How Old is Too Old To Trick or Treat?

How Old is Too Old To Trick or Treat?

Grace Samples, Staff Writer - The Mustang Messenger

A crisp blow of autumn wind, barren tree branches, and pumpkins on porch steps taunt parents with their timely fate; October 31st is waiting just around the corner. With the holiday creeping up on the world, adults are forced to find time in their busy schedules to throw elbows and swipe cards in Walmart over Halloween costumes and candy for their children. Though, as the years go by, more and more adults can be seen polluting the sea of children in the streets throughout this one certain Fall night. Which raises the question; how old is too old to Trick or Treat?


The tale of Samhain reaches back deep into time, records dating back so far as the ninth century tell stories of October Thirty-first, the night before the new year, also known as the one night the veil between the world of the dead, referred to as the otherworld, and the living drops; meaning those who have passed can walk among those who have not. Those who celebrated this celtic holiday gathered together at megalithic sites and feasted, took walks in the dark of night, practiced witchcraft, as well as built and adorned altars with fall crops for their ancestors. They were believed to have been able to freely communicate with the dead. Over time, Samhain slowly turned into a fun holiday for children and adults alike to enjoy all things, ‘spooky’.


One way the youth seems to enjoy celebrating the holiday is by expressing themselves through costume, whether it be their idea of scary brought to life by becoming a faceless stranger with a knife or fairy wings and a stick. As well as dressing them up, parents take the liberty to trail behind as their kids run from door to door taking candy from strangers in one of the most clustered frenzies you could ever imagine. Even in the midst of this, you will be surprised to find some adults in costumes, without children. The tradition is, if someone knocks on your door demanding treats, they should receive them so long as they have a costume on, though it should probably be taken into account how old the person is holding open their empty bag. 


There is a healthy medium, however. When asking a group of teens at McCracken County High School, it was found that most of them had stopped Trick or Treating between the ages of ten and thirteen, while four out of eleven students said they never quit at all. Whether it be watching over their little sibling or going merely for the fun of it, it’s safe to say there’s no harm in a teenager still celebrating in this way, so long as they retire their old ways and move on to new traditions when it’s time. There is a way to do this, too. High School and College students as well as adults host parties in rooms filled with laughter, hat-clad heads, tail coats, spiders, gaping open wounds and sometimes a punch or two, not the drink kind. Local movie theaters and libraries hold heart-stopping thrillers and your local radio station plays classics with creepy undertones from artists like Rockwell and Cypress Hill. With all of these choices, it’s hard to see why anyone old enough to gauge appropriate grown activity would beg for candy with eight year olds. 


Halloween has been a tradition for many years all around the world, with so many options available for kidless adults. From parties, to movies, music and the library, the route this holiday can take you on is endless. The question is, should that route should be a neighborhood full of kids begging for candy?