lots of 'ooh,hadn't thought of that' and 'op, you are absolutely right, well done' hmm

I am over 40, from London, and we did it as kids. It is not new. It may have become more commercialised (along with Easter, Christmas etc etc) but has most definitely been around for a long, long time.

But OP, YANBU if you don't want to let your kids go trick or treating. It's up to you.

SugarHut Tue 01-Oct-13 19:49:11

I love Halloween. We have a massive party most years, costumes, decorate the house, apple bobbing, fireworks.

Trick or treaters however, can piss off. Intrusive begging and nothing more.

From the outside you can't see anything Halloweeny, and if the party is held the night before/after the "night" itself, then I am permanently interrupted by these beggers while I'm trying to frantically prepare/tidy up.

I wish this no pumpkin thing was common knowledge.

If you want to go, feel free. But I am fed up of being harassed for free junk food for children to gorge on. My DS (5) has never been, and never will. I encourage him to enjoy Halloween, the party is fantastic, but over my dead body grin is he going begging for cake and sweets. Plain embarassing.

HeySoulSister Tue 01-Oct-13 19:49:17

Yeah, trick or treating is the same.... Outs usually tell a joke or something in return for the 'treat' hmm

wigglybeezer Tue 01-Oct-13 19:49:35

You might not be so keen on party pieces when you have heard the same bad jokes over and over, not to mention a "tune" with many verses on the chanter at every house you trail round in the freezing cold.

Guising is alive and well, unfortunately for me ...

Definitely not an American import etc. ....

I'm sure Alec Salmond gets a few more votes every time there is one of these threads.

ghostonthecanvas Tue 01-Oct-13 19:50:08

I love guising and I am almost 50. Been doing it as long as I can remember. My mum still does it with her friends. My kids did it and the youngsters in our village still do it. Everyone takes part and it was common for the older kids to be out past midnight setting traps and hiding gates and other trickery. Halloween runs like this- little ones out guising at 5pm. Older ones out by 7pm then adults 9pm onwards. Mixed ages at any time.The aim for the adults is to get around all the houses, alcohol and for no one to guess who they are in real life. All this has been going on for at least 80 years.

imnotwhoyouthinkiam Tue 01-Oct-13 19:53:21

Our local pub does a fab Halloween party the sat nearest to Halloween. Apple bobbing, pumpkin carving competition, make a mummy (aka wrap my step dad in toilet roll) and other fun. Free entry (they make money in the bar) and loads of free sweets (as prizes for practically anything) for the dc. We love it.

i hate trick or treating though

Twattybollocks Tue 01-Oct-13 19:53:25

It might be an import but its definately not new, I did it as a kid and I'm ancient (very late 30s)
My kids do it, I don't have a problem with it, its just harmless fun,

Naebother Tue 01-Oct-13 19:54:16

When I was a kid (early 70s) it was the BEST night of the year. I have such happy memories, we loved it more than christmas.

It was so exciting going out in the dark, all dressed up, everyone in my neighbourhood joined in. We came home with bucketloads of fruit, monkey nuts and 5 ps.

I want my kids to enjoy it too. It's just a bit of fun. We go out with them, visit a few friends and neighbours.

WestieMamma Tue 01-Oct-13 19:59:22

I hate it. I hate feeling scared in my own home. I hate having to spend an evening with the lights out, sat in the dark, pretending I'm not in.

PaperSeagull Tue 01-Oct-13 20:03:17

It's that time of year again. . .

I love Halloween. I think trick-or-treating is a wonderful tradition. Children show off their costumes to the neighbors. Families hand out treats. The atmosphere is amazing. Disclaimer: I'm an American. So sue me. grin

Although there was originally a threat implied in the phrase "trick or treat," in all my years I have never known any child to follow through on that implied threat. Most children probably have no idea what the phrase originally meant anyway.

Participate or don't, the choice is yours. But I can assure you I don't see this lovely tradition as greedy or intrusive. It's entirely the opposite, IME.

Retroformica Tue 01-Oct-13 20:04:16

Our trick treat nights are lovely.

A small group of friends with kids. We eat pumpkin soup and make spider biscuits before apple bobbing. We trick treat other friends/nice neighbours houses (prearranged sometimes)so the kids are knocking on familiar doors. Those doors always have a pumpkin outside as a sign they are happy to take part. We live in quite a nice community and its a real laugh.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 01-Oct-13 20:04:34

I can see where you're coming from, but I think it's harmless as long as you enforce the pumpkin rule and that you make sure your dc understand why it's important.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Tue 01-Oct-13 20:09:15

I absolutely hate Halloween, my kids have never been out trick or treating and I never answer the door, in fact I do try to go out to the cinema or something with them instead.

I buy some sweets for them so they don't miss out, and I buy some for the kids next door usually the day before, mainly so they don't come over.

Its a horrible day for me.

gordyslovesheep Tue 01-Oct-13 20:10:07

very late this year isn't it this thread grin

are you being unreasonable stopping your children doing something you don't like - no

as to the rest

Celts and stuff blah blah - older than the hills, not American mummmble etc etc

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 01-Oct-13 20:14:43

Other new things from America that you should eschew:

Bifocal spectacles
Lightning rods
The transistor
acrylic paint
clothes hangers
dental floss
hair spray
gift wrapping
microwave ovens
safety pins
tea bags
teddy bears
swivel chairs
vacuum cleaners
Fucking Slayer

Squitten Tue 01-Oct-13 20:17:19

Nobody seems to do it around here. We've lived here for 4yrs and I think we had one lot of T&Ts one year - that's it!

I'm due DC3 via homebirth on Oct 30th though so any T&Ts might well get more than they bargained for if they come knocking this year...

PaperSeagull Tue 01-Oct-13 20:22:57

Love your list, Katy. grin

Flossie82 Tue 01-Oct-13 20:24:20


My children will never be trick or treat knocking on strangers doors.
Paperseagull the choice is yours - it isn't your choice if people are knocking on your door without you asking them to is it? That is the problem!

freddiefrog Tue 01-Oct-13 20:32:51

Virtually our whole village gets stuck in at Halloween and everyone has a blast

We have the same only knock at decorated houses or houses with lit pumpkins rule, pretty much all the kids and villagers take part and we all end up in the pub where they have a fancy dress competition and they put on jacket spuds, hot dogs, etc.

Everyone has a fab time, it's a great way to get all the community together

Those who don't want to don't do it, those who do, do.

PaperSeagull Tue 01-Oct-13 20:42:54

Flossie, in the U.S., the convention is to leave an outside light on to indicate you are happy to receive trick-or-treaters. In many places in England, a pumpkin indicates the same thing. If people ignore those signs, I can imagine it would be very annoying.

May09Bump Tue 01-Oct-13 20:46:59

There is no harm in it - children should be accompanied by an adult and people who want to participate should decorate their houses or put a sign in the window.

I completely dislike the kids expecting money instead or hassling people who don't want to participate.

A bit of fun and respect is what my 4 year old will be experiencing this year.

IamSlave Tue 01-Oct-13 21:00:15

I would love to be in the classic American neighbourhood for it, an old stoop decorated with gourdes and pumpkins topped with the odd black crow grin.

America does it so much better, they have the houses to dress too.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 01-Oct-13 21:00:55

We sometimes get together with friends as they are nearer to kids and community than we are.
There's no harm if you follow the pumpkin rule.
We won't trick or treat this year as dd has been ill the past 2 years with cold, flu etc during this time.

KirjavaTheCorpse Tue 01-Oct-13 21:07:49

DS is only three, but we don't plan on taking him trick or treating.

LOVE Halloween though, we do loads of spooky stuff and carve a pumpkin and make up lots of little pick'n'mix bags to give out at the door. When he gets older maybe having a little Halloween party.

I don't look down on those who do it, but it certainly isn't my cup of tea. I remember going as a child and thinking then that it felt really awkward and beggy.

SatinSandals Tue 01-Oct-13 21:10:31

I didn't let mine do it when older. I have nothing against Halloween parties etc, I just can't stand trick or treating and bothering the neighbourhood.

MammaTJ Tue 01-Oct-13 21:12:25

I love it. I go mad on decorating the outside of the house and DP takes our DC out and I stay in and answer the door.

Tavv Tue 01-Oct-13 21:17:50

YANBU. In the 70s I never came across "trick or treat". It was fancy dress parties with games like apple bobbing.

Trick or treat is not a positive or friendly activity as it's basically threatening something unpleasant if people don't hand over what you want!

YourMaNoBraBackOfMyHearse Tue 01-Oct-13 21:23:03

YABVVVVVVU. Its my duty as a conscientious parent to weed out the bad sweets. I can only do this when I have a large variety of stock to work through. Halloween is one of the few times of the year that I can get lots done. Its more about the jelly/gum confection around this time of year. In fact I call it Haribeen. I investigate the contents of each bucket with extreme prejudice.

Trigglesx Tue 01-Oct-13 21:27:13

I'm American, although living in the UK. We went trick or treating as children. We did, however, live in a very small town and knew everyone. (I mean LITERALLY EVERYONE).

My DD grew up in America, until she was 18 (although she is now living in the UK as well). She did not go trick or treating. We lived in a much larger city, didn't know as many people, and I didn't feel comfortable sending her out trick or treating to take candy from strangers when we spent all year telling her not to. hmm

Hypocrite that I am, we still decorated up our house quite a bit, had scary music playing, etc, and handed out candy to those who did come to the door. DD was quite happy to help out with that (and she was allowed to nibble some of the candy anyway, so she didn't really miss out on much).

Our DCs here do not trick or treat. It used to be a fun safe evening for children, and it just doesn't seem like it anymore. Not because of paedophiles (for heaven's sake!!) but because of older kids behaving badly in the streets in the name of "fun", the drunk people, and the drunk drivers. And because personally, I just don't think it's necessary. They're not fussed about it really. If they want some sweets, I'll buy some. Not necessary to go door to door for them.

PaperSeagull Tue 01-Oct-13 21:27:41

"Trick or treat is not a positive or friendly activity as it's basically threatening something unpleasant if people don't hand over what you want!"

No, it really isn't. Although it may have its origins in such a threat, no 5-year-old in a ghost costume is going to threaten you if you fail to hand over a mini KitKat. smile

Seriously, I have never seen any threatening behavior on Halloween in my many years on this earth!

Trigglesx Tue 01-Oct-13 21:32:27

no 5-year-old in a ghost costume is going to threaten you if you fail to hand over a mini KitKat.

Although I know of a few MNers that are capable! grin

squoosh Tue 01-Oct-13 21:38:29

God but this thread is creaking with miserable gits!

Absolute bah humbug, moany arsed, disapproving vinegar faces.

usualsuspect Tue 01-Oct-13 21:39:33

Miserable sods.

usualsuspect Tue 01-Oct-13 21:41:21

I think I might have written 'miserable sods' on every trick or treating thread on MN for the last 7 years.

Maryz Tue 01-Oct-13 21:42:50

There are two types of people out at Hallowe'en

1. Children "trick or treating", dressing up, going to visit their neighbours, getting a few sweets and having fun. The majority in most places

2. Thugs causing trouble. A very small minority in most places.

I have no problem with people being anti the second type. But stop saying you hate trick or treaters. You don't. You hate thugs, understandably.

ThePuffyShirt Tue 01-Oct-13 21:43:30

I have never experienced or heard of anyone being 'tricked' apart from on TV where I once heard people have eggs thrown at their houses.

I do live in a naice area, though.

RegTheMonkey Tue 01-Oct-13 21:46:55

My memory goes back at least 55 years to when I was small in Scotland and Hallowe'en was celebrated with indoor games like Ducking For Apples, trying to eat a treacle scone with your hands behind your back, and then dressing out and going round door to door 'guising', meaning dressed up in fancy dress. But it wasn't trick or treat - you had to sing or dance or recite a poem before you got any sweeties, but mostly you got monkey nuts or tangerines. My relatives in England at the time never did any door to door stuff, nor celebrated it much. My mother who was born in 1918 remembers going round guising at Hallowe'en. I think the spate of US movies featuring Hallowe'en and their Trick of Treat customs imported it into England.

Trigglesx Tue 01-Oct-13 21:47:10

I'm not a miserable sod. I don't necessarily disapprove. It's just not something we do now, for various reasons. If others want to, then I'm not fussed one way or another. I'd be quite happy to hand out sweets, if DS1 didn't have a meltdown every time someone came to the door. He's got SNs and can't cope with all the extra foot traffic to the door. So we turn off the lights and relax for the evening.

As I said previously, even though I didn't allow DD to go, she was quite happy to dress up, "Halloween"-up the house, and pass out sweets to people that came to the door in years past.

I will admit to being growly when people have, in the past, decided that they're going to go trick or treating on another night because Halloween is on a Sunday. What's that about? hmm Go on the day, that's it. None of this "choosing a different night" malarkey.

squoosh Tue 01-Oct-13 21:47:58

I think Halloween in America looks brilliant fun! they really get into the spirit.

skyeskyeskye Tue 01-Oct-13 21:48:06

I never did it as a child as grew up on a farm. I have never taken 5yo DD trick or treating. Due to her age I managed to avoid it so far. last year we were on holiday at half term and she dressed as a witch at the Halloween party. We will be doing the same again this year.

If I am at home, I put a polite sign on the door saying no Trick or Treating (originally because DD was a baby and asleep, but have done it every year since). The neighbours children all come over to show me their outfits and get a sweet, but then that is it.

Each to their own. i just don't want my DD doing it or kids knocking on my door all night when I have better things to do.

Maryz Tue 01-Oct-13 21:48:28

I agree about Hallowe'en on any other night than the 31st, though. That's just silly.

usualsuspect Tue 01-Oct-13 21:50:48

We never did it as kids, we sat outside the local shop doing 'penny for the guy'

Then the guys all got chucked on the bonfires on the local reccy.

usualsuspect Tue 01-Oct-13 21:52:10

My kids all went trick or treating though,they loved it.

SelectAUserName Tue 01-Oct-13 21:55:22

lizzzyliveson I'd forgotten that rhyme until you mentioned it - blast from the past! grin

Maryz I'm early 40s so did my guising in the late 70s/very early 80s.

gordyslovesheep Tue 01-Oct-13 21:56:52

Usual we had the same childhood!

I TOT with my kids - we stay on our estate and we ONLY ever knock on doors with Halloween decorations - all the kids do it - it's a great way to scare meet your neighbours

YouHaveAGoodPoint Tue 01-Oct-13 21:58:22

We have houses locally that welcome trick or treaters. They have decorations and the same houses do. It year after year. It's great fun for everyone. It's not on to go to undecorated houses.

My kids were bought up in Canada and all loved trick or treat. It was their favourite holiday. It was lots of fun for everyone and a really family friendly celebration that was a great way to meet all your nieghbours.
No one knocked at 'unlit' houses.

usualsuspect Tue 01-Oct-13 22:01:24

We knocked on doors collecting old furniture to be burnt on the bonfiresgrin

There was always a gang of kids lugging old tables and chairs up to the reccy in the first week of November.

Trigglesx Tue 01-Oct-13 22:03:06

Yes, we did get rather frustrated last year with parents bringing their children up to our front door. No lights on at the front of the house at all, no lights outside the door, nothing. Very very dark. And still the parents encouraged the children to knock. I ignored it, as I then had to calm down DS1, however, I do not understand parents that don't get "if the lights are not on, do not knock." It's pretty straight forward, I would have thought.

BlingBang Tue 01-Oct-13 22:05:26

Jings, has the last year gone so fast, just seems like yesterday that we had THIS SAME BLOODY DISCUSSION. Year after bloody year!

Teapigging Tue 01-Oct-13 22:06:36

We called it 'going round the houses', or 'going on the pookey' when I was little in Ireland in the 70s, carried a lighted turnip, and we practiced our songs, poems etc assiduously. Not sure how enthusiastic our elderly neighbours were about a bunch of small witches singing 'Annie's Song'...

BlingBang Tue 01-Oct-13 22:08:07


at least you knocked! Round our way folk used to just commandeer stuff. Whole fences and garden benches etc used to disappear over night.

mmmdonuts Tue 01-Oct-13 22:08:41

It's not a new thing but what is new is the lost sense of community spirit which means it's seen as annoying and beggarly now instead of a bit of fun.

Greydog Tue 01-Oct-13 22:10:00

Hate it. Hate the rudeness of folk who bring their kids round and expect you to give them sweets. I have no idea where some of the people that called on me come from. If anyone knocks now (and we have no decorations, and leave the outside light off) then I tell them that I dont "celebrate" this, and so have nothing for them. I like being a miserable old sod.

BlingBang Tue 01-Oct-13 22:10:06

We loved it as kids, Halloween - so exciting. We recently moved to a nice estate and last year loads of houses were all done up, lots of kids running round and many happy faces. My kids love it.

pixwix Tue 01-Oct-13 22:11:06

slightly off topic - but does anyone else remember 'mischievous night' usually on 4th nov?

weewhile Tue 01-Oct-13 22:11:14

Ist of November was Celtic new year and was called Samhuinn in Gaelic - pronounced 'soween', I think. Don't think it's new or from America.
Scots call trick or treat 'Guising' and the tradition goes back years. As children we went door to door, sometimes dressed up and we had to perform a poem, joke or song to deserve our treats.
It wasn't seen as begging as everyone joined in.
We will be inviting friends over to celebrate our paganism. Any excuse for a party.
Don't see the harm in it myself.

YourMaNoBraBackOfMyHearse Tue 01-Oct-13 22:12:39

We had a neighbour who made a huge deal of it every year. She'd have corpses rising from the ground, a werewolf howling at the moon, a spider dropping from the roof, a tunnel that the kids could enter at their own peril and be chased back by scary characters. It was lovely the effort she made and the kids would talk about it for weeks before and after.

neverputasockinatoaster Tue 01-Oct-13 22:13:39

I grew upon the East Coast of Scotland and we always went guising but we had to do an dance, sing a song etc to get our sweeties and yes to tangerines and monkey nuts!
In one of the villages we lived in the whole street of children were invited to one families' house for a halloween party, we all dressed up and we had to make our own costumes and did apple bobbing and trying to eat a treacle scone from a string! We all had turnip lanterns (they looked ace if you put marbles in their eyes!) and at a set time we all trooped off to guise in the village. There were only a few houses we went to - if they had their outside light on we were allowed to knock - and we had great fun.
However, I find it really difficult to equate that to kids knocking on my door, holding out a bag and saying 'Trick or Treat'...
Not many come to our door - when DS was tiny DH was on halloween duty and I suspect he has given us the reputation of being curmudgeonly!

BlingBang Tue 01-Oct-13 22:13:48

We used to knock and say

The Sky Is Blue
the grass is green
may we have our Halloween

Then had to do a turn - entertain the householder with a song or joke or summat. Was great fun, long as you didn't get mugged and relieved of your stash. Also, it was all monkey nuts, apples and tangerines - just the odd sweet. I am that old.

Thants Tue 01-Oct-13 22:17:20

How mean op. So what if it is an American tradition it's fun!
They can just knock for neighbours you know and having a few sweets one evening won't hurt them.

devilinside Tue 01-Oct-13 22:22:15

My kids are more excited about going trick or treating than they are about Christmas.

chicaguapa Tue 01-Oct-13 22:22:51

Halloween is absolutely DS's favourite time of the year. He plans his costume well in advance and is already arranging who he's going to go around with. He's 8. He adores dressing up and walking around the streets in the dark. We love on a housing estate and it's alive with trick or treaties. There's a lovely atmosphere.

I got over the begging aspect of it years ago tbh and climbed down off my soapbox. We just take care to make it about going out and trying to recognise your friends all dressed up. The sweets are fairly secondary, there are rules about whose houses you knock at and there's never any question of playing a trick anyway. In fact I'm pretty sure they think they'll either receive a trick or a treat as we always play a trick at home for children who are visiting us.

One thing that does bug me are those who leave their house empty while going round trick or treating and when they get back, the trick or treaters have stopped. hmm We always leave DH at the ranch to hand out treats, which I think is only fair.

Trigglesx Tue 01-Oct-13 22:26:28

YourMa we used to do that type of thing in the states. Most fun year was when we had teenage DD and my youngest sister taking turns being the witch "burning at the stake." We had a tree that worked well for this, and we piled firewood around it, and ran an extension cord and had a fake electric fireplace log stuck in there, so in the dark part of the front garden, it looked very creepy. "Girl" in white gown, tied (not really but we fashioned the ropes to look like it) to tree... lots of teenagers wandered up close to get a good look, while "girl" at tree not moving... then she'd look up fast and let out a scream.... scared the bejesus out of quite a few... grin We had our fun.

ReallyTired Tue 01-Oct-13 22:27:13

We tell our kids not to take sweets off strangers the rest of the year, yet on halloween people think that its OK for kids to demand sweets of people they don't know know.

My children don't do trick or treat because its begging and rude.

Its much nice on the following day to go round the house of a lonely old lady and give her some chocolates rather than demand sweets.

squoosh Tue 01-Oct-13 22:28:36

'My children don't do trick or treat because its begging and rude.'

Isn't is uncomfortable having that stick up your bum?

YourMaNoBraBackOfMyHearse Tue 01-Oct-13 22:29:37

Trigglesx that sounds amazing! I love stuff like that.

OhDearNigel Tue 01-Oct-13 22:33:30

We don't do hallowe'en for religious reasons. We do bonfire night instead

YourMaNoBraBackOfMyHearse Tue 01-Oct-13 22:34:03

My children don't do trick or treat because its begging and rude

You're doing it wrong.

Trigglesx Tue 01-Oct-13 22:35:12

It was a blast. But DD is, unfortunately, made of sterner stuff than DS1 and DS2. I'd be scraping DS1 off the ceiling with a spatula if I tried doing something like that now. grin

We rigged huge spiders that we controlled with cords that dropped down on them when they knocked on the door (only older kids and parents, NOT little children - don't want to traumatise anyone). We stuffed clothing and a stocking-stuffed head, put a thin curtain on the window in the front room and rigged it so it looked like a body was hanging in the front room. My sister got a coffin and had her husband decked out as a vampire, coming out of it in her front garden (gotta admit - she beat us out big time that year).

Definitely not something DS1 would cope with. hmm

everythinghippie29 Tue 01-Oct-13 22:35:58

It was always my fave holiday when I was little, my mum and dad would go all out decorating the house with cobwebs, we got dressed up, we would do apple bobbing, blindfold 'witches bowls', watch (age appropriate) scary films, like Hocus Pocus with sweeties and generally have a fantastic night. Its one of my earliest memories and one if the few really happy family moments I recall from before my parents divorced. I remember fleetingly being a little envious of my friends trick or treating when I grew older, but realistically I much rather enjoyed a warm, cosy fun night in with my family than traipsing round in the cold being ignored by most of the homes you visit!

I'm pregnant now and can't WAIT to start the tradition of spooky nights in! I always get a few sweets in for any creepy callers though. grin

YourMaNoBraBackOfMyHearse Tue 01-Oct-13 22:43:13

Mind you I'm thinking of doing a party this year as less and less people trick or treat. It does seem to be dying out round here. Having a pumpkin on display is no guarantee of willingness. We were told to Fuck off one year.

Tavv Tue 01-Oct-13 22:58:03

> My children don't do trick or treat because its begging and rude

Good for you, especially as you're getting the predictable "killjoy" comments! Even sanitised supposedly cute "trick or treat" is basically derived from begging/threats... the clue's in the name!

Call me old-fashioned but what's good about teaching that it's fine to call on people you don't know and demand things instead of asking politely?

And now people can't even light a pumpkin without T-or-T-ers deciding it's a "sign" that they can call hmm Never used to mean that!

May09Bump Tue 01-Oct-13 23:00:07

laughing myself silly at SWOOSH's "Isn't is uncomfortable having that stick up your bum?"

squoosh Tue 01-Oct-13 23:00:32

'Even sanitised supposedly cute "trick or treat" is basically derived from begging/threats... the clue's in the name!'

In all my life I have never heard of a 'trick' being played or a threat being made. Where on earth do you live, it must be horrific.

Stravy Tue 01-Oct-13 23:11:42

My Granny used to do it in NE England and she was born in 1894. Even if it was an American import I don't see that as a reason to dislike it. Frankly I can't be fucked to listen to 100's of kids sing 'the sky is blue...' so I just hoy sweets at them.

Shreksfiona Tue 01-Oct-13 23:19:22

Ok, it's purely by choice whether you want to take part or your children to take part personally I love it

Maryz Tue 01-Oct-13 23:22:28

I find it amazing that people who know nothing at all about Hallowe'en are so sure that it's begging and threatening [baffled]

For us as children, a trick was a party trick, a song or a poem.

For my kids the trick is in the dressing up - so you only get treats if you dress up.

I don't know anyone who actually thinks that children will be nasty if they don't get treats. Or that they are begging. Or demanding. Or doing anything other than dressing up and having fun.

Preciousbane Tue 01-Oct-13 23:27:12

I have been trick or treating in America as I was staying with relatives, they take it very seriously there and it was ace.

I have been trick or treating but only knock on decorated houses.

As a child there were plenty of penny for the guys I quite miss that and haven't seen one for years.

Thisvehicleisreversing Tue 01-Oct-13 23:27:47

I was never allowed to go trick or treating as a kid because my mum saw it as begging.

I love that I can now celebrate hallowe'en with my kids grin
When they were little we'd have a party at ours or at my neighbour's house and hide sweets in the garden for them to find with their little torches.

Now they're older they're allowed to go trick or treating but we have rules about only knocking at decorated houses and they must have a little trick or party piece ready to perform in return for sweets.

DS1 pretends his thumb has come off and DS2 loves to show off the fact he can pick his nose with his tongue. grin

I love Hallowe'en!

serin Tue 01-Oct-13 23:29:09

I am 45 and loved Trick or Treating as a child.

I am not American.


Not everyone hates children knocking on the door, some leave their lights on and buy in sweets especially (like my 80 yr old Mum, it's one of the highlights of the year for her!!)

IamChristmas Wed 02-Oct-13 00:05:59

Four years in a row my house got egged because I had the audacity to go out on Halloween night. The worst was the year I'd gone away so didn't find it for a few days, by which point it was well and truly ingrained sad
After that I was determined to stay in with a stockpile of sweets to give out so no one would egg me. Then I got delayed at work, by the time I'd been to the shops, bought the sweets and got home it was 6.45pm and there was already egg dripping down my door.
Mind you that was the same house where one valentines day morning I woke up to find dog shit thrown at my front door. And on Christmas eve someone turned my wheelie bin upside down in my front garden and ripped half my fence down.
Still hate Halloween tho!

IamChristmas Wed 02-Oct-13 00:13:40

But that might be because I am Christmas smile we are not natural bedfellows

Donkeyok Wed 02-Oct-13 00:38:31

We loved it when we lived in London. Every year the street would be buzzing with groups of dc lead by parents some myself included in costume. It was wonderful for my dc to see the neighbourhood they lived in in a different light. They got to enjoy the decorations and beautiful carved pumpkin lanterns. Neighbours rewarded childrens' effort in costume with sweet treats. I have this wonderful bowl full of sweets which I press a switch and a plastic hand grabs the kids hand in the bowl. The absolutely love it. One year a couple transformed their house with smoke machine, speakers eerie noises and absolutely terrified us - brilliant. There was never any threat from these little children only once did some older boys (without costume) knock on the door. We just told them they were too old and handn't made any effort (coz they were trying it on). I miss the community buzz now were out in the sticks.

BeCool Wed 02-Oct-13 01:19:40

I learnt in MN it's an old Scottish tradition - so stop the American bashing!!

My dd loved it. She is 5. It is nearly better than Xmas for her.

We go quite local where lots of houses are decorated with people really getting into it. We only go to decorated houses. It's fun.

It's dress up, it's night time fun ( at 6pm), you get treats. As far as children are concerned what's not to like? (I enjoy it too)

FixItUpChappie Wed 02-Oct-13 02:26:13

Some of you Brits just don't understand how glorious and fun Halloween can be. You haven't experienced it they way it was when I was a kid.....every house decorated with beautiful pumpkins, candle-lit witches, friendly ghosts - fun not gory crap. nearly every house participated and all the kids were out. No begging (for pity sake) - just the friendly call of "trick or treat"......I've never been threatened with a trick in my life by the way.

At my house my parents would do crafts with us in the lead up, we'd do the pumpkin carving, roast the shells, watch family-friendly Halloween cartoons, tell stories and yes eat a bit of candy (like your kids never eat any candy!). My mom would make our was just a lot of fun.

Now I happen to think that Halloween has been hijacked by drunken uni students in brothel-like outfits. The decorations are largely gory, tacky and inappropriate for children. the whole thing makes me very sad. I try my best to recreate what I can of Halloween past for my own kids.

I just want to paint you a picture of how it was and could be.....not just some horrible, crass, fat, greedy North American thing sad

There! My annual defence of Halloween post grin

Somethingpink Wed 02-Oct-13 02:46:06

Halloween is great..dd was born on nov 1st so she has a giant halloween party for her birthday every year smile

Everyone gets dressed up, we decorate all the house(even cover walls in black bags so it's all dark), make lots of warm winter food, dance to halloween music and have the best time grin

Dc even go to the neighbours trick or treating.

Dd2 is to be born on the 29th October and she will have a joint birthday with her sister on Halloween. grin

Dd absolutely loves it, she is 5 and she thinks it's the best (she even claims to be a real vampire bride). This year she really wants to dress up as Sally from her favourite film of all time the nightmare before Christmas but I can't find her a costume sad

Halloween is great and I'm in the uk grin

I don't like the meaning behind Halloween so will not celebrate it. However this year we are in the US, i'll have to out a polite note on the apartment door to prevent knockers perhaps. However I imagine i will let DS dress up for school, if that is the custom, so he doesn't stand out like a sore, little thumb.

mumbaisapphire Wed 02-Oct-13 03:40:46

Agree with Fixitupchappie, that the perception of Halloween in the UK is just wrong! I'm a Brit living in Canada and prior to moving here I was pretty indifferent to it. Never really trick or treated as a kid, but did the odd Halloween party etc and would give out sweets to kids that came knocking, but never dressed up or even stuck a pumpkin outside. My first Halloween in Canada, I was totally bowled over by how lovely it was and how the whole neighbourhood embraced it. Where I am people start decorating their homes and front lawns here in early October, and they really go to town. On the evening itself it is VERY obvious which houses are participating and which aren't, but most do. Those that are usually have an adult (in costume of course) out on the front porch handing out sweets, and they do so happily. It doesn't remotely feel like begging at all. It is a lovely family occasion and the streets are packed out with the whole families accompanying their kids out and about.

I think we Brits can be very snippy sometimes about North American things, but when it comes to Halloween they definitely do it better and sadly most peoples perception of it as an intimidating begging exercise could not be further from how it is over here. I hope those of you who enjoy it and are lucky to live in little communities that embrace it, have a fantastic evening.

MistressDeeCee Wed 02-Oct-13 04:10:08

I let my DCs go trick or treating once, when they were younger. Along a small street, with their good friends, where all neighbours new each other. I still wasnt happy about it though but I didnt want to spoil their fun - I let them go as all their friends were doing it, they got into all the hype about costumes etc. I think they also did it the following year, then seemed to forget about it. Im glad they did - I cant stand it, a 'tradition' from The States that Im totally uninterested in; just another pointless hype to get children into, & get their parents to spend yet more money.

If it wasnt on a small street at the time Id never have let my DCs do it, Id have been far too worried about their safety, you never know who's door theyre knocking/what people will be like. I dont like the meaning behind it either. mumbaisapphire I dont see anyone bothering to decorate their homes etc over here, so wouldnt even be able to tell who's into it & who isnt. I dont see it as a begging exercise, however..just not something I feel should be actively promoted to children and the going from door to door on a dark winter's evening really concerns me

BlingBang Wed 02-Oct-13 08:54:16

Guess if you never grew up with it as a child you probably don't get it. It is so much fun and excitement when you are little, it really was a huge deal. Why not just cancel Christmas as well, it's not necessary, too much money spent, too much food and crap consumed, has lost much of the original meaning. But you probably do Christmas as you loved it as a child - just like Halloween for many of us.

I did trick or treating in London in the early 80s. So it's hardly a "new thing from America". Even then, I wasn't at all aware that it was imported.

Hallowe'en, at least, isn't an import. This is from The Language and Lore of Schoolchildren by Iona and Peter Opie, first published 1959:

"When darkness closes in on the vigil of All Saints' Day, Britain has the appearance of a land inhabited by two nations with completely different cultural backgrounds <snip>. The difference is between those to whom Hallowe'en means nothing <snip> and those to whom it is 'one of the most enjoyable days in the year' <snip>. The frontier between these two peoples appears, in the second half of the twentieth century, to run from somewhere around the mouth of the Humber south west to Knighton, and then soutwards along the Welsh border, counting Monmouthshire with Wales, and then - although this is less certain - south again through Dorset."

There is mention of various games such as those mentioned above, and also guising. Guising is described in some places as innocent, and in other places not really any different from trick or treating ("in Sutherland and Caithness, Hallowe'en is also Mischief Night").

Trick or treating itself is mentioned only as an American custom.

Mischief Night sounds like trick-or-treating for adults, excepts the tricks are criminal vandalism and there are no treats. Is it still .. err.. observed anywhere?

fuzzpig Wed 02-Oct-13 09:15:31

Marking place... As I do every year on these identical threads grin

MrsBW Wed 02-Oct-13 09:38:27

Why are (some) people being so rude towards people who express a dislike for trick or treating?

pixiepotter Wed 02-Oct-13 09:42:56

we live in a 'naice' small village.Kids only call at houses with a halloween lantern .It is really fun .Lots of families really go to town with the decorating and some put on a halloween 'tour' where you have to retrieve eyeballs from jelly -that kind of thing.It is a lovely village occasion

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 02-Oct-13 09:45:06

MrsBW, probably because (some) people express their disapproval in rather rude ways.

ghostonthecanvas Wed 02-Oct-13 09:45:16

Bit annoying to be reminded that this thread starts every year. Some if us are new. Isn't it normal to have a build up to annual events? Tradition even. Same as in real life when the kids get excited and plan birthdays etc weeks before the actual day.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 02-Oct-13 09:48:37

I am new! but not to english moaning about Halloween. It makes me laugh.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 02-Oct-13 09:50:14

I dislike it - not because it is a "new American thing" or because it is "demanding sweets with menaces" .....

but because it is yet another commercialised day week month of crap...

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 02-Oct-13 09:59:39

To be honest, other than the candy, I never really loved Halloween. (I am American.) I find fancy dress a huge PITA and just don't care about it.

MrsBW Wed 02-Oct-13 10:04:46

MrsBW, probably because (some) people express their disapproval in rather rude ways.

So, let me get this straight. Some people feel intimidated by trick or treating. Some people have had physical damage caused to their houses by some trick or treaters.

And they're being called names?

By grown adults?


BecauseYoureGorgeous Wed 02-Oct-13 10:15:37

Sweets rot your teeth.

Fixitupchappie - I love your post in defence of Halloween!

I love Hallowe'en but find the idea of Guy Fawkes night really distasteful - I should start a thread every year about that smile

BlingBang Wed 02-Oct-13 10:30:21

Never used to be commercialised though. Folk made their own costumes, carried a plastic bag and just bought in some apples and nuts. Everything has got more commercialised, we just have more money these days.

MakeHayIsAWhaleNow Wed 02-Oct-13 10:32:02

I don't mind children trick or treating, don't like the idea of the trick bit but my two like to join in so we go treat-or-treating....we make things and take them round to our neighbours, no need to give anything back but it's nice to meet them! Took a bit of explaining last year, but hopefully will do it again.

Sorry if that sounds smug, it's just my way of trying to find a balance given that Halloween is everywhere now and my two (4 and 2) love dressing up....

GooseyLoosey Wed 02-Oct-13 10:38:01

I love it. I live in a largeish village and last year had over 100 people come round (and that was in driving rain). I am from the US so my house is always [over] decorated and all the local kids love coming to it. Already thinking about the possibility of cardboard grave stones on the drive!

If you have a lit pumpkin you're in, if you don't you're left alone. No tricks played. Even the local pub welcomes the children in.

It's a great community event.

spindlyspindler Wed 02-Oct-13 10:40:43

I hate it. I don't mind the little ones but I am massively irritated by gangs of feral teenagers in the garden asking for sweets and getting shirty if they're told "no".

MoneyMug Wed 02-Oct-13 10:41:15

I love having trick or treaters at the door. Didn't get any last year. Was secretly disappointed. sad

I don't think it's begging at all.

Laquitar Wed 02-Oct-13 11:12:49

Sorry but i find the 'begging' comnents very funny.

devilinside Wed 02-Oct-13 11:27:37

We did Halloween in England in the 70s including trick and treating, so it's hardly a new American import. My DC including my ASD son are beyond excited. They shall be dressing up and knocking on doors, with me keeping a watchful eye

boardcreche Wed 02-Oct-13 12:30:38

Not a new thing from duh duh duh duh AMERICA - home- of- all -is- bad- in -the- world. Apparently.
It is an Irish/Scots/celtic thing going back centuries. the immigrants took it to America.

if you dont like it dont do it. but without the whining.

my kids love it, it is fun.

Trigglesx Wed 02-Oct-13 13:30:47

FixItUp As someone that grew up in the States, with Halloween trick or treating and all, I have to say I agree with you. Halloween just isn't what it used to be, sadly. I used to enjoy it, now that it's more a "gore-fest" kind of thing, not so much.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 02-Oct-13 14:40:17

As an American of Scottish descent, I have decided to be doubly offended at the "rude and begging" comments. wink

(We need a jack o' lantern smiley.)

BeCool Thu 03-Oct-13 11:40:04

FixItUp we go T&T'ing in an America enclave in London and it is quite like you describe. Very nice.

Topseyt Thu 03-Oct-13 12:49:32

I hate it. I am rather glad now that my kids have virtually outgrown it anyway, so I can largely get away without it. We still get a few hopefuls round though, and if it is friends with their kids I feel obliged to offer something. It is begging though, and that is my gripe with it.

I have been tempted before to put them off by coating brussels sprouts in chocolate (would look a bit like Ferrero Rocher, wouldn't it). But that would be a waste of good chocolate.

IamSlave Thu 03-Oct-13 12:54:34

But is it begging when they knock on doors of people who are also participating

If i go and buy some sweets for children, who then knock on my is that begging?

If I do not want to do it - I do not open my door or make my house look halloweeny.

I do agree though that there are some parents or DC who keep banging on someones door who clearly does not want to participate.

Yanbu, and do not have to take part.
Halloween is a new thing in Britain, i very much enjoy it but then i'm much a big kid anyway.

I don't however believe Trick or Treating is begging, as people also have a choice to say No to Trick or Treater's, for example a note on their door/ignoring the door/ or politely telling them no.

My children normally go with me and they are polite

trixymalixy Thu 03-Oct-13 13:11:16

<<bangs head on desk>>

Scotland is part of Britain!!!!!!!!! Halloween has been celebrated in Scotland for centuries.

Who was it who said Alec Salmond will be gaining ground with threads like these.....

Stravy Thu 03-Oct-13 13:15:02

It's not even new in England

Excuse my last post, what i meant bt new is all the hype over halloween.

Ridersofthestorm Thu 03-Oct-13 13:19:36

I used to go trick or treating as a child and I loved it! I've got no problem with my ds doing it when he's a bit older.

I just think its a bit of harmless fun, but I totally understand its not for everyone. You don't have to take part if you don't want to and you don't have to answer your door to trick or treaters either.

SybilRamkin Thu 03-Oct-13 13:26:19

Aw, I used to go trick or treating as a child and it was brilliant! I loved dressing up and carving a pumpkin my dad had grown specially for the occasion.

I go a bit mad now decorating our house for Halloween, DH thinks I'm mad - it seems to attract every child within half a mile radius, last year we got 80 kids knocking on the door shock

The only thing that worries me is the prevalence of black costumes and lack of road awareness of some kids - a couple of years ago I almost knocked down a couple of them on my bike because they stepped out and I hadn't even seen them. Last year I gave out light-up helium-filled balloons with the sweets to the small ones so that cars and bikes could see them, and intend to do the same this year.

Sukebind Thu 03-Oct-13 13:38:37

I don't understand why some people are so quick to condemn anyone with a different opinion here. It seems to me that in some places in this country Trick or Treating is considered to be a fun, inclusive event that many choose to take part in, while in other parts of the UK it might be only something down as a pre-agreed thing between friends or neighbours or that is abused by older children as an excuse for causing trouble and raising cash. I don't see why you should be accused of being a miserable whatsit just because you live in the latter sort of area.

My friend in the next road was burgled on 31st Oct two years ago. Police said that the darker evenings and the fact that people expect to see strangers going up to houses and possibly messing about meant that burgleries round here shot up that night. This doesn't mean Trick or Treaters are to blame for the break-ins and thefts but does explain why some people round here aren't keen on the tradition.

Moreover, posters who have complained about the same old threads are possibly not taking into account the fact that the same issues come up year after year but for different parents and for them it's the first time they have come across them. If they are new parents, new to the site or their child has just got to the age where it's an issue now, then you can't expect them to have been following the last 12 years of threads on here. If you are fed up with it, just don't read it.

randomAXEofkindness Thu 03-Oct-13 13:41:43

Lovely little expectant faces excited about being out in the DARK, about being part of something FUN, about being all DRESSED UP, about doing something DIFFERENT, sharing all of this with their friends, family, and neighbors. Oh it's bloody terrible isn't it!

I'll be taking mine out 'begging' (bah!) and I'm sure they'll thoroughly enjoy it. Even Mr Random will be dressing up this year (zombie). I think I'll even take some cupcakes to hand out as we go, cause that's the way I roll grin.

YABU op. And since when did something being 'not British' make it any less of anything except... British?

roundtable Thu 03-Oct-13 13:48:12

So is it the same posters who don't like trick or treating, baby showers, weddings, other people's happiness...etc?

frumpypigskin Thu 03-Oct-13 13:52:51

I hate it. I turn all the lights off and pretend to be out.

And I have small children. They have to pretend to be out too, or they go to bed early.

2tiredtocare Thu 03-Oct-13 14:28:55

We were never allowed to do it my mum used to say it was 'American and begging' back in the 80's, I took my 2 out with a couple of little friends last year for the first time and knocked on the doors of friends who later did similar. I don't think it's fair to knock on the doors of people who clearly don't want to participate though

MadeOfStarDust Thu 03-Oct-13 14:36:47

so because I don't like trick or treating or baby showers - and not weddings per-se - but wedding lists do make it in there.... I "don't like other people's happiness" ..... sheesh....

I just don't like things which have become commercialised - lets-spend-shedloads-of-money-on-crap fests -

I don't happen to partake... but you do what you like - it might help the economy recover I suppose....

thebody Thu 03-Oct-13 14:38:36

no it's a PITA and I am not going to constantly be opening my door and letting in the cold to give some kid a sweet.

fuck that. my kids were never allowed to and didn't want to.

it's as bloody annoying as carol singers. fuck off

squoosh Thu 03-Oct-13 14:39:38

You fuck off. smile

EmeraldJeanie Thu 03-Oct-13 14:40:57

Have not read whole thread..
Don't like it but have sweets in for the hoards that knock on door. My 2 do the neighbours and next ones down= 4 houses. My oldest grumbles and does the 'But everyone...' bit..

landofmakebelieve Thu 03-Oct-13 14:46:18

Nope, I hate it here too, and mine don't go trick or treating either even though they'd probably love too
We have a 'spooky tea' instead which we brought in as a Halloween tradition when they were tiny (so we weren't ignoring it completely and it would be something fun for them to do and take their mind off trick or treating when older grin )
I wrote ranted about Halloween the other year, in fact...

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Thu 03-Oct-13 14:52:01

It's up to the parent, I think.

I am not the biggest fan on it, as it seems a bit forced to me.

But have no problems with horror athons if you are a teenager/young adult or something similar.

I just don't like begging strangers for things.

I don't like door knockers in general, unless I am expecting a parcel.

I probably could make an exception though for a 2 year old ghost smile

randomAXEofkindness Thu 03-Oct-13 15:03:59

I don't like door knockers in general

I love door knockers, with the obvious exclusion of bailiffs. Although, a woman knocked recently asking for directions and actually ended up telling me she was busy and would have to go! Cheeky git. I bet she doesn't like Trick or Treaters either.

Our village is Halloween mad which was a surprise when we moved here. We went out for the first time last year. I only let DS dress up as something cute rather than scary. We went out in a massive group of about 15 children. We only knocked on doors where the other mums (who have been doing it for years) knew that the owners participate. Some of the houses looked AMAZING!

We're probably going to be away this year and I'll quite miss it! It was a real eye-opener

Sadly, we live down a little lane, so despite putting a lit pumpkin at the top, we didn't get any callers sad

CorrieDale Thu 03-Oct-13 18:46:46

It isn't just an American thing! My family are Irish and we always trick or treated or had a Halloween party. I'm 46 so it was aeons ago!

My DC will be trick or treating this year with some friends, with me in the background wishing I had the guts to dress up too. They've always had a party but have chosen this year to trick or treat instead. Both are very excited!

trixymalixy Thu 03-Oct-13 18:55:54

I totally understand why people don't like it.I wasn't that keen when I lived in the city and didn't know any of my neighbours. It's a whole lot different when you know all your neighbours and it's a community event and you know all the kids.

My main gripe is the people that say they don't like it because it's "not British", when what they really mean is not English, forgetting that other parts of the UK celebrated it long before the Americans did.

Hallowe'en has been observed even in parts of England for centuries - just not in the south-east or the Midlands. Not trick or treating through. It's also an old Scottish custom. It is odd, however, that Hallowe'en hasn't traditionally been observed in NZ, Australia or South Africa, despite all those places having disproportionately large emigration from Scotland and Ireland. In NZ, where I live, everyone seems to regard it as an American commercial import, and it really does seem that the emigrants simply didn't take this particular custom with them. I am pretty ho hum about Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night, chiefly because no one knows anything much at all about the history and significance of the festivals, and as a result they are completely anodyne. Hallowe'en is chiefly a few kids dressed up in spooky costumes and Bonfire Night consists of a few people letting off identical fireworks.

Vagndidit Fri 04-Oct-13 09:22:24

Let's see...

"Sanctioned begging?"--check
"Import from America?"--check
"Horrified to allow my children to participate?"--check

Must be October!

For the record, the British version of Halloween is crap compared to the American. For that reason alone I'd be tempted to give it a miss. But I want DS to remember he IS American and shouldn't be ashamed to celebrate traditions from home while stuck in England living abroad.

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Fri 04-Oct-13 10:58:06

I agree totally, however once kids are of school age they will clamour to go. However they never go with tricks as the etiquette is that houses where they are welcome display pumpkins and these are the only doors they will knock on.

WhiteCandyman Tue 08-Oct-13 21:51:20

Wow, there are a lot of nasty old bimbos on here. You treat your kids like garbage and brag about it.

British have such bad teeth anyway, what would some candy at Halloween hurt?

Cutitup Tue 08-Oct-13 22:20:10

I know people who don't let their kids participate for religious reasons.

Other than that, go with the flow. I used to love it as a kid. Sweets!

Lilacroses Tue 08-Oct-13 22:25:30

I used to feel like that OP but then a few years ago I took my Dd to a little Halloween party and on the way home we noticed that people in the surrounding streets were practically standing on their doorsteps begging my Dd to come and visit them to take some sweets! I realised that lots of people close to where I live love it and if they don't they don't put a pumpkin outside. I agree that just randomly wandering around banging on doors isn't good though.

ToysRLuv Wed 09-Oct-13 00:02:02

When we lived on the 4th floor of a building, we were very surprised to get some teenagers "trick or treating" one year. We decided to believe they were genuine 8despite not wearing any costumes), but didn't have any sweets in the house, so DH gave the three of them a pound coin to share. They then asked for a tissue and DH gave them one. A bit later while taking the bins out, DH noticed one of them had taken a huge dump in the corridor and wiped their arse with the tissue.

TheInquisitor Wed 09-Oct-13 00:12:02

Oh, FFS, for ToysRLuv that is absolutely disgusting. Therein lies why I don't ever celebrate Halloween.
It's prone to absolute fuckwits dumping in corridors just because they deemed it not acceptable to share a pound coin. hmm
What the fuck's wrong with offering money? Entitled little shits running around expecting bucket loads of sweets, chocolate and possible money (sizeable money, no errant pound coins hmm ) is what puts me off.
Nope, you've re-inforced my view trick or treating is a load of bollocks. (Needed it tonight.)

ToysRLuv Wed 09-Oct-13 00:30:15

We did wonder whether a pound was too puny, but only had a ten pound note or that.. Also, we were a bit stunned. Never had any trick or treaters before or since. Luckily the building had a concierge service, so the poor guy on duty had to lift it from the carpet. The smell lingered for days, if not weeks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now