How old is too old for trick-or-treating?

To be safe on Halloween, check for opened candy before eating.

Photo Credit: Photo via PxHere under Creative Commons License

To be safe on Halloween, check for opened candy before eating.

By: Jacqueline Poznanski, Reporter

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Trick-or-treating is a Halloween ritual that children look forward to each year. Over the years, Halloween accrued curfews regulations; however, some places in the United States have decided to limit trick-or-treating to children only. 

Many states have created a law that forbids any child over the age of 14 from trick-or-treating. However, New Jersey has yet to demand such regulation. Each year the Woodbridge Township Police announces the curfew for unattended minors for 7:00 p.m. to the sunrise of the following day. They encourage children to be mindful and aware of their surroundings while trick-or-treating. On Halloween, special officers patrol neighborhoods to ensure all trick-or-treaters are safe. 

States with Regulations

According to Local 21 News, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Maryland are only a few states that have an age limit. In Chesapeake, Virginia, the city banned anyone older than 14 from trick-or-treating. Teens who don’t obey this rule will be charged with a fine for $250.00. Police officers do not patrol neighborhoods or card kids to check ages. This law has caused an uprising in many parents and teenagers, though, it has yet to be abolished. 

 Juliana Di Cosmo, a sophomore student at Colonia High School, enjoys watching her community come together during the Halloween season. Though she believes ten and eleven is the right age to stop trick-or-treating. Her reasoning behind the ten year age limit is because she feels, “tweens and teenagers take away the ‘magic’ of the holiday and make it dangerous for younger children.” 

As a child enters their teenage years, social pressure begins to factor one’s decisions. Di Cosmo states, “As I got older, I felt I would be judged for trick-or-treating at the age of 11 or 12.” She also believes that age limit laws in other states are unnecessary because she believes the decision to celebrate a holiday is a personal preference.

Teacher and parent, Brian Finnegan, states that “there should not be an age limit to trick-or-treating; however, he does think once a teenager gets their license, it can get uncomfortable for younger children.” Mr. Finnegan also noted that he stopped trick-or-treating around 16 years old due to his “peers’ loss of interest.” Now that he is a father, he spends his Halloween with his son by taking him trick-or-treating and reading him Halloween children’s books. 

Exceptions to the Rule

Blue buckets are a new act of autism awareness that has brought the public’s attention over the past month. While trick-or-treating, if you stumble across an adult dressed up with a blue bucket, he or she may be autistic. While they could have a body of an adult, they truly enjoy trick-or-treating. Please help keeps his/her spirit up and share a piece of candy and remember these citizens are not “too big” to trick-or-treat. 

There are many alternative Halloween activities more fit for teens and adults. For example, recipes for pumpkin cookies, caramel apples, and other festive treats can be found online during the Fall season. Pumpkin picking and pumpkin carving is another fun and creative option for people of all ages. Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary is a thrilling haunted penitentiary that is suited for teenagers and adults. There are many haunted houses and haunted mazes in New Jersey. A scary movie marathon with friends and family is a fun and free activity to do on Halloween night. 

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