Does the thought of Halloween make your skin crawl and your knees shake? This ghostly time of the year leaves many people looking over their shoulders and sleeping with the lights on out of fear a spirit might be near by. However, what if it is not the thought of beings from the underworld walking the earth that causes waves of fright to run down your spine. What if your biggest fear is hearing a knock at your door. On the evening of October 31st hearing a knock at your door could spell trouble indeed, as trick or treaters rule the night.
The age old tradition of knocking on people’s doors for a treat is likely to originate from All Soul’s day where the poor would knock on people’s doors and beg for food. They were often given cakes known as “soul cakes”, fruit and sometimes money. This tradition has now turned into the custom that we know as trick or treating.
The annual practice of trick and treating can be a source of innocent and harmless fun. However, it can also result in incredibly threatening, intimidating behaviour and violent incidents.
Trick or treating is a fun activity to take part in when your are a child. Choosing a spooky outfit to wear can be fun and venturing out after dark can be an exciting novelty. Often children are supervised by an adult who takes them round local friends’ houses, where they can knock on their doors saying “trick or treat”. In theory the idea is that the person whose door they have knocked on should give them a treat to save a trick being played on them. Normally some sweets will be given and the children can move on to a different house. However, if no sweets are given, children usually leave disappointed, but do not trick the person, as this is simply an empty threat.
Not all episodes of trick or treating are so idealistic. On the evening of Halloween large groups of unsupervised kids, teenagers and even adults roam the streets. Sometimes they dress up and sometimes they do not even bother. They knock on strangers doors demanding certain treats and if the person refuses the word trick is taken to extreme levels. A common way these people like to get their revenge is to throw eggs at doors or cars. Flour is often used, as is silly string to make sure the maximum amount of mess is caused.
People may knock or doors or they may simply skip that stage and terrorise certain individual’s property. The houses of people not very popular at school or work can become the victim of a mass trick or treat attack, with paint thrown over walls and bricks thrown through windows . I have also seen eggs and flower over cars with abuse written into the mixture. Prank calls can even form part of the attack. This evening is seen by some people as an excuse for abuse and antisocial behaviour.
Many people live in fear of this night, especially those who know that they are unpopular, those who live on their own, or the elderly. These people who cause a night of terror may think about who they want to target, however, many victims are random. The malicious trick or treater seems to not take into account the fact that they may be terrifying a sick old lady, or wake up young babies and children. These socially inept people also ruin the night for those who want to have innocent fun, as it is simply not safe to let youngsters out even when supervised.
The tradition of trick or treating looks set to stay for now. I just would encourage people to think about their actions. If you are going to partake in this Halloween activity, please try to visit people you know and make sure children are supervised. Maybe even ask an older sibling to go out with your child as this may seem more socially acceptable for the kids. Make sure you feel safe letting your children out on this night, as although it is sad to even think they may be in danger, it really isn’t worth taking the risk if they could find themselves getting caught up in violence. To those who are worried about the evening of Halloween, draw your curtains, invite friends round if possible and do not open the door.
Article Source: Trick Or Treating, A Growing Source Of Terrorism