What Has Happened to All the Trick-or-Treaters?

There are few things that scream “fall” more than celebrating Halloween. The decorations. The costumes. And of course, the little ones going trick-or-treating. The mania surrounding picking out the perfect costume before going out and filling a pillowcase full of fun-sized sweets is a tradition we not only enjoyed as children but have past on to our children.

Or, at least some of us have.

If it seems like fewer kids are parading around on All Hallow’s Eve looking for goodies, it’s because there are. And the reasons why may come as a surprise.

Trick or treating

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Kids are still trick-or-treating, but …

They aren’t going door-to-door in their neighborhoods like they used to. As The Atlantic points out, trick-or-treating is a primarily an undertaking more akin to suburban neighborhoods. With the changing economy and shift in the cost of living, these neighborhoods tend to not have as many families in them as they used to.

Because of this, the article continues, families will travel to certain neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. Or parents will take their kids to local businesses in safe neighborhoods.

You may not be home in time for trick-or-treating

In an effort to keep youngsters safer, some cities and towns have come to impose curfews on Halloween night. While regulations differ from city to city, a general rule is that parents take their kids out around dusk. (Unless you live in the Midwestern suburb of Waukegan, which the Chicago Tribune reports only allows trick-or-treating 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

Depending on where you live, the may have completely set before you get home from work on Halloween night and all the little candy goblins have already come and gone.

Trick or treating

Trick or treating | Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images

The age of trick-or-treaters has also changed

You may have been one of those kids who kept trying to trick-or-treat well into your teens. But that kind of behavior doesn’t fly in some cities anymore.

In fact, there are places where it’s actually against the law for teenagers to trick-or-treat! Certain cities in Virginia are particularly tough on teens, with Chesapeake reportedly banning trick-or-treating for anyone over 12 years old. Violators are reportedly subject to a fine and even jail time! (Chesapeake also allegedly has a Halloween curfew of 8 p.m.) The city does make an exception for teens who are taking their younger siblings out trick-or-treating.

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