Truck or Treating?


If the trick or treat scene in your neck of the woods is anything like mine you’ve probably seen the numbers dwindle over the last 5-10 years.  What was once a night of fun with kids crowding the streets dressed up in ghoulish glam, has turned into just another night in the neighborhood. Child safety advocates, anti-Halloween propaganda, and church and community events have surely played a part, and ultimately introduce a little thing called “Trunk or Treat”.

If you haven’t heard of trunk or treat you’re probably still living in an area where Halloween is widely celebrated and is still a huge tradition.  If that’s the case, let me know where you live so I can come join in the festivities.  While trunk or treat sounds like some messed up prank you would pull on your friend in the back of your car, its basically just tailgating for Halloween and kids go car to car to get treats in the parking lot of a church, community center, or the like.  Not exactly what I call a night of fun.

I’ve seen it growing in popularity locally over the last few years, as many of the schools have offered these events, but this year was the first I had seen that it had gone mainstream.  While browsing the Halloween section of Walmart the other day I discovered the following three decorations.


Yep. Now not only can you waste a night of trick or treating in a parking lot, but you can try and be festive in the process.  Now that trunk or treating has gone mainstream we are sure to see the death of trick or treating as we know it.  The whole thing is a joke and I am sad to see the tradition of Halloween fading as the years progress.  What was once a sacred holiday for young kids to enjoy tricks and treats has turned into just another warm and fuzzy holiday for overprotective authority figures to spoil.



What are your thoughts on the dying Halloween traditions and trunk or treating?  

Has Halloween survived in your neck of the woods or are you seeing a decline in trick or treating as well?

Or do you see trick or treating done by car, driving to each destination instead of walking?

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Replies to This Discussion

As I live in the little village of Veteran, Alberta (between "Fuckall" and "Diddly Squat", Google Earth it, and you'll see what I mean!), so no matter what, I don't get many kids. Having said this, I would like to happily say that Halloween is very much alive and well out here. Our village is dominated by the Full Gospel Church, but these ones have no problem with Halloween, and during a drive through the country side, you will see many farms decorated for it. One thing though, which has certainly changed from when I was a kid, is that you get teenagers dressed up, and getting candy, too. As well, many parents will drive their rugrats to the near by towns, to trick or treat there too.

I don't think that Halloween in Veteran is representative of other parts of Canada, definitely not like the cities (hell, I not only leave my truck unlocked here, I leave the keys in it!), and probably not like many other towns and villages, but it is still alive and well!

Trick or treat?

In Cincinnati in the 30s and 40s, we had Beggars' Night and Damage Night. On one night gangs of from four to eight kids went out begging, and on the next night we revisited the people who'd had nothing for us the night before. The "damage" consisted mainly of rubbing doorscreens and windows with bars of soap. Many homes had through-the-wall mailboxes, into which we put weeds or grass from recent lawn mowings, or in serious cases lumps of doggie-doo.

I first encountered trick-or-treat after the family moved to Florida. I asked one trick-or-treater what he would do if my parents hadn't had any treats and he looked puzzled, like he hadn't planned for such an event.

No one I've asked since then, and I have asked many, has admitted to knowing of Beggars' Night and Damage Night. Were we in Cincy America's first not-quite-juvenile-delinquents?


I live in an old campus neighborhood, and kids still trick or treat.  I've been handing out candy for 16 years now. 

We seem to get fewer trick or treaters the past few years here in a suburb north of Philly, but now more kids go to the mall for candy from merchants. Usually parents are escorting them, unless they're teenagers. When I was young, in a more rural area, parents never bothered to escort.

I think it's fine for teenagers to continue enjoying the costumes and fun. They grow up fast enough.

Trick or treating at the mall (they only gave out like one jolly rancher per store anyway), trick or treating at 4pm, being driven from house to house...I can't describe it with any other word than lame.


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