Last week, I blogged about why I think we should consider giving kids a weirder Halloween by offering sardines and tea rather than Snickers and Nerds. I must admit, though, even I am a little weirded out when adults come to the door, usually without costumes, asking for treats. Now that’s scary.

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday. I want it to be a good time. I don’t discriminate based on age and I give treats to one and all, with or without costume (though I definitely prefer they dress for the occasion).

It does strike me as a little strange, though, when men and women in their twenties and thirties come to the door asking for goodies.

It seems people love food most when it’s free: I watched in awe at the Iowa State Fair last August when a line of over 60 people quickly formed to get free hard-boiled eggs…at the height of the salmonella scare. During a Wendy’s free burger promotion last summer, the lines stretched on and on. People will wait an incredible amount of time for pennies worth of gratis chow.

So I get why people of all ages want free treats on Halloween. It just seems a little strange when some of these trick or treaters who are old enough to have children are taking part in a holiday ritual that is, let’s face it, basically for kids.

Do you refuse treats to “older” children (I’m thinking above the age of 21)? How about those without costumes?

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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