Nearly every house on my block was lit up and decorated for Halloween when I moved in fifteen years ago. There was a steady stream of trick-or-treaters from an hour before sundown until nine o’clock. Every year since then fewer houses have been decorating, and to make matters worse, every year we also see fewer trick-or-treaters. This year we had a grand total of five groups of trick-or-treaters approach our door. Probably no more than twelve total children.
I know kids didn’t stop liking candy. So, where did they all go? They went to the many Trunk or Treat events all over the city. Churches and other groups set up these events in their parking lots and draw in all of the neighborhood children, leaving the families with Halloween spirit and decorated lawns with full buckets of candy in their entryway. I, myself, had three gallons of candy left over this year.
The problem is that media hysteria has parents terrified that if their kids go door to door, they’ll get poisoned candy or an apple with a razor blade in it. Real talk time, folks. NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN POISONED ON HALLOWEEN! This is an unfounded fear that’s been taking the form of various urban legends for decades. No one is injecting gummy bears with AIDS. No one is handing out cannabis candies to children. Do you know how much those things cost?! It would cost a fortune to hand those out in place of regular candies. Ain’t nobody got time or money for that. The very notion that someone would just hand those out to random children is ludicrous. No one is trying poison or drug your children!
For that matter, no one is trying to kidnap your kids either. The chances that your kid is going to get kidnapped by a stranger is about one in three hundred thousand. Now, keep in mind that the chance your child will choke to death are one in thirty-five hundred. Your kids are eighty-five times more likely to choke than to go missing on Halloween, but you don’t see these Trunk or Treat events set up with a Heimlich Meneuver station, do you? Of course not, because even one in thirty-five hundred is a negligible risk.
Long story short, Trick or Treating IS SAFE! Not only is it safe, it’s an American tradition. If you want to take your kids to a Trunk or Treat, fine. Do it. Whatever. But don’t stop them from also visiting the neighborhoods to Trick or Treat! Some of the best memories of my childhood are running door to door in a costume. Don’t deny your children these same precious memories. Don’t let Trunk or Treat kill Halloween. If you send the children back into the neighborhoods, the houses will start decorating again. The communities will come back out into the night to share in the Halloween spirit.