Ever wonder where that whole “trick or treat” thing come from? Well I certainly did. And lucky for you, I’m the kind of person to research something then blog about it so you get to learn without the hassle of research!
Turns out trick or treating is a whole lot older than I thought and probably than you thought too if you’re the same as me. It sprouts from a tradition from the medieval ages known as souling, which sounds way scarier and more hardcore than trick or treating, but it actually is far less. Rather than threatening people with TP’d houses and an endless future of humping lawn ornament reindeer unless you get candy, these souling kids would offer to pray for the souls of someone’s dearly deceased in return for a cake.
A similar practice, called guising, arose in Scotland in the late 1800s when children would come to doors with jack o lanterns and be “rewarded with cakes, fruit and money,” because apparently the standards for rewards were way lower back in the day.
Fast forward to some more modern times and you get trick or treating, when American, British, Irish, Canadian, Puerto Rican, and Mexican children (and probably some others too) began to go from door to door in costume so they could ask for candy on Halloween. Why the costumes, you ask?
In the 70’s trick or treating took an unfortunate hit when urban legends popped up to implicate Halloween candy as a prime delivery method for tainted and poisoned chocolates. Never the types to let fear stop them, some Americans just kept on trucking and by the time the 90’s rolled around we saw a new era of trick or treating begin–one of limitless potential.
- Trick-or-Treat: A Halloween Home Security and Safety Guide (simplisafe.com)
- Teaching your kids the value of giving back: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF (thirdeyemom.com)
- Common Sense Tips to Staying Safe on Halloween (blogs.lawyers.com)
- A Little Humor (This Is A Joke) – Houses To Avoid While Trick-Or-Treating (witchesofthecraft.com)