How Old Is Too Old for Trick-or-Treating?

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How Old Is Too Old for Trick-or-Treating?

Jami Citko, Vicki Zhang, and Bineta Lo

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Ding dong! The door is opened to reveal a group of cute little kids dressed up in costumes. “Trick-or-treat!” they said. You happily gave them candy and said your farewells. A minute later, you hear a knock. This time, another costumed group is at your doorstep, but they’re taller than you and their “trick-or-treat” is significantly deeper. 

With the return of Halloween comes the age-old question: how old is too old for the age-old tradition of trick-or-treating? 

According to Time, most teenagers stop dressing up and trick-or-treating between ages 12 to 16. Some statistic websites, including the United States Census Bureau, don’t even recognize older teens as valid trick-or-treaters, only listing numbers for children between 5 and 14. The social stigma around the activity makes a lot of teenagers feel as though they are not allowed to do it. 

“I think 17 is too old to go trick-or-treating because it would be weird since they are old,” freshman Lisa Lian described. 

Some set the limit at an even younger age. 

“I think 8th grade is a good place to stop trick-or-treating. Once you hit high school, I think it’s smarter to just buy your own candy. Trick-or-treating is just childish to me,” sophomore Rosemary McNiel expressed. 

Some think that trick-or-treating when you are too old is a waste of time, since older people have a larger workload in school and everything.  

“I think 18 is too old because you have better things to do in life. You are too mature,” freshman Sean Davis asserted. 

Freshman Nathan Citko agrees with this statement.  

“You’re in adulthood, you’re too old for that…too mature,” Citko explained.  

Others believe that trick-or-treating should be an enjoyable event for everyone of all ages and people shouldn’t be affected by peer pressure.  

“You can’t be too old to go trick-or-treating. It’s fun and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s part of culture these days. You shouldn’t have to let others regulate whether you go trick-or-treating. Everyone should have the right to go trick-or-treating,” Hawkins stated.  

According to Today, many older teens have a motive to trick-or-treat other than getting free candy. Because high school is extremely stressful, it is a nice opportunity to be carefree and dress up to revisit their younger years.  

Some, like freshman Claire Stump, believe trick-or-treating as a teen is weird if you go alone, but totally fine with a group. 

“I feel like if you are alone and in high school, it’s weird,” Stump expressed. 

Sometimes the reasoning teenagers have for going isn’t to get candy for themselves but rather to help younger siblings or family friends. 

“I usually take my little sister trick-or-treating. It’s so much fun because I get to dress up with her and have a lot of candy,” sophomore Temi Ajepe exclaimed. 

Because a lot of people stop dressing up around high school age, it can be awkward to do so if you are the only one. 

“I enjoy getting and giving candy and dressing up, but whenever I dress up at school I walk in and there’s no one else doing it,” senior James Hawkins explained. 

Sometimes it isn’t the teenagers who are against trick-or-treating but rather the adults. 

“I want to go trick-or-treating, but my dad won’t let me; he says I’m stealing candy from the little kids,” remarked sophomore Paige Peercy said. 

Older trick-or-treaters, who expect to be greeted with the same friendly smiles as children of any age, are sometimes met with disappointed frowns or even scowls. 

“Some adults gave us dirty looks, especially those who weren’t in the Halloween spirit,” claimed junior Solomon Robin. 

But, like teens, not all adults hold the same view. 

“Some people are like ‘it’s really cool that you don’t think that there should be an age to trick-or-treat,” Robin expressed. 

So, to any teenager who has decided to go trick-or-treating this year, be prepared to get some negative looks or comments from people who are against the idea, just remember to enjoy yourself regardless and have fun with those celebrating with you.