Preparing for trick or treat

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
I feel very passionate about Hallowe'en - absolutely not trying to provoke any religious overtones or debate here .... but more about how to protect the vulnerable - from young children exposing themselves to the risks of knocking on strangers' doors (how their parents allow them to do it beggars belief) .... and more importantly for those of us here - concerned for the welfare of vulnerable adults who could be terrified by a plastic masked youth on their doorstep ........

I was thrilled when I discovered this link through my mother's church magazine ......

I am looking forward to the launch of this year's inititiative - knowing it will not only benefit a children's charity (with which I have no association BTW for anyone who knows my passion for children's welfare and charities) .... but to find the links to the likes of Age Concern and Help the Aged and their recognition of the dangers to vulnerable people of 'trick or treating' .....

I'm all for 'bobbing apples' or whatever - and definitely a bit of fun, whatever the occasion or religion or belief, ..... but just DARE anybody knock on my mother's door come 31/10!!!!!!!!

(The one gets me most is when idiot parents are lurking in the background with even the youngest children thinking they are giving their children a 'good time' who haven't got the insight to realise they might have just scared the life out of someone elderly or vulnerable ..... thinking it's funny....... :mad: )

I am looking to make a huge poster this year for mum's door - besides 'camping out' at mum's for the evening. That might solve the problem for one household .... but how many vulnerable, dementia (or not) affected people will be harmed even temporarily by this wretched 'tradition'?????

Any one else got any ideas/plans to deal with / protect for the evening? (plus several before no doubt)

Karen, x


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I must say, even now, I have not come to terms with trick or treating. Yes I've taken my children and even given out my fair share of candy but I've not liked doing it. However, one sytem that is in place all over the USA is: if the porch light is on on October 31st then you can knock on the door, but if it's off, the house is off limits. Also most communities have designated hours (signaled in our area with the local fire sirens, and published in the local papers). Your problem in the UK is this "tradition" has sprung up relatively recently and there aren't these mechanisms in place.

My mother got round this by never ever answering the door after dark, on any day of the year.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Alas it is another thing that has been imported from the US but without the application of their sense.

Another US thing that never works here is the idea of a four way crossroads - all directions have right of way, but it actually works on 'first to arrive, first to go'. The UK no longer has the disciplined and trained drivers able to do that kind of thing, and it is a 'who dares, wins', or 'chicken' operation. Not to mention that many drivers are either on the phone, or with cigarette in hand at the time.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
(The one gets me most is when idiot parents are lurking in the background with even the youngest children thinking they are giving their children a 'good time' who haven't got the insight to realise they might have just scared the life out of someone elderly or vulnerable

lurking in the background with even the youngest children thinking they are giving their children a 'good time'
Oh dear that was me :D lurking in the background I went with them to keep them safe , in case someone invited them in . I think that if parent let they children do that they should be responsible and go with them for they safety .

Seeing that I have answered my door to children under 10 , they should be made aware of those dangers and that they should be a parent or responsible teenager lucking in the background also making sure that the children do not get rude , throw thing at them .

Must say they never use to wear those scary masks, they use to be scared of them themselves .

It is good that they are highlighting the issue about scary marks , because of the elderly venerable people . I would never thought about that as a parents back in the days before mum got AZ . Some elderly people even join in with sweets, some don't people just open the said no closing door saying they forgot or don't believe in it .

I made sure my children did not get rude to them , like you see them do on TV .

all that you can do is , if you think its going to upset your mother is stay the evening with her , don't answer the door its all your choice or put the note up .

Me I be they with a bag of sweets ready for them :D
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Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Bags of sweets etc are fine - but where Mum lived the local "yobs" would throw mud at the windows, put rubbish thro' the door etc if it wasn't answered. We always had to make sure someone was there for the night - and the couple of nights before and after.
In a lot of cases , sadly, it seemed to be just another excuse for vandalism !


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Misgivings about Hallowe`en and Trick or Treat were voiced years ago in schools and churches in Manchester and now it looks to be taking hold.

Thank goodness for that.

I remember when my son was young we had a Hallowe`en Party in our streets, run by the parents and supervised by the parents. Trick or Treat was confined to our party within our group. There was no question of knocking on doors, disturbing people.

Everyone came in fancy dress, bu we made it ourselves, no commercial masks or fangs, etc.

We had the traditional games like bobbin` apples, and the children had a choice of drinks............Witch`s Brew or Pond Water..............I will leave the contents to your imagination.

Lots of fun but no threats.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
I will freely confess I love Halloween and handing out candy. I spend hours making up little treat bags with the wide variety of candy (wrapped) which I have bought. I spend quite a bit, probably around £50 or so on the candy and chocolates. I'm actually going to start preparing soon. I made up 300 bags last year & ran out. There are so many children in our neighbourhood.

I must say, I never thought about an elderly person and Halloween. That's a very good point. Normally here, if the light is out, it means no candy. But I can see how frightening it could be to a person with AD. I will bring it up at my next support group meeting.

Little Vik

Registered User
Oct 4, 2007
Oh crikey i hadnt even thought about it :rolleyes:
Last year my nan wasnt too bad so just went to bed, but this year she does things like sit with her doors and windows open at midnight.
I think camping out might be a plan :(


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
I love Halloween too, but unfortunately can't celebrate it as dad hates it. I would like nothing better than to decorate the porch with Jack'o'lanterns etc, but alas it;s not to be.

I have no objection to a party of small children sensibly accompanied by adults, in costumes - genuine trick or treaters. I do object to teenage thugs turning up on the doorstep and expecting money.

Jennifer's post is a revelation; what an eminently sensible idea it is about porch lights. Obviously, trick or treat has been going on in the USA for so long, that sensible mechnisms have been established. As a recent import into the UK, we don;t have those, so one result is inappropriate calling, which can be distressing for either the person in the house OR the callers (not nice to knock at a door and get a torrent of abuse because you did).

Perhaps we should just hope that it pours with rain!

When I was a child Halloween wasn;t much; these days it;s a big event. I love all of it but dad doesn't.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
nebiroth said:
Perhaps we should just hope that it pours with rain!
I always pray for snow, and that happens more often than you might think! I do feel a bit Bah Humbug about the whole thing, to mix my holidays. I managed to avoid it until my children went to school, but then they have halloween parades and all that stuff there. I do think it's a strange message - you spend 364 days a year telling children not to accept candy from strangers, then on one day you take them out to, yes, accept candy from strangers. :rolleyes:

I do like making the costumes though (well I do when I have enough notice AND they don't change their minds at the last minute).


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
My friends take their children 'trick or treating' and it seems to be the rule (where they live at least) that if the house has a pumpkin lantern in the window that's fine, but otherwise leave well alone.

Fortunately no one can find my front door (including taxi drivers and pizza delivery boys whatever they may be :D ) but I know others have had lads of 16 knocking on the door :eek:


Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
leigh lancashire
We usually have a halloween party (not thought about it yet with going away next week). What i do is warn the neighbours about the party and ask if it is ok for the kids to knock.I am always at the doors with them,so the neighbours are aware who the kids are.It is a frightening time for the elderley,which i always respect.My mum and dad close the curtains and won't answer the door on halloween,we have a special knock so they know it's ok to answer.My advice is "HAVE A PARTY" they are so much elainex:D