The trouble with trick or treating: age limits established throughout the country


Courtesy of MCT Photo

Grey Abramson, 7, background, tries to find the right pumpkin as his brother Andrew, 8, gets in over his head trying to pick one up at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church's pumpkin patch, Friday, October 7, 2011, in Columbia, South Carolina. (Gerry Melendez/The State/MCT)

Anne Marsh, Staff Writer

When October rolls around and the leaves begin to fall, there is only one thing on our minds: Halloween.

An important aspect of this holiday is, of course, the prospect of collecting piles and piles of candy. Trick or treating is a beloved tradition celebrated by kids throughout the country; the question is, when should the fun stop?

Sophomore Keren Idelman said, “Teens are always being forced to think about going to college and entering adulthood, and trick or treating with friends sort of revives the carefree feeling of childhood.”

However, not all see the holiday as an event for kids of all ages to enjoy; many parents and senior citizens complain about young adults lacking costumes or being rowdy while trick or treating.

According to, parents “should remind [their] older kids that the purpose [of] trick or treating is to give younger kids a chance to enjoy dressing up and playing make believe…Recognize [your teen’s] desire to celebrate by suggesting and encouraging age-appropriate activities.”

Some areas have even placed legal age limits on those who are permitted to be out on Halloween; from Illinois to Mississippi, laws are being passed subjecting trick-or-treaters over the age of 12 to jail or fines up to $100.

To a majority of young adults, however, the idea of being punished for embracing childhood traditions seems absurd.

Sophomore Yvanna Reyes said, “As long as teens are being respectful and are simply intending to have fun with friends, I think they should be able to celebrate Halloween however they choose. Of course, if they are wearing inappropriate costumes, that should be a sign that they belong at a party rather than walking door-to-door with young children.”

Although some teens enjoy causing trouble on the night of Halloween, most are looking to remember the thrill of dressing up, counting candy, and spending the night with friends, and there should be no limit on the age at which this fun must end.

To learn more about opinions and laws concerning age limits for trick-or-treaters, click  here or here.


Anne Marsh