Too Old for Treats


Lexi Bushard, Staff Writer

There is a joy that comes with being sent out one night of the year going door to door, braving the cold, filling pillow cases to the brim of tooth-decaying goodness. With toes past numbness, one returns home to lay out the bounty and to trade with fellow trick-or-treaters. For many high schoolers at Wayzata, these memories have since been ended.

Trick-or-treating has a long and winding history dating back to medieval Europe some 200 years ago. The first trick-or-treaters were poor children who went door to door begging for food and money during the Celtic holiday of Samhain. The traditions of Halloween have since changed and evolved over the centuries. 

Halloween costume traditions started with the medieval practice of ‘guising’ or disguising oneself as a ghost to blend in with the nefarious spirits who emerged during Samhain. Since then, Halloween festivities have morphed into the 21st century version of sugar and superheroes. 

Halloween is a favorite among the younger crowds, however as kids age, trick or treating becomes more and more unpopular. When do kids stop trick or treating?

Sophomore Grace Eppers said, “The last year I went trick-or-treating was in 7th grade. I dressed up in a cow onesie and went door to door getting candy.”

Senior Macy Larson said, “I went with a group of friends in 6th grade and we just went to a few houses. We were excited to go but some kids in our grade thought it wasn’t cool.”

Trick-or-treating not being “cool” is a big reason many stopped in middle school and began to look for alternative ways to celebrate Halloween. 

Sophomore Leah Appel said, “I guess since it was considered a little kid thing to do back in middle school, my friend group stopped making the rounds around the neighborhood.”

Freshman Kiera Janice said, “I guess I would maybe go just for fun, to get free candy. I’m just happy to do whatever as long as I get candy and I am with my friends.” Janice also stopped in middle school.

 Middle school is a common time to stop, but others disagree. Sophomore Connor Vonholdt said, “I’m going trick-or-treating this year, I haven’t stopped and I don’t plan on stopping,” Vonholdt is enthusiastic about this year’s anticipated sugar haul. 

Some cities across the country have laws in place to restrict trick-or-treaters over a certain age. Last Halloween, the city of Chesapeake drew national scrutiny for its decades old ordinance that could fine and jail teens caught trick-or-treating. 

The city quickly conducted a review of the ordinance and changed the law to restrict children over 14. According to the city, police officers have never actually enforced this law, and don’t plan on it. The ordinance is merely put in place for the prevention of trouble makers and prankers on Halloween night.  

Parents are getting in to the trick or treating debate as well. Wayzata High School Parent Dave Bourland said, “Trick-or-treating is great for all ages, I would still go, but that would probably scare the neighbors.” Scare the neighbors it might. 

 Although there is a range of times to “stop” trick-or-treating, there appears to be a broader similarity held true from across the board. It doesn’t matter where or how one celebrates Halloween, but be safe, have fun, and be respectful.