Halloween Etiquette

Halloween Etiquette

Image: History.com

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Oh my gosh, what a FUN holiday this is, full of ghoulish frolicking.  I love, love, love Halloween.  Though I’m not a dresser-upper in the evening, I relish being an observer.

As many of my long-time readers will attest, I’m a bit of a — ummm —-stickler for manners. Granted, Halloween provides an opportunity to be silly and morph into an alter-ego (last year at school I am dressed up as Super Teacher!) however, there are certain basic etiquette norms that sure are important when taking the wee-ones (or the big ones!) out for Trick-or-Treating.

I was absolutely delighted to see Taryn Cox’s Trick or Treating Tips. She offers practical, relatable and SPOT ON suggestions for this annual evening of great fun and lots of Shining Moments!


Before Leaving Home:

  1. Make your child eats dinner before setting out.
  2. Make sure children use the bathroom before leaving home.
  3. Plan your route ahead of time.

Flash Lights:

  1. Make sure your child carries a flashlight or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
  2. Carry a flashlight to illuminate sidewalks, steps and paths. Check or replace batteries before you leave the house.
  3. Glow Sticks can be used in the dark along with flashlights.


  1. Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.
  2. Make sure your costumes are hemmed so they don’t drag on the ground.
  3. Wear comfortable walking shoes that fit properly. Make sure shoe laces are tied tight.
  4. Make-up should be hypoallergenic and non-toxic.

Safety Rules:

  1. Try to go trick or treating during daylight hours
  2. Always walk, do not run.
  3. Stay on the Sidewalks. If there is no sidewalks, then walk on the left side of the road, single file, facing traffic.
  4. Obey all local traffic signals. Cross only at corners holding hands.
  5. Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into a stranger’s car.
  6. Report any suspicious or criminal activity to an adult or the police.


  1. Visit houses that have lights on, especially houses with Halloween decorations.
  2. Don’t trample through grass, flower beds and gardens.
  3. Respect other people and their property.


  1. Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.
  2. Throw away candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.
  3. Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.
  4. Always carry a spare Halloween bag just in case yours breaks.


  1. Always be polite. And don’t forget to say “Thank You”.

Parents with Older Kids:

  1. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves.
  2. Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times and Set a time for their return home.
  3. If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark and/or bring their cell phone.
  4. Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.
  5. Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields. Make sure they know to stay in populated places and don’t go off the beaten track. Stay in well lighted areas
  6. They should only stop at familiar houses in your own neighborhood

Home Owners:

  1. Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
  2. Pets get frightened on Halloween. Lock them up to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
  3. Battery powered Jack- O-Lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
  4. If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
  5. Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won’t be blown into a flaming candle.
  6. Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later. ( Make sure all treats handed out are sealed shut by a plastic wrapping)

Wishing you a wonderful Halloween!


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2 Responses to Halloween Etiquette

  1. Linda says:

    Non food treats are a great alternative for giving. I found packages of eye ball rings, personal note pads in spooky feature shapes, and slap bracelets, all in quantities of 12 – 18 for less than $1·89 for the packs, and at 60 percent off. Useable, Halloween, and no tummy ache! Best of all, no left over sweets to tempt me!! Happy Halloween.

    • randirentz says:

      What a wonderful idea, Linda! I hope the kids enjoyed them as much as you did. I agree, no tummy aches and extremely creative.

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