Face Off: We’re not too old to trick or treat

Liam+Eifert

Liam Eifert

Liam Eifert, Reporter

Halloween isn’t a very well-defined holiday. We celebrate it for complicated reasons eventually tracing back to a Celtic tradition. Even then, few— if any— would attribute Halloween with any of the spiritual significance it may have once had. 

As a holiday, it occupies a strange part in our culture, representing a loose collection of ideas rather than a coherent celebration or recognition. Halloween is most concisely about whatever scares us. 

Within it, though, and evolved through a complicated genealogy just like Halloween itself, is trick-or-treating. Children dress up in costumes of ghouls, Disney princesses and whatever else their imaginations lead to, and they knock on strangers’ doors asking for candy. 

With the murky origin of Halloween along comes a blurry age barrier. The exact age when kids should stop trick-or-treating is not set in stone, and people should take that to their advantage. High schoolers in particular are not too old to go trick-or-treating. There’s no rule that they should feel overly compelled to follow on the matter.

Just because trick-or-treating is a loose collection of traditions doesn’t mean that there are no rules that one should follow about trick-or-treating. If someone shows up at the door without a costume, they can hardly be surprised by their neighbors’ unenthusiastic reaction. 

Likewise, full-grown adults trick-or-treating on their own would likely be met with ridicule and a lack of sweet treats. The presence of a rule, though, doesn’t mean that we should set a hard and fast boundary on the ages for trick-or-treaters. The ambiguous age divide lets us make our own decisions about when it’s time to stay inside and watch movies instead. A high schooler is still met with acceptance from the houses they go to.

No one that you might meet while trick-or-treating is in a position to take your age and carefully place it against what is accepted. Rather, the worst that can happen is someone thinks you look a little old to be trick-or-treating, but what is that to stand in the way of a bag full of candy bars?