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Discussion Starter #1
This is a topic I've seen debated on some of the other Halloween forums I've been to over the years.

Some would argue that since they get less and less Trick or Treaters every year, and therefore it must be a dying custom. I don't think that at all, I just think it's evolved a little since we all did it as children.

Some communities now sponsor daylight Trick or Treating hours, having the event run from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. I think that alot of people may not be home from work yet and thus don't see as many kids coming to their doors.

There's also a new trend that seems to be getting more and more popular with each passing year. It's the trend of parents taking their kids to "better" or wealthier neighborhoods to get candy. This is the result of a baseless paranoia that someone out there is going to try and hurt your children in some way by tampering with their candy.

The rationalization is that the people in the wealthier neighborhoods are less likely to harm your children because they're cut from a finer cloth. Personally, I find the exact opposite to be true. Why would you take your kids away from your neighborhood, away from the people around you that you are more likely to know, and bring them to a foreign place whose inhabitants you know absolutely nothing?

Wouldn't a complete stranger be more likely to harm your child than the people next door? I would think so.

I think the paranoia all stems from a few isolated cases of candy tampering that were not in fact random poisonings. One such case (the case of Ronald Clark O'Bryan) turned out to be a father poisoned his own children's candy in an attempt to get some insurance money to dig himself out of debt. He tried to blame it on the faceless "halloween poisoner", but in the end, all evidence pointed to O'Bryan and he was tried, found guilty, and executed.

So, do you think Trick or Treating is a dissolving practice or one that's just evolving?
 

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Well, I've had ONE kid in three years, so, yeah. :mad:
 

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I would like to see some sort of census or survey of the subject to be carried out nationwide with pointed questions about the practice. Judging from candy, costume and decoration sales, I would say that someone is doing it somewhere. I too think that parents carry their kids to wealthier neighborhoods, but I believe that it may be for a few other reasons besides the candy tampering deal. To wit:

1. Better candy selection. Be truthful: Would you rather go Trick-Or-Treating in an area where it is likely the "good stuff" will be, or would you rather take your chance on a neighborhood you know where all the lights will be out discouraging the kiddies from knocking on doors and ringing bells; and if you do find a house that is receptive to this legalized begging, there's a better than good chance that you'll get those crappy orange and black wrapped Mary Janes, bruised apples or gospel tracts.

2. Some kids get together with other friends way before Halloween night and map out some sort of plan to Trick-or-Treat in whichever of the childrens neighborhoods are likely to bring in the best bounty.

That's my two cents, but I think it may be as accurate an assumption as any. I haven't gotten a single Trick-or-Treater in the seven years I've been here. That may be due to the fact that I don't have one bit of Dale Earnhardt or NASCAR memorabilia on either of my vehicles or around my abode. That just means that there will be no interruption of my yearly Horror Fests and subsequent All Hallows Rock and Roll Beer Bash. :jol: :sick: :zombie:
 

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I think for the moment trick-or-treating is dying down, I don't think it will ever be killed though. I would like to add to the reasons why trick or treating is getting a bad reputation, that we as a country are also going through a nation-wide dietary re-evaluation. Look at the **** health freaks and soccor moms have been pulling on famous name-brand sugar cereals. Now Frosted Flakes and Fruit Loops are coming in boxes marked X-amount less sugar, carbohydrates, saturated fat (I'm not so sure about that one), cholesterol, and artificial flavoring ingredients. But carb-obsession has died down tremendously, I mean- could you go anywhere in public in all of 2004 and NOT hear the word "carbs" about 20 times?!

We all feel the grief Halloween and horror is getting from conservatives, and the morally outraged dregs of concerned parents. But I honestly believe trick or treating will see more popular years in the future. We just need to stone and flog a few irresponsible public figures who think they're going to change healthy holiday traditions based on a politisocial whim getting a lot of attention due to an overzealous, self-righteous administration.
 

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We keep getting more and more TOTers every year. I think the quality and quantity of costumes is falling off, but around here the holiday appears to be alive and kicking.
 

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Come to think of it, I believe I got more trick or treaters in '04 than in '03. I wouldn't bet money on it. But I will always keep buying candy for trick or treaters, in the event they actually do show up. If they don't, hey, more candy for me. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One thing is for sure, there was a steep drop off in 2001 due to Halloween having occured not too long after 9/11. I think that each year after that the number of TOTers out on the streets has gone up steadily.

And Vlad's right about costumes. Some of the kids that came to my door weren't wearing any costume at all, some had some really half-assed costumes and painfully few had decent costumes.
 

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Doctorthingit said:
We just need to stone and flog a few irresponsible public figures who think they're going to change healthy holiday traditions based on a politisocial whim getting a lot of attention due to an overzealous, self-righteous administration.
I like the way you think about this, Thingit! :D :devil:

As for Zombie and Vlad's posts, if some little hillbilly bastard came to my door with a camoflage shirt and CAT deisel power cap on, he's going to get what Charlie Brown always got--a ****ing rock! :D
 

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That reminds me of my most rebellious year tot-ing, only like my 2nd or 3rd to last= I was going through my dark, sophisticated, reflective, distinuished, ultra-sensitive, suicide-is-deep, knowitall loner phase. I didn't wear a costume, nor did the friend I went with. He had to drag me the whole way, while I looked at the people at each door as though I wanted to be dead. And did a good job of convincing them I was a basket case.

If you'd have given me a rock that year, I'm sure at first I would have laughed as though I was expecting someone would have a rock waiting for me. After getting home, I would have been upset that I couldn't eat it. But while I was with that particular friend, I'm sure we would have egged your front door. Let me just save time and tell you how sorry I would have been. :zombie: :rolleyes: ;)
 

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There were a few years I pondered this same question. But, in the last couple of years I have really seen a drastic increase in Toter's. I think parent's are just looking for the same Halloween they remembered having and it takes quite a bit to recreate that. The first year I lived on my street we just put out a couple of pumpkins and had a few kids. Then I pulled out the big stuff and every year they have come in droves. The rest of the neigbors have started to pick up the pace and our "middle classs street" has become a community hot spot.
 

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I think that trick or treating as I knew it as a kid is dying off yes. Back in the 1960's if you didn't go trick or treating as a kid then there was something wrong with you or your parents. I still think a big part of it is that the parents of today grew up hearing all these horror stories of kids getting razor blades in their candy apples, etc, etc.. blah, blah, blah. Now that those kids are grown they're too scared to let their kids go trick or treating. Our local Mall has a few hours of trick or treating each Halloween night, and that is where the largest percentage of those kids who Do trick or treating go. Even my Dad, who still lives in the same house where I grew up, only gets about 20 kids now. In my day it was nothing to have 6 bags of candy, and almost run out. People used to drive car loads of kids into neighborhoods like ours from miles away back then. So call it evolving or dispappearing I don't know. One thing I do know is that the old neighborhoods don't see the traffic like they used to.
 

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I haven't had TOTs for as long as I can remember (of course they could be too scared to make it to the doorbell) Funny thing is I don't see as many out on Halloween as I did when I was out doing the whole trick or treat thing. I don't know so much that it's on a decline, but I think that maybe trick or treating has moved to the more densely populated areas...I live in small town, but I know a lot of people take their kids to the bigger surrounding towns...
 

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I don't know about dying out, but I do think tot is changing. When I was younger, tot was a young kid's activity, only a few teenagers were still doing it. In fact I had a neighbor who would tell anyone who looked over 12 that they were too old for it and refuse to give them anything. My uncle down the street was not quite that bad but at his house the good candy went to the little kids, teenagers got the el cheapo suckers and other stuff nobody wants. I was pretty bummed when I got to be a teenager and was too old to tot anymore... now last year, I only got about 10 trick or treaters and most of them were probably in the mid teens to early twenties, I only remember 2 or 3 little kids. Then again, there was a known drug house just three houses up the street from the house I was renting last year, so maybe parents were keeping the little kids off my street because of that.
 

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That might be a good guess .. I don't think I would bring my son to a neighborhood where I know there is a drug house. The area I have gone to the last few years is always packed with kids (and yes, some older kids). But, they are all out before dark and lights are turned off around 9 p.m. So, it's not dying out up here .. just getting earlier :(
 

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Luckly i live in a younger community where almost every secoond house has a kid.But eventhough it does seem to be dying off in some places I think the community should take charge and make tot a community event that they can do together and get excited about. for example today I e-mailed my community board suggesting that they host some halloween themed activities such as bes decorated house(which has been done in the community next to us and was a great success) I think its up to us as haunters to go out of control decorating to encourage people around us to do the same!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So, has the trend continued? Was 2005 another year where TOT numbers dropped off? I had the same amount that I had the previous year so I'd have to say that to this point TOTing is staying steady.

However, I do see things like "Trunk or Treat" and other lame ways to make TOTing "safe" starting to take hold. Don't be lazy parents... spend a few hours once a year and take your kids around the neighborhood (or to mine) for some good old trick or treating.
 

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Interesting to see this thread again. Since I will be living in Colorado this year as opposed to Florida, I will post my observations. It's great that Hella and I both really get into the holiday so we will put forth that effort more to make a successful TOT experience that wasn't there before in the Sunshine State. :jol:
 

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To me Trick or Treating seems to be slacking a little. I think Trick or Treating was designed to be a “Get to know your neighbor” thing in the early years. But these days no one trusts his or her neighbors. It is more like, “you stay on your side, I will stay on mine” type of thing. And it shouldn’t. I think if ToTing is to survive than we need to get back to the old style. When neighbors used to come over for a beer and help when you needed help. I think ToTing is a celebration of “Love thy neighbor.”

I remember when everyone was saying that you have to be carefully because you might find a blade in you candy. Parents were paranoid and had to check their kids candy. But I found out that there were a few that found blades in candy and such, but their neighbors didn’t do it. Family members did it all. Now isn’t that sick? All the worrying for nothing; and look what it did for Halloween.
 

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In my area of town, my across the street neighbors decorated their house. So I started. We now get 200+ TOTers in our neighborhood. There are about 5 houses on my street that dont stay home. Since I have started decorating, more and more houses are popping up decorated. My across the street neighbor said to me the other day that it was I who sparked Halloween spirit on our street. But I said he sparked mine.. so it was a group effort you can say. I dont think that T&Ts are dying off, I think its starting to become "popular" again.

I think it was a big generation gap that people noticed T&Ting going downhill. My generation had a lot of kidse (babyboomers kids) but my generation really has not had a lot of children, 1 -2 per family if even 1 per family. So that would have significantly dropped the numbers..

I hate to be stereotypical, but i work in Social Services too. My town is somewhat on the poverty line, statistics show that more and more children are born out of these communities. . so depending on your community would depend on the number of peeps you see and in what years you see them.

I honestly believe that the numbers of T&Ters stayed relativly the same, but the number of children has changed and the areas you live in have changed. Unfortunatly you can no longer let your kids on the loose Halloween night, someone has to go with them and the lack of "energy" our society has for one reason or another will inhibit that too. Again in my community, those values are rarely practiced so I get many "lone" kids.

What is the lesser of 2 evils...

Anyway after a long winded, social perspective... I think we need to take it year by year. Get peoples motivated again and it will change.... Everyone here is doing something great in their communities... Keep it up!
 
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