Just how old is too old to trick or treat?

Animation depicting kids dressing up as ghouls and goblins for Halloween (Pixabay)

Animation depicting kids dressing up as ghouls and goblins for Halloween (Pixabay)

Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is what many consider to be their favorite holiday of the year. Halloween costume parties, divination games, bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and playing pranks on friends and family are just some of the things people entertain themselves with on this frightful day. But, then there’s the beloved trick-or-treating.

Children of all ages are allowed the opportunity to transform into any form they seem fit on Halloween. Neighborhoods are crawling with vampires, ghouls, goblins, werewolves, superheroes and even cowboys. They go door-to-door with pillowcases and pumpkin buckets relying on complete strangers to satisfy their sweet tooth, supplying them with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Jolly Ranchers, and those flimsy spider rings that cut your fingers when worn.

Alas, a question arises. How old is too old to trick-or-treat? At what age should one realize that trick-or-treating should be left to smaller kids and the parents supervising them? My answer… once you enter high school.

In my neighborhood, I see that a majority of trick or treaters nowadays are left unsupervised (which is totally cool) but a lot of them are being completely disrespectful to people’s property and the surrounding kids enjoying their innocent adolescence.

I’ve seen teenagers in high school steal bowls of candy, break and destroy Halloween props, block oncoming traffic, scare the shit out of smaller children until their parents get involved and a whole lot of other things. How do I know this? Because I used to be that teenager who thought it would be cool to run amok in my neighborhood.

But, I digress. Trick-or-treating can be a safe alternative to other things like drugs, alcohol, and underage parties. I do believe that teenagers and kids should enjoy their youth as much as possible because there is too little of it as an adult. But, there is a fine line between trick-or-treating and causing utter mayhem. All ages should be able to have fun but once you start growing facial hair I think it’s time to hang up the mask (or leave it on so no one notices).

Many people say that you are never too old to stop trick-or-treating or that the desire will eventually fade so let them have their fun. I remember thinking to myself that trekking all those miles through my suburban city surrounded by little tikes in power ranger costumes just wasn’t worth it. The fun-sized candy bars and stale mini bags of skittles that delighted me as a kid just didn’t do the trick anymore.

We are living in a time where people are constantly lamenting the fact that children are growing up way too quickly, acting like adults long before their age actually says they are. I mean go to any Halloween super store and take a look at the costumes that are available

Every year the choices become more and more disturbing for boys, while the girls costumes become more revealing. I can clearly remember being in 5th grade and using my dads old camouflage gear to be a hunter. Nowadays, eight year olds girls are dressing up like street walkers and pixie-whores. Boys are dressing up as serial killers and soul-eating demons with blood running down their face.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m overreacting and bitter that I can’t indulge in the delights of trick-or-treating. Or maybe I’m seeing a trend being turned into something completely different than what it once was. Either way, if you look old enough to operate a motor vehicle, let the kids have their fun and go get the shit scared out of you rather than you scaring the shit out of little children.