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Candy, Costumes, and Constrictions?

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Wearing Minnie Mouse ears, Batman capes, or a bedsheet for a ghost,  trick-or-treating is often thought to be entertainment for young kids. When teens dress up and go knocking door to door, they are often given dirty looks and told that they are, “too old to trick or treat.” But is there really a designated age when a kid has to stop knocking on doors for sweet treats? 

According to a Westerner survey of 100 students, there isn’t. In fact, 48 percent of West students trick-or-treat every year. In Des Plaines, there is no age restriction on trick-or-treating nor is there a curfew time when kids must be done knocking on doors. Yet, teens are constantly turned away or shamed for trick-or-treating. Thus, many teens refrain from trick-or-treating, either feeling too old themselves to trick-or-treat or feeling embarrassed that they might get judged. “Last year, I trick-or-treated, and I did get a few looks but that didn’t stop me from trick-or-treating,” freshman Kaitlyn Nutley said. 

However, in two places in the U.S., there are restrictions and rules in place that stop kids from trick-or-treating: Chesapeake, Virginia, and Belleville, Ill. In Belleville, kids over the age of 12 are banned from trick-or-treating and face a fine of $1,000 if they are caught. 

Thankfully or not, this is not the case in Des Plaines or anywhere in the Chicago suburbs.. According to the Westerner survey, 88% of students at West argue that teens should be allowed to trick-or-treat while still being in high school. As one reaches adulthood, “I think 18 is a good time to stop trick-or-treating,” senior Daria Szczepura said. 

Even if they aren’t trick-or-treating, West students still find ways to celebrate the holiday.. “I spend time with my friends, and we watch scary movies,” senior Kennedy Young said. 

Many students go see new horror movies in theaters, walk through haunted houses, and visit pumpkin patches to celebrate and still take part in the spirit of Halloween. “My friends and I typically go to Fright Fest at Six Flags,” senior Anna Montanile said. In the Westerner survey, students said they still dress up for school or have Halloween parties with their friends or neighbors as part of their celebrations. 

Michelle Kaner

October 26, 2022

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