Is trick-or-treating a harmless bit of fun and jolly tradition - or turning our children into vandals who terrify their neighbours?


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The Independent Online


What's going on?

In case you hadn't noticed, it's Halloween today. And with it, across much of print, broadcast and digital media, is a familiar and sometimes frenzied debate. Is trick or treating harmless fun - or turning our children into mindless little vandals?! And should we make it illegal?

Case against: Harmless

Trick-or-treating, if done properly, encourages entrepreneurial skills, allows children to enjoy getting dressed up in fancy costumes, and allows them an easy and rewarding way of getting to know neighbours and therefore engaging with adults. Its also introduces them to an interesting tradition - and keeps them out of parents' hair for a few precious hours.

Case for: Thuggery

What's if it's not done properly? Encouraging your children to knock on strangers' doors is hardly safe and why should adults have to put up with little brats asking, in effect, to be paid for doing precisely nothing, anyway? What sort of a message does it send out to our children when we tell them to wander around their locality terrifying people into giving them presents, sugary and otherwise, that they don't deserve?