Julianna Counts

Halloween was a big production with our family. October 1st meant it was time to start planning our costumes. The first weekend of the month would take our family to the costume shops to collect everything we needed. The rest of the month was spent preparing our house, turning the well-kept yard into a scene from a horror film. A few days before Halloween, our parents would take us out to pick out our pumpkins and then, of course, “Trick-or-Treat” on Halloween.

Nearly everyone has fond memories of the Halloween tradition. Your parents would help you into your costume, apply the face paint if needed, and if it was cold enough, bundle you up. Maybe you carried your haul in the all-too familiar plastic jack-o-lantern, or a plastic bag with ghosts, bats, and cats. But for most of us, the loot-bag of choice was the pillow case. And then, off you’d go, skipping from door to door in the hopes of a mountain of candy, always shouting “Trick or treat!” You wanted your candy, and you were willing to cheerfully shout threats to get it!

But there’s sad news for our best childhood memories. Trick-or-treating is on the decline! Surely, you’ve noticed the fewer knocks, fewer glowing porch lights, fewer groups of children with parents in tow. When did it change? It wasn’t over a year’s time, but a slow decline that seemed to begin when I was a child. Parents, worried for their children’s safety (and possibly tired of walking in the cold as chaperon), are opting for Halloween parties instead. There’s nothing wrong with this option, but it shouldn’t erase trick-or-treating completely.

There are, of course, the real horror stories. The razor blade in the apple, child-snatchers, the poisoned candy. It’s no wonder parents are not allowing their children out. No one wants their offspring harmed during a time that should be fun and innocent. But, should generations of youth be denied the opportunity because of the rare incidents of the past? Of course not! Don’t let fear ruin a wonderful tradition. Save “Trick-or-Treat!”