By: Lydia Wight
Halloween festivities are a staple in American culture. While the younger crowd is busy trick-or-treating, older people go to bars, throw parties, or attend haunted houses. Some are left wondering: how old is too old to trick-or-treat?
“I remember in middle school I was told by someone that I was too old to be trick-or-treating,” said junior Kaitlyn Dilk. “I was only 12. I think I ended up stopping when I hit eighth grade. After that, it’s more common to have Halloween parties at your house or go to haunted corn mazes.”
The time to transition from trick-or-treating to other Halloween activities is a gray area. According to a poll by The Today Show, 53% of parents thought that teenagers over the age of 14 should stop trick-or-treating.
“I live off campus in a house,” said Dilk. “I’ve seen a lot of kids in our neighborhood so I would feel bad not giving out candy. I’ll definitely be giving out candy on Halloween!”
Some respondents to The Today Show poll stated that their main concern was making sure that the younger kids got candy first. Others were concerned about teenagers wearing scary costumes.
“I think I was a sophomore or junior in high school when I stopped trick-or-treating,” said senior Brooke Lopez. “Trick-or-treating is a big thing in my neighborhood in Queens. A lot of my friends have younger siblings and cousins that we would go with. Honestly, who doesn’t love free candy?”
Students at Sacred Heart University who live off campus in houses are faced with a decision: should they be giving out candy to neighborhood kids? Or is this responsibility something to be faced after having kids of their own?
“I lived in an apartment building growing up, so we never gave out candy to the children,” said Lopez. “I’m excited to dress up and give out candy because I’ve never lived in a neighborhood like this before.”
According to Time Magazine, trick-or-treating started in the 1950s when suburbs popped up across the country. As Americans saw an increase in Halloween parties and costume walks, trick-or-treating door to door to receive treats became common.
“I think that trick–or-treating should only be for kids in elementary school,” said senior Mackenzie Clift. “Growing up my parents would always be annoyed giving out candy to the high school kids. When you’re in high school, you can get a job and afford to buy your own candy.”
According to the International Business Times, trick-or-treating typically takes place from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Some communities will see children continue to trick-or-treat up to 9:00pm, which some parents view as a concern on school nights.
“Trick-or-treating was one of my favorite aspects of my childhood,” said sophomore Nikki Woznyk. “I always had such a great time with my friends; it was a unique activity that you never had the chance to do any other day of the year. I think trick-or-treating is an important way to bring communities together.”
Trick-or-treating is just one of many ways to celebrate Halloween this year.
“My housemates and I are probably going to leave a bowl of candy outside, then go to a friend’s house to celebrate,” said senior Mckenzie Degroot. “That way, we aren’t being mean to the neighborhood kids and we get to enjoy our Halloween.”