Age limits on trick or treating aren’t necessary

Photo by Qiao Liu


Just how old is too old to trick-or-treat?  

This age-old question has been asked time and time again, sparking a debate that frustrates me to no end.  

However, it just so happens that Bathurst – a New Brunswick community – has seemingly tried to settle this discussion by voting in a bylaw that prevents anyone over 16 from trick-or-treating on October 31.  

Those found breaking this rule may be fined up to 200 dollars. 

For Bathurst, this may be a solid attempt in settling an age-old discussion, but for me they have only managed to fuel my hate-fire on this misguided debate.  

It’s silly to even try and imagine what something like this would begin to look like in actuality. 

Some kids look a lot older in age than others, so how would such a law even be monitored? Maybe bylaw officers are meant to patrol the dark streets, asking children for ID’s, but last time I checked children don’t exactly carry identification around with them. 

With all these finer details aside, what this really comes down to is recognizing what the purpose of celebrating a holiday is and how people who vote rules like this into existence are a real-life equivalents to the Grinch. 

Do we place bans on other holiday festivities? Is there an age too old to receive presents during the winter holiday season? Or maybe there’s an age too old to give thanks during thanksgiving? 

I personally would much rather go out with some friends around my neighborhood and collect some treats in my costume than hit up a nightclub.

I think not. 

Why should any of us have the right to to tell a kid who wants to enjoy actually being a kid a little longer to “grow up” and stop enjoying Halloween the way they want to? 

I can assure you that the alternative to trick-or-treating is kids most likely getting drunk together in their friend’s basement, which doesn’t really seem much better. 

I’ve heard others voice their concerns that it’s a matter of public safety or that collecting treats is strictly a child’s activity.  

And I get that it can be intimidating for a small child to be in the presence of a group of older teens roaming the street, but the way I see it is that as long as they have an adult by their side –which they all should – and the older teens have respectful intentions for the night, then there’s enough room for trick-or-treating on the streets for everyone. 

Ultimately, if we’re all in it for fun than that’s what counts. Age, however, is not the cause of unsafe behaviour, and certainly shouldn’t lead to banning anyone above the age of 16. 

I personally would much rather go out with some friends around my neighborhood and collect some treats in my costume than hit up a nightclub. I’m not saying it’s for everyone but it’s simply a Halloween tradition that I enjoy more, and I don’t think it’s something I should be shamed for by having it be reflected as something “childish.” 

Bylaws shouldn’t be able to dictate how and when we choose to celebrate a holiday, and it’s as simple as that. 

We can only hope that on this coming All Hallows Eve, everyone who voted to put that terrible bylaw in place is visited by three ghosts of Halloween past, present and future to scare the shit out of them and help restore balance to the sanctity of Halloween spirit. 

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