Trick-or-Treating 101 ~ Halloween Etiquette


Knocking on a door and asking for candy seems pretty basic, but there is a code of behavior that should be followed while out and about on this freakishly fun night.  Use these etiquette tips to help you be the good ghoul:

  • No lights means no knock. If you see outside lights on and Halloween decorations displayed, chances are this house is participating in the nights festivities and would be okay to approach.
  • Knock or ring the door bell up to two times. Give it 30 seconds in between so it gives the family time to answer the door.  If no one comes to greet you after the second time, quietly leave that house and move on to the next house.
  • Call it a night after 9pm.  Families with small children or older people may be in bed by this time.
  • You are getting free candy or party favors, so it is polite to greet the person that answers the door by saying “trick or treat” or “Happy Halloween” and remember to always say “thank you” after you have received your treat.
  • Only take ONE treat or piece of candy if they offer a bowl of candy to you. They may encourage you to take more than one piece, if so, take just one more, not a handful.
  • Stay on the sidewalk or pathway leading up to the house. Don’t take shortcuts through the flowerbeds or front lawn as you could damage the landscaping or even hurt yourself.
  • Halloween night is filled with tricks too, so if you must prank anyone, make sure your trick won’t hurt people physically, cause permanent damage to property or put anyone in danger.
  • Don’t scare the little ones too badly. Make sure the children are old enough to enjoy a harmless scare like jumping out of the bushes, a really scary costume or any props used.
  • Not everyone celebrates Halloween, so be respectful of the folks that choose not to participate.
  • Keep your hands to yourself.  Do not touch decorations or anything on the porch or in the yard.  You could the décor or hurt yourself.
  • Remember to thank the parent or person that is taking you out for a safe, fun night of trick-or-treating!


Remember, Manners Don’t Mind Themselves…Use Your Etiquette Edge
Julie Roberts is the owner of Etiquette Edge,