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

I've definitely seen signs for Trunk or Treat at churches, but I didn't know what it was. It just depresses me these days how little Halloween is really enjoyed anymore. When I was a kid (I'm 37 now), it was a HUGE deal in my whole neighborhood. We were out for hours and hours, and neighbors made their own haunted houses in their garages or houses or backyards. We got so much candy it was sickening. And it was safe for us to go all over the neighborhood (up to many blocks away from home) by ourselves.


In the last 5-10 years, a few times I've gone to my parents' house to hand out candy, and every year it gets worse. Now it's like the only kids who even come by (my parents live in a very safe suburb near a country club and school) are the little bitty kids (3-4 year olds) with their parents before it gets dark. Once it gets dark, there's almost no one out. So depressing. Luckily, I have discovered some friends that have an annual costume party! yay!

I have a twelve year old, so for the past several years we have spooked up the front yard, left a bowl of candy and a scary note to deter kids from taking it all, and left the light on the house.  Last year, when we returned home from our own trick-or-treating (we drive to a neighborhood because our neighborhood is so lame) NONE of the candy was gone!  I was shocked.  No one came to our house. 

I love Halloween and have fond memories of covering huge territory in one night... enough to fill that large green tupperware! 


The "truck or treat" also says a lot about how little exercise kids get these days.  I used to traverse close to 15 miles in one Halloween night.  Now kids just walk from one parking spot to the next, but still get loads of candy.  It's sad, I agree, but I don't know how it can be reversed.

At my old house I didn't have any kids coming around. I lived next to a bar and I think there weren't that many kids in town...mostly old people and some renters that didn't have kids. I'm hoping the kids in my new neighborhood will still go!


I had the same experience as a kid myself, growing up in a blue-collar town right near St. Louis. We went around our neighborhood, got some goodies and had a great time. You'd get the odd story about tainted treats, but they were few and far between.


I live in a south St. Louis city neighborhood now and no one comes around. People are so paranoid now it's not even funny; all sorts of corporate news scare stories, Christian Nationalist BS against Halloween and what not dominates now. I miss those days; I often thought what it might be like when I had kids taking them out on Halloween. That'll never happen now, sadly.

I've heard that there has never been a documented case of poisoned candy. The stories about poisoning turned out to be other things--one was that a kid overdosed on parents' drugs and the parents tried to pass it off as poisoned candy, I think.


In our neighborhood instead of walking the parents drive them to the houses to trick or treat.
That was one good thing about our neighborhood, everything was so close together and we had good folks living in it. Plus we were able to walk down several blocks on our street and onto the adjoining streets. Friday or Saturday Halloweens were especially fun.
My sister lives in a very rich neighborhood in Dallas, and people drive carloads (or busloads) of kids to their neighborhood to trick or treat. So she sees tons of kids. But I find that somewhat disgusting. Not just that some kids might want to go to a more kid-friendly neighborhood, I can understand that, but that parents take their kids to the rich neighborhood so they can get more. Teaching greed at a young age! And it's not like rich people's Snickers are any better than poor people's Snickers.
We have carloads come to our house too! Some parents will bring babies with them in their strollers. A little young to eat candy.
We drive to neighborhoods just to find houses that still give out candy.  I've found the wealthiest neighborhoods are the ones that don't participate in Halloween.
I used to get a ride over to my friends' places to go trick-or-treating with my friends, but that's about it. Do people really drive their kids from one house to another? I can't believe the lameness of that. I've seen other instances of parents driving their kids really short distances, too. And then they complain about childhood obesity...
My first experience with "Trick or Trunking" (that's what is was called here) was at my sons' Catholic school - they were too old for begging, but the younger kids participated.  I think this was more a school community thing, not necessarily to replace the usual house-to-house event.  I get very few kids where I live - usually we get Middle Eastern kids that start ringing the bell at 4:30 and no costumes.  I used to take my boys to my parents house in the suburbs.  Still lots of houses passing out candy, but it is a bit much when the kids are driven from house to house and they are 'outsiders' who also come with no costumes or they have babies who don't eat candy, as you said, Steph.  I don't want to begrudge any child a fun Halloween, but they should at least put some effort into the event.




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