Trick-Or-Treating: An Age-Old Dilemma

Trick-Or-Treating: An Age-Old Dilemma

Ella Hubbard, Staff Writer

Elkhart’s known for its constant changes in weather–blistering hot one day; freezing the next. However, there is one day of the year that residents can always count on as being cold and rainy: Halloween.

Halloween is all about dressing up in homemade costumes–or purchasing ones from places like Walmart–and putting on face paint that is almost always guaranteed to be halfway gone by the end of the night. It’s about knowing where the “candy-rich neighborhoods” are in the hope of receiving big-size candy bars rather than bite-sized ones. It’s a night that kids look forward to all year long. But,is trick-or-treating just for children? Is it acceptable for teenagers–or even adults–to go door-to-door soliciting candy? 

Some towns emphatically say, “No!” Those planning to go to Chesapeake, Virginia, may be in for a serious trick! The town has banned anyone over the age of 14 from trick-or-treating after an incident in 1968 where witnesses reported firecrackers being thrown into children’s candy bags.That following March, a law went into effect.Violators could be fined around $250. Despite this, officials say that nobody has been arrested or fined in the 49 years that this law has been around.

While age-restricted places might not have much of a choice, those who do are apparently more than welcome to go trick-or-treating.  A TIME article sought out the advice of Emily Post, who specialized in all forms of etiquette. “You want to make sure younger kids are getting the chance and the opportunity,” Post states, “but I don’t want to discourage teens from enjoying this as long as they’re behaving well.” The article then goes on with a suggestion of its own: “For kids who still want to trick-or-treat, how about going with younger siblings? Big kids helping little kids–that could be a very positive experience.”

Sophomore Dakotah Potts doesn’t think that taking a sibling along is necessary. “You can go trick-or-treating until you feel like stopping; there’s no issue with it!” Potts, now 15 years old, feels that last year was it for him. This year, he plans on “staying home and maybe watching some movies.”

17-year-old Yasir Pineda hasn’t been trick-or-treating since he was 12, but is going to try his hardest this year to participate one last time. “Knowing that this is my last year in high school,” the senior says, “I think I might go.” Defending his decision, Pineda says, “I believe that as long as you’re not bothering anyone, there should be no issue with adults going trick-or-treating!” 

However, Halloween offers more than just trick-or-treating. For those who feel they have graduated into the passing-out-candy stage, they may join other EHS teens assisting with the Oct. 30 Track-or-Treat event at the Freshman Division. Fall athletes, those in service  organizations, and other interested individuals, can dress up and hand out candy around the track. Others may just choose to stay home, carving pumpkins and watching Halloween movies. The brace, however, may opt for the Niles Scream Park for a good scare. Just don’t be too frightened to make a decision on All Hallow’s Eve.