It is Halloween time, which means it is time for costumes, haunted houses, and of course: trick-or-treating. In case you are unaware, there are now laws in certain states that have put age restrictions on trick-or-treating. Anyone who violates these laws could face fines up to $100 and even possible jail time; however, the odds of going to jail are slim. Police patrol in certain neighborhoods on Halloween night to make sure there are no children doing things they are not supposed to, just trick-or-treating. The age limit and other factors of the law are different from state to state; the age restrictions vary from 13 to 16 years old.
Trick-or-treating evolved from the medieval custom of children asking for treats in exchange for praying for the dead of the household. These tricks later turned to vandalism and other destructive acts that were a big part of Halloween until conscious efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries shifted the celebration more towards children. In the last 10 years, laws have become more stricter on cracking down on Halloween safety. Cut to today, where states are doing the best they can to keep halloween as child-friendly as possible by having “curfews” for how long trick-or-treating can last, having laws against masks, and of course the age limits.
In Louisiana, luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any laws against trick-or-treating past a certain age. So whether you are five or fifty five, you can go door to door to get as many packs of Skittles or M&Ms as your heart desires. Even though we don’t have laws against age limits on trick-or-treating in Louisiana, how do the people here feel about these laws and restrictions on Halloween? I spoke to Ms. Caitlin Neal-Jones (pictured above handing out candy to students) how she felt about the thought of putting an age restriction on Halloween. She said, “I truly think that Halloween is more of a charitable holiday, probably even more so than Christmas; people come up to your door, and you get to give them something. If we lose that, then we lose that sense of community.” Junior Virginia Vascocu agrees that there should be no age limit to trick or treat because “you are never too old to have fun.” Old or young, Halloween should be celebrated by everyone! Go out in your best costumes and fill up on as much candy as you can eat!