Has Halloween Lost Its Way?

I’ll have to admit, we aren’t much for holidays around our house, but Halloween is one of my favorites. The weather was pleasant, especially for this time of year, and I expected to have a busy evening answering the door, passing out candy, and seeing all of the fun costumes.

Some of our pumpkin carving examples from a few years back

By nine o’clock, with a two-thirds full bowl of candy in my arms and completely quiet streets outside, I turned off the porch light in disappointment. We had four groups of Trick-or-Treaters, with three or four kids in each group. I can remember years — even in terrible weather — where we had easily five times that.

Even the kids that came didn’t seem to have their hearts in it. One group didn’t say a word after they rang the bell. They simply stood placidly with their buckets and bags held open to receive their treats, then turned and walked away without a “thank you” to be heard.


When did dressing up as something scary or fun and getting candy become work and drudgery? Did I miss a memo?

I began to go through possible reasons, sitting in the dark and consoling the dogs from their banishment to the bedroom. The holiday had fallen on a Wednesday this year, perhaps being in the middle of the week had dulled the experience. We live in Montana, so while the hurricane may have been in the thoughts of some of the kids, I doubt something that had happened that far away had been a deterrent to fun for the youngsters. Likewise, I can’t believe concerns about the upcoming election were weighing heavily on their young minds.

So, what gives? Was this just a strange year or has the holiday itself lost some of its sizzle? As a kid, I remember it as fondly as Christmas many years and it saddens me to think that today’s kids might not see the fun and excitement to be had in dressing up and being showered with treats.

What were your experiences this year? I’d love to hear them and your opinions on the holiday itself! Do you think Halloween has lost its way?


About Alan Tucker

Writer, Dad, Graphic Designer, Soccer Coach … not necessarily in that order!

Posted on November 1, 2012, in Random/Rants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. We live in the country, so sadly don’t get any trick or treaters. Although it saves us money is one way, it cuts us off from celebrating Halloween with the neighborhood. Plus there’s no candy in the house, which can either be a good thing or bad thing. Cheers, Alan!

  2. I live in an urban area and we had only two doorbell rings this year, each with three children. I know have two large bags of candy I need to find a home. I spoke with friends who have young children and they said the trend is now to have parties at one house and invite lots of children to that one, with parents, instead of trick-or-treat on the street or in the neighborhood. There is simply no trust anymore. I understand, but it makes me sad.

    I loved Halloween growing up, even though I think I was a “hobo” almost every year as my costume. I loved the idea that people I didn’t know went out of their way to be scary, or kind. It seemed the people at the doors were having just as much fun as I. Of course that was also in the days when some people actually baked goodies and invited us in for punch or hot cider. AND we had no hesitation with eating them. We didn’t run candy through xray machines or hear bulletins about razors in apples or drugs in candy.

    The whole concept of a neighborhood that is safe or the belief that we can trust our neighbors has disappeared.

  3. We had less trick-or-treaters than usual, but I thought it was because of it being on a Wednesday. I have heard of at least one house that saw 225 kids in our neighborhood. The kids we had seemed excited.

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