Top 5 Reasons To Ditch Trick or Treating This Halloween

October 12, 2016


It can’t just be me who thinks sending little ones off for Trick or Treating on a dark late October evening is utterly crazy? Surely not?  I loathe seeing freezing little tiddlers being carted around in bizarre costumes by their irresponsible parents begging for sweets. Even worse are the ones on their own walking round in little packs, I shudder to think of what could happen if they knocked on the wrong door.


Top 5 Reasons to ditch Trick or Treating this Halloween



We will be thoroughly embracing the fun-factor of Halloween, but definitely not the spooky business of Trick or Treating.



Here are my top 5 reasons why we will be ditching Trick or Treating this Halloween  


  1. Trick or Treat?

Since when did we agree that bribery of the sinister kind was ok? I say sinister in loose terms. What I really mean is allowing the littles to dictate to an adult what they want, and if they don’t get their own way immediately (sweets!) things will get ugly very quickly (eggs :-O ). I don’t know about you, but I work hard to show that kindness is always the right way forwards, and being polite goes a long way. Surely this is a step in the wrong direction?



  1. Fright night

Is it ever ok to deliberately scare the sh*t out of someone? Ok, ok, I admit that a spooktastic game of hide and seek played amongst friends and family can be a laugh. But there’s a line, and this is it. Why anyone would think that knocking on random people’s doors dressed up as some hideous creature of the night and yelling ‘raaaaaa!!!!!’ into their faces is a good idea, I will never know.  And don’t get me started on all that clowning around malarkey that’s been getting out of hand recently!



  1. Late night

All tucked up in bed, happily dreaming after a lovely story. That’s where I want my 4 year old to be. Not traipsing around in the freezing cold, like a lunatic high on sugar searching for their next big hit.



  1. It’s all about the mummies

Not the ones of the bandaged-up variety, but the actual mummies themselves!  I have lost count of how many times I have seen a big person race to our door, knock and then dart away. On opening, low and behold, another shivery tiny being shoved forwards by a scantily clad vamped up mummy, who clearly isn’t after sweets of the edible kind!



  1. Stranger danger

Now this disturbs me most of all. Parents are well versed in stranger danger way before their little bundles arrive. Scarily, the news is filled with frightening tales of all sorts that would make your hair stand on end. So… someone tell me why on one night a year, some parents send their little ones out, unprotected to seek out these strangers… and then ask them for sweets?



Top 5 Reasons to ditch Trick or Treating this Halloween


*UPDATE OCTOBER 2017: We welcome young (adult-supervised) trick or treaters from our own neighbourhood… I’m not that much of a bar-humbug. But I certainly won’t be allowing mine to join in with going out trick or treating, unless it is a pre organised event between friends.


Will you be Trick or Treating?


61 responses to “Top 5 Reasons To Ditch Trick or Treating This Halloween”

  1. Ooh you make a very good point Mrs Buttons! I must admit that I was never allowed to Trick or Treat as a child for the exact reasons you mention. I have to confess that we do take our two out, but only because we have one of those estates that really gets into the spirit of it and most houses get decorated up with spooky music and fun and games going on. The streets are literally packed with tiny pumpkins – all with their parents I might add, and it’s a genuinely fun and family friendly occasion. I do agree with you that I won’t be sending my two out into the night on their own any time ever! And no. I don’t get dressed up or hunt for sweeties 😉 I don’t get a look in at the door as Miss Tot is obsessed with all things spooky! Not Santa though. He’s “scary” apparently? 😉 xx

  2. Charlotte says:

    I can see your point, I don’t like the thought of knocking on strangers doors. We do go trick or treating to a coup!e of family members houses that are all on the same street before heading home to watch disney halloweentown. All children tucked up in bed by 7:30. I do really like dressing up the living room with pumpkins and skeletons though, but would rather be at home out of the cold.

  3. Edward says:

    I believe that if you were a child in the 80’s or 90’s trick or treating was seen as the fun traditional way to celebrate Halloween. Teenagers continuing to do it start taking the mikey with it and it becomes intimidating. Nowadays children of all ages are doing it for that reason to just scare people. The traditional fun aspect of it has been lost. I was never one who did it and unfortunately nowadays as you point out there are more reasons to not do it. If you are in a small community it may still be fun and everyone gets into the spirit of it but in a city where you don’t know everyone who lives in your estate or road why would you buy sweets to give away? We all live in fear that those who knock on our door will be asking for more than just sweets. The same the other way, whos door are we knocking at?

  4. Just popping over after reading your comment on my post. It’s strange because for all I do think it’s a bit of harmless fun, I also kind of agree with what you’ve said here. It is a bit of a mixed message to young children

  5. Yes, yes, yes! Totally agree with all of these. I was never allowed to do this as a child, my mum said it was begging and not to be done. I think Halloween is totally overdone nowadays anyway (that makes me sound really old and grumpy) and we don’t believe in doing much for it but it’s hard to ignore. xx

  6. Savannah says:

    TOTALLY see where you’re coming from, and totally agree! We eat a special diet, so Halloween is already on my side-eye list, because so. much. candy. I mean, seriously though, who needs all that candy?!

    The knocking on the stranger’s door makes me really uncomfortable, and it could be difficult for a child to distinguish when it is and isn’t okay to take candy from a stranger. I, too, would much rather be at home, with my kids, late on Halloween night. Thanks for sharing! <3

  7. ohmummymia says:

    I totally agree! Once we saw so small girl she even couldn’t talk she was so frightened. I can say that is ok for a little bit older kids and only if some adult is with them. And what annoying me the most it that some kids are starting coming for sweets before the correct date:/

  8. Trick or treating only seems to have become a thing here in the last 5 years I’d say. I always love a bit of dressing up, so the funnier and lighthearted costumes do appeal to me, but I’m not a huge fan of the scary costumes. Our street has quite a few families with young ish kids in, and they do go all out with decorating. The trick or treaters only knock on those doors – we’ve never put anything out and never had a knock. I guess I have a few years yet to consider whether we do it or not! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  9. My girls have their costumes already to go. Alice loves dressing up any way and this is another perfect opportunity. We’ve not done the trick or treating and not sure if we will or not in the future. There are a few children that go round doing it here, but they only go to houses that they know the owners and its a dafe environment. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  10. When I was a child (in the ’60s), there was no such thing as Trick or Treat in Britain.

    In the late ‘8os/’90s, when I had children of my own, there was no Trick or Treating either. Or if there was, it was so rare that everyone I knew had only heard of it through films. It’s now become such a part of the Americanisation of Britain, that some people seem to think it’s always been like this!

    But I also remember when the only places you could buy fast food were the local burger van in the market square on a Friday or Saturday night, the Wimpy, or the local chippie or sandwich bar. Certainly, there was no McBurgerking, no KFC, not even a pizza place or kebab house.

    Along with fast food, MTV, and trouser crotches hanging down to the knees, far from being a tradition in Britain, Trick or Treating is an American import… and not a particularly good one, I feel.

    I found myself nodding in agreement as I read all of your points, Annette.

    As others have said, even had it been around when I was a child, there’s no way I’d have been allowed to participate; not just because, despite knowing everyone in our neighbourhood, there was still an obvious potential for danger, but because we children were raised to be respectful of others, especially our elders. We were told to never speak to strangers, and that it was rude to ask for things. We should be grateful for what we had. And we were.

    My grandparents wouldn’t let me do ‘Penny for the Guy’, and not even Christmas carolling – it was all seen as begging. In turn, the only time I allowed my own children to go out carolling was with their school, in order to raise money for local charities.

    Also can we just consider for a moment, the appalling waste of food? I’m talking about that whole egg-throwing nonsense. Since when has that been OK? And how is it in any way right to condone vandalism? Vandalism brought on by someone not getting their own way.

    Yep, Trick or Treating is a really great way of teaching responsibility and respect, and valuable life lessons. Oh, no, wait… it’s the other thing. It’s completely the other thing.

    (See how restrained I’ve been in not making any comments about ‘those’ type of costumes that some mothers wear? Go me.)


    Caveat: I’m not anti-American, I just hate that Britain buys into, and embraces, American culture wholesale, and then half of the country votes to leave a certain offshore team, claiming that they ‘want their country back’… because they are ‘British’. Innit.

  11. Heather Keet says:

    I always get nervous about tainted candy, my nieces only go to the neighbors and family members on Halloween so they end up spending 30 minutes and get maybe a dozen pieces of candy. It’s really all about the costumes and them watching Hocus Pocus on TV. #DreamTeam

  12. This is such an interesting perspective. I was never allowed to trick or treat and we didn’t celebrate halloween so I find it quite hard to engage in enthusiasm with my children over it – but they love it and they think the parents that do are so cool – I’m evidently failing in that department. I think if children want to do it and the parents accompany them and only knock on door that have a lit pumpkin – apparently that is permission to knock then that’s ok but no to the groups of teens just knocking on every door! #DreamTeam

  13. Rach says:

    I was never allowed to go trick or treating. I was told it was begging so I’ve always had the stance you’ve taken, basically I don’t believe in it. Especially if those children decide to decimate someone’s house simply because they don’t answer the door. My Dad always turns all the lights in the house out on Halloween, he thinks it might make would be trick or treaters think no one is home. In reality it just makes for a really miserable night. #dreamteam

  14. Jae says:

    To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of it, I normally take her to a Halloween disco or event much easier and warm!!

  15. michelle says:

    You’ve raised some good points and made me think about it in a new way. I’ll still be doing it, but will definitely be making my daughter more aware that it’s just game and not something she should expect. Also stranger danger is a good point #dreamteam

  16. Emma says:

    I was never allowed to trick or treat as a child and we don’t do it with ours. We will get dressed up and get the outfits on but that is about it #dreamteam

  17. flying solo says:

    I hate it, but then I am not a fan of any commercial day, just like mothers day and fathers day, its just an excuse to spend unnecessary money. (Baaaa Humbug )#DreamTeam

  18. Kerry says:

    I’m half and half on this one, I don’t mind a few kids coming round as long as they’re accompanied by an adult, but I certainly draw the line at groups of teenagers knocking the door! My 2 year old is still too little anyway, although she really loves dressing up at the moment. I definitely think a party at home where they can all dress up with a few party games is certainly the better option! #DreamTeam

  19. As a kid we were only allowed to visit people we knew. My dad thought it was begging. But I love halloween and my boys will dress up and we will go trick or treating. In Holland it is getting bigger each year but it still small in comparison to the UK. We do not go out late. We go after dinner and we only visit prearranged family and friends! We do not go to strangers. And I am certainly not scantily clad – oh no boots coat and scarf for me! LOL. #DreamTeam

  20. Meg says:

    I see your point! We’ve never really celebrated Halloween, but for the past couple of years we’ve taken our daughter to a party at our church instead. They get to do crafty things and have sweets and have a fancy dress parade.

    When I was little I went trick or treating a few times with my uncle … it used to kind of freak me out actually! x #DreamTeam

  21. You have raised some very good (and funny) points! I laughed at the reference to the scantily-clad, vamped up mum! The whole ‘stranger danger’ element is a bit nuts when you think about it and it kind of makes no sense to send them ‘traipsing’ around in the cold and the dark begging for sweets when we spend the rest of the year telling them they shouldn’t eat them! I guess that’s the fun of it. My kids are so excited that I couldn’t NOT let them out but I totally see what you are saying! #DreamTeam

  22. Rhian Harris says:

    I don’t really like it but I am not sure how I will feel when my little one is old enough to ask if she can do it. I always have stuff in in case we get visits, but I’m still not sure! #DreamTeam

  23. My husband would agree with every single thing you say here and to be honest I think I do too. I have never actually been trick or treating and as miserable as some people think it is we don’t open our house up to them. Mostly because our girls will be in bed asleep and if anyone even dares to ring our door bell and wake them up I may go American Horror Story on their butts! That said I love halloween so I try and find away of getting in the spirit without begging for sweets.

  24. I think a lot has changed since I was a kid – I loved Halloween and it trick or treating was very harmless and fun. We usually went out in the daytime and lived in a suburb where it was very safe to go up to people’s houses and ask for candy. I’d hate for the Popple to miss out on that, but I live in a big city now with mostly flats, so I feel like it’s a bit different. Plus I don’t really know my neighbours, which makes the idea of knocking on their doors a bit uncomfortable. #DreamTeam

  25. Claire says:

    Haha! I wasn’t allowed to trick or treat for these reasons as a child. I haven’t ever really had trick or treaters come to our door before, but I’m expecting a few this year. I’ll get some sweets in for the children. I think as long as the kids are old enough to be excited about it and up for it, are with their parents and knock on houses with a decoration/pumpkin etc., there’s no harm there. I agree about the scary clowns and eggs though… wouldn’t like to experience that. Or older children in a big group, for that matter! #dreamteam

  26. My teen girls STILL like to go trick or treating, but I think this is because we didn’t make a big thing of it when they were younger, so now they see it as a treat to get sweets! Personally, I don’t like the whole thing at all. I am a bah humbug usually who turns the lights off and hides once the early callers have been! Alison x #DreamTeam

  27. Good points! Halloween really does go against every respectable parenting principle that there is!


  28. Louise says:

    I will definitely let my son trick or treat, I went as a child, we just had a group of us from our street who all went around together. We only went to the houses of our neighbours that we knew and we went with at least one parent. We all loved it and I’m sure my son will too. Luckily we live in a road where we all know each other and I wouldn’t be worried about my son going trick or treating. #dreamteam

  29. We live right near to the school my husband teaches at and we know full well that they are going to be trick or treating our house. My only concern is that when Edith has gone to bed. We’re going to put a sign on the door and say please don’t knock after 6:30 and hope that works. otherwise I would hide up and pretend I’m not in!


  30. I definitely agree with this – we never did Halloween when we were kids, so it’s a bit of an alien concept to me. It’s fine at the moment as Alfie is still so young, but I fear when he gets to school age, the pressure to take him out with his friends will be hard to resist, but I am not a fan of trick or treating due to all of your points! I think it’s just going to be one of those things I’m going to have to be a tough parent on….#DreamTeam

  31. Ellen says:

    Haha you make some brilliant points. In our area people tend to put out pumpkins if they have sweets or anything for kids and most people who take their kids out would only knock on the door of those who show willing! I’ve never seen any primary school kids go out alone around here, only teenagers. And I don’t think anyone actually does ‘tricks’! I’d much rather have/go to a Halloween party or something though!! Especially as I hope not to encourage my kids to eat too many sweets (I say in naive tones…) so it’s not exactly the best activity. But I went when I was younger so it might be hypocritical to say never! #DreamTeam

  32. Brandi Puga says:

    I am personally a big fan of all things Halloween, including the trick or treating, but you do make some very valid points. #happynowlinkup

  33. I completely agree with this and those are the reasons we were never allowed to trick or treat as kids. I let my twelve year old go out trick or treating now with a group of friends on a very small estate and with a whole host of rules but I still worry about it. My youngest three don’t even know what trick or treating is. I hate when kids are knocking on the door late on Halloween and I wonder a)why they are out in the dark without parents and b)why they aren’t in bed!! #dreamteam

  34. We never went out when we were young, my parents stand by everything you have written about. My two are very young, its hard to say how I will feel when the time comes!


  35. melissa says:

    Oh my goodness I’m so with you on this. If but nothing else the amount of crappy sweets they will get is to much temptation for mummy to have in the house. #DreamTeam

  36. Lex says:

    Really do agree with every single point. It’s such a scary thing to just send your child off to do. And for what? A few sweets. I only take my little one trick or treating on family members homes – just for memories rather than ‘Halloween’ #dreamteam

  37. Well you have me thinking now for sure! I would have always thought that once it’s done in a responsible way by parents, like staying with your children from start to finish, making sure they are dressed up accordingly, they are only allowed a certain amount of sweets before going to bed (at a respectable time is vital), I like to see the fun aspect of the event. Having said that, you have made some really good points! Interesting post Annette! #DreamTeam

  38. I haven’t been out trick or treating yet….I am only three after all! I don’t think my mummy would like me to go out trick or treating unless it was a really close and friendly community with likeminded parents. For old and vulnerable neighbours this time of year it can be a real nightmare 🙁 We usually turn all the light out and sit in the dark!! #DreamTeam

  39. kate says:

    I was never allowed to do trick or treating which was a bit disappointing, but just having a halloween party with fun games, can be enough. I agree it is a bit of a strange custom, as is scaring little children. I can remember my younger sister being terrified of trick or treaters and hiding under the stairs! #DreamTeam

  40. Fridgesays says:

    #dreamteam you’ve completely hit on all my concerns, however I don’t want him to miss out (is he I’m not sure?) the entire H thing leaves me confused and a little spooked out. Thus until I’m a little happier no trick or treating here

  41. I totally understand your reasons. We didn’t start taking our oldest till he was 5 but even then it was mainly to his grandparents who put on a treasure hunt for him each year and then they take him to a few people they know on their street. Last year for the first time (he was 6) we also knocked on a few doors on our street and the one next to it but we only ever knock on those who have either decorations or a pumpkin outside so as not to annoy people who really hate this time of year. I certainly wouldn’t be letting him out alone or forcing him to knock on doors he didn’t want to. I also wouldn’t let him go somewhere where we didn’t know most of the people, this is a small rural community so we know most of the people anyway. And if ever catch him egging someone’s house when he’s older he’ll be getting a egging himself and being made to thoroughly clean up his mess, this is definitely one side of Halloween I completely hate. Thankfully in the ten years I’ve lived here I’ve only seen it happen once.

  42. I see where you’re coming from, but I love trick or treating. It’s my nieces birthday that day so all four of my nieces and nephews get together and go around my mums street with all of us and return for a fireworks session. By doing that it becomes more of a birthday and a family tradition rather than all about the sweets etc.
    I’m super excited about this year as its the first year with Ben also!

  43. Jaki says:

    I agree with you whole heartedly. I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween or trick or treating. I vaguely remember doing it once as a child but that was on the doors of immediate neighbours that we knew and were expecting me – probably a heads up from my parents. I’m not going to be encouraging it that’s for certain. #dreamteam

  44. Emily says:

    I truly could not agree more. I find the whole thing so irresponsible. If you want to celebrate personally I think doing something at home with your family is a much better way. But honestly, I find a holiday celebrating death to be so morbid for little ones.

    Emily – BabiesandBeauty #dreamteam

  45. Chloe Weir says:

    We keep it to just visiting family members and close friends. Still gives them a ‘Halloween’ experience without the danger! It’s just not something we can do in today’s world.. #dreamteam

  46. I totally agree with you. We don’t open our door on the few nights around halloween for this very reason. Our daughter (7) asked about it a couple of weeks ago and I was very blunt, saying she wouldn’t be doing it because knocking on strangers’ doors was a dangerous thing to do. I embrace that we’re still in control of her when it comes to trick or treating, knowing full well that she may do it as a teenager (though I sincerely hope not…). Oh and the image you give of a shivering child waiting for their next sugary hit is not good is it?! Thanks for hosting #DreamTeam

  47. Helena says:

    In my day – ok how old do I sound 😉 – our parents phoned up family friends and it was organised. #dreamteam

  48. You do make some valid points, that’s for sure. I always worry about strangers or candy that is poisoned. Freaks me out. I also don’t like the “scary” costumes. My kids are still pretty little, so I don’t like them seeing that stuff. Thanks for sharing your post. #dreamteam

  49. I completely understand your reasons for feeling the way you do. We live in a creepy, strange world. I think that parents need to use their judgment as to the safety of trick-or-treating in their particular communities. If your community is not frequented by trick-or-treaters, you can get creative. One idea that could be lots of fun for EVERYONE is trick-or-treating in a retirement village. Seniors LOVE handing out candy to kids!

    I also believe that all kids who trick-or-treat should be accompanied by an adult at an hour that is reasonable (before 8 pm). If kids are old enough to cruise around in the dark by themselves, they have no business trick-or-treating.

    As a person born on Halloween, I have fond memories of trick-or-treating and want to continue the tradition as long as I can!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  50. Some great points here for sure. I don’t it when I was younger and I felt so uncomfortable with it, I hated doing trick or treating. My little one doesn’t go trick or treating in the typical sense although we do do it. Every year his Aunty hosts a big party for all the kids, everyone arrives and the adults will each be in different rooms of the house, the kids do a treasure hunt of sorts to find the different rooms with the different sweets like chocolate based, fruits, nuts etc… it’s fun and everyone’s safe.

    Jordanne ||

  51. I think Halloween has come along way since my childhood. My mum used to lock the doors and turn the lights out!! A night for hooligans!! But now it’s been Americanised and is a bit of harmless fun (round our way anyway).

    All the kids from our close go out together with a parent and we only go to houses in our close and those not wanting to participate are given a sticker for their door.
    The kids love to dress up and obviously the sweets. I’m not a massive fan myself but there is nothing frightening about it and all children are escorted. I don’t dress up!! But many of the adults do.

    Just for the record I don’t think I’ll let my kids do this on their own when they’re older but we’ll see.

    Thanks for hosting. #dreamteam

  52. I don’t know how I feel about this – I was never allowed to go trick or treating because my mum thought it was ‘begging’ but I must admit I would allow Little R to go. The neighbours love to see her and they would adore her all dressed up. Not to mention that Little R (who is nearly 18months) has chosen her own outfit from Sainsburys and refuses to put on anything else. She adores it! #dreamteam

  53. Great post. I completely agree with your points and since I have become an adult, have never understood why we celebrate halloween at all. It seems like such an odd thing to celebrate, especially for little ones. We dont and wont be doing any trick or treating with our little ones, for many of the reasons that you’ve mentioned. Emily #DreamTeam

  54. Well you’ve certainly opened up the debate here! I’m desperately trying to conquer my humbug attitude to Halloween and at about 7pm each October 31st cave in and rush to slap on some basic outfit to take my kids trick or treating. Sadly as I mentioned in my own Halloween post it’s just unavoidable now that Malta finally is being Americanised too. I honestly don’t understand what it is about a certain country ‘taking over’ other countries to the point where they forget their own traditions. I know you haven’t mentioned this but another blogger on here has and I really agree. As I sit here my kids are all dressed up and made up as part of this week’s Halloween celebrations at school but I’d honestly be delighted if the whole thing died out as I don’t understand the concept behind Halloween in the first place. I’m appalled by the egging thing and wholeheartedly agree re Halloween encouraging values that are the opposite of the ones we espouse. #dreamteam

  55. Halloween is my sons birthday, it no longer is Halloween in my head. While I don’t disagree with you, I don’t think that I could take it away from them they love it so much. #dreamteam

  56. Amie says:

    I love trick or treating but I think this year we will be giving it a miss as my daughter is terrified of everything! #DreamTeam

  57. Yes! I agree with all of this – my stepson who is just about to turn 13 has his birthday on Halloween so we always have trick or treating planned, but I’m actually not that keen on Emma doing it…definitely not when she’s so young. Thanks for co-hosting with me on #dreamteam! xx

  58. Mrs Lighty says:

    Hi, just me popping over from #DreamTeam because I forgot to do my reading again (sorry!!!!!!!). I’ve thought about your post a lot since first reading it. I think I might adopt your approach with Baby Lighty as he gets older, so thank you for sparking an idea…! xxx

  59. We live reasonably rurally so trick and treat doesn’t really happen. Although our neighbours did give Monkey some sweets last night just because, which I thought was really sweet of them. I agree with all your points here, although I know when he goes to school today I suspect they will all be talking about it and he will feel left out, so it’s a difficult one! This year we probably got away with it but next year I suspect he will be the one asking to do it. Thanks for hosting #dreamteam xx

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