Halloween 2019: is trick-or-treating illegal and is there an age limit?

Halloween is a celebration that is loved by many - but others aren’t as excited by the annual event.

By Claire Schofield
Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 11:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 11:31 am

For some, it is a chance to dress up in scary costumes and indulge in copious amounts of sweets collected from the popular Halloween custom of trick-or-treating.

But, for others, the mischievous day can be troublesome, with some falling victim to pranks which see homes vandalised or harassed by trick-or-treaters.

Is trick-or-treating illegal?

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Will your children be going trick-or-treating this year?

The Halloween ritual, which sees children in costumes travel from house to house asking for treats, is a popular custom in many countries around the world, and is legal here in the UK.

However, police will intervene in the event of any anti-social behaviour.

If your child is under the age of 16, you as parents will be liable to pay for any fines if trouble occurs while they are out and about.

Is there an age limit for trick-or-treating?

A pumpkin displayed outside a home is a sign trick-or-treaters are welcome

There is no minimum age for taking part in trick-or-treating, but parents should accompany young children at all times.

In some towns in America, the age limit for partaking in the custom is capped at the age of 12.

Here in the UK, there is no upper age limit, although most children who take part in the tradition are of primary school age.

Which houses should be avoided?

While trick-or-treating is embraced by many, there are some homes that may prefer not to be disturbed by revellers.

If a house has a pumpkin, or any other Halloween-themed decoration displayed in the window, it is typically safe to assume the residents are happy to welcome trick-or-treaters.

Some homes may display a 'no callers' or 'no trick-or-treat' notice telling youngsters not to knock on their door, in which case the resident's wishes should be respected.

What are the dos and don'ts of Halloween?

If you or your children are planning to go out trick or treating this Halloween, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Children should always be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating Trick-or-treaters should only go to homes they know are happy for them to call - look out for 'no callers please' signs and respect your neighbours Stick to places that are well lit and are in neighbourhoods you know Carry a torch and a fully charged phone (if you have one) If you are wearing a mask, make sure you can see where you are going when moving from house to house and be aware of your surroundings Avoid leaving wheelie bins, or anything that could be used for an illegal bonfire, outside of your home If a pumpkin is displayed outside your home, this is a sign trick-or-treaters are welcome to knock Wait until you get home before eating any of your treats so that an adult can check them Do not allow children to leave the house with eggs or flour