Giving Candy to Strange Men

Should there be an age limit for trick or treaters?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By David Hammond


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?

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

1 Comment - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Private from OP  

Posted: October 31st, 2010 1:11 PM

No way I refuse candy people to the unmasked, over-aged marauders. If I do, they'll just come back and rob my home. Or worse. With them, 'trick-or-treat' takes on a more serious tone.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad