Mae's Real Stories

Memories for Miriam, Alice, Theo, Delia, Tessa and anyone else who would like to be here

Friday, October 20, 2006


Tricks? Or Treats?

Why do kids say "trick or treat!" when they go from house to house on Halloween?

My mother remembered a very different kind of Halloween, when some kids played mean tricks. When she was a little girl, some kids took soap and wrote or drew on the windows of stores or cars or houses. Or they rang people's doorbells and then ran away. Some older kids even did really terrible things like breaking people's windows. They were very very bad.

My mother and her friends stayed home on Halloween. It was for bad kids. Later, people started to give candy to kids, and encourage them to wear fun costumes. That way, they wouldn't get into mischief. And they would say "trick or treat" to show that the treats were helping them act right.

When I was a little girl, kids didn't do much bad stuff any more. Of course there are always some bad kids, but most kids were in costume and doing the right thing. However, some grownups decided to make kids do a nice trick before they would give them any candy. Arny sometimes stood on his head. Some kids recited a poem or even told a joke. Our neighbors would invite a whole lot of kids to come into their house, and then go around and have each one do this kind of trick. Then they gave us all candy.

Now, kids just say "trick or treat" and their neighbors give them some candy.

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