Is There a “Too Old” for Trick or Treating?

Communities debate about the appropriate age to stop trick or treating on Halloween.

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Image/Graphics by Clint Patterson

A photo of a porch ready for trick or treaters this Halloween.

When is someone considered too old for trick or treating? This question is one of the most debatable and recurring questions about Halloween. The answer varies in many ways, depending on factors like the person’s family, enjoyment of the holiday, and your town’s rules, amongst other factors.

In an extreme case, a small town in Canada passed a law as of September 2017 that bans anyone older than 16 from trick or treating. Those who refuse to obey this law receive a fine of $200. In Chesapeake, Virginia, the state restricts this Halloween festivity to kids 13 years old and younger. Those violating the law receive a monetary fine under a 4th-degree misdemeanor charge. Some other specific areas across the United States ban trick or treat for anyone who isn’t under 15, 13, or even 12 years old.

In other parts of the U.S., where there are few restrictions, the appropriate age for trick-or-treating is unclear. When observing the recent Halloween costume spirit day here at West Branch Area Senior High School, you could see that not many people dressed up, although they were encouraged to by the school. When asked how old is too old to trick or treat during an in-person poll, West Branch students responded an average of 16 years of age. Although no matter who you ask, all people can agree that you have to be respectful while trick or treating.

The answer to this long-asked question is: there is no such thing as being too old for this festivity, as long as you want to participate and respect everyone giving out treats.