Trick or Treat Etiquette

Trick or Treat Etiquette

Well, this is it, the big day. Halloween! The jack-o-lanterns are carved, the candy is in a bowl near the front door awaiting the arrival of trick or treaters. But before the first ding-dong of the door bell, maybe we should go over the rules of the game.

Courtesy of the Glouster Daily Times, here’s an outline of Halloween etiquette for both givers and takers.


  • Incidents of dangerous items and substances ending up in homemade treats cause most adults to forbid their children from eating unwrapped brownies, cookies and the like. You should stick with packaged candy for Halloween.
  • Take the time to empty the candy into a serving bowl, basket or tray.
  • Be prompt in answering the door with treats in hand, as children are trying to get to as many houses as possible.
  • If you give out miniature candy bars, offer more than one. If handing out full-size bars, one is fine.
  • It's okay to give large amounts of candy to teenagers after 9 p.m., in attempts to rid your home of all unwanted temptations.
  • If you don't want to participate in trick-or-treating, give the impression you're not home by turning out most lights. This will signal to trick-or-treaters they should move along without having to ring the doorbell.
  • You shouldn't allow your animals near the doorway because they could scare the children - or the "monsters" could scare your pet.


  • Never grab a handful of candy. Wait for the homeowner to say how much you may take.
  • Only take one piece of candy if a bowl is left by the door.
  • Appear happy and thankful when receiving candy - even if it's not your favorite. (I would add, say ‘Thank you’ when you given your treat.)
  • Be respectful of the homeowner's property by not trampling through flower beds or knocking over decor.
  • Parents accompanying their children should take the opportunity to say hello and or introduce yourselves to new neighbors at this time.
Images courtesy of Hersey's.

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