Does anyone really celebrate Halloween anymore?

GeorgeTheUnseen

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This kinda of an oddball question to ask but, this dawned on me while I was at work today since the school had all their halloween decorations set up and everything.

Lately I've been noticing Halloween (And Trick or Treating) kinda becoming less and less of a tradition here in my city each year. You barely see houses decorated for Halloween. You might catch a few houses here and there decorated but most, if not all just have a few things set up and just looks really bland.

Seeing the School I work at completely decorated for Halloween (Like from top to bottem) made me think of when people used to go all out for Halloween for their

homes. Some even made their own backyards into a horror attractions for kids to enjoy!

Years went by and you never see this kinda stuff anymore. You barely see kids going out for trick or treat. (We never get anymore at our house. We used to get quite a lot.)

Basically does anyone here still celebrate Halloween? Or has it died down quite a lot in your areas?
 

EternalShadow

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It has really died down a lot.
 

C.W. Plainview

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Depending on your age, could just be because you have grown out of it. I will admit Halloween doesn't seem like an event to me anymore either, but I have always chalked that up to me just growing up. Your younger self tends to play up things and remember them as being bigger or more significant than they actually are/were.

Then again, I could just be talking nonsense and it really has died down in recent years as a generational sort of thing. Not sure.
 

Zevia

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There was definitely a big "neighborhood" vibe for trick or treating and costumes when I was a kid. Usually one or two people held a neighborhood party where families would all get together and dress up, and most of the kids were allowed to go around the neighborhood in groups without adult supervision.

Post 9/11, though, there seemed to be a much bigger "it's just not safe out there" attitude that kind of killed a lot of the Halloween tradition. What kids we did continue to get for trick or treating were usually driven around by their parents, and eventually, a lot of shopping malls or big commerce areas would start offering candy buckets at their store fronts. Instead of going around the neighborhood, parents just took their kids to the mall and did all their trick or treating there during the day/early evening.

We bought candy for a couple years with either one or no trick or treaters showing up, so we just stopped buying. We don't even turn our lights off any more, because there's no reason to indicate we don't have any candy - nobody shows up.

A lot of generations prior were much more lax on their kids being out and about on their own, too, but in the last 10-15 years, there's so much more paranoia and concern about safety. You hear stories about parents being charged with child neglect for leaving their kids to play out in their front yard alone, or for letting them go out into the woods on their own. There's no way they'd let them wander their neighborhood at night in our current society.

There's also always been stories about dangerous things being done to candy that's handed out, even though not a single one of them is substantiated (i.e., razor blades or drugs in candy), but it seems like the belief in that kind of silly scare has become much more pronounced, too.

With the globalization of our societies, too, there's kind of a breakdown of the "neighborhood" vibe that a lot of people grew up with. There's not as much incentive to get to know your neighbors because, well, you have the internet. If you want to interact with people, you don't have to do it with the people who live near you - you can just go look up anyone with the same interests in an x mile radius and tell them to meet you at whatever place, or just do all your interaction with them online. This probably creates a lot of distrust about who actually is living near you because you've never met or spoken to them, so parents wouldn't let their kids go out and about, and they don't know anyone well enough to invite them over for a Halloween party.

The only celebrations I really see nowadays tend to be very club or college based - just an excuse to wear the skimpiest outfits you can legally get away with, then get as trashed as possible. I think Halloween has really shifted from a "neighborhood, for the kids" holiday into a "we just want an excuse to party" holiday - probably because of a lot of undue fear. The people who do still trick or treat don't do it around the neighborhood any more, they go to a central shopping area and do it there, more like an errand than anything else.
 

Ms Littlefish

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When I was a kid people used to just go out on the 31st, roam around the area, and peeps had candy. These days trick-or-treating "days" are often planned by local governments and/or HOAs and rarely actually fall on the 31st. Sometimes they even try to split it into two days! While I suppose it has some advantages I find that it sucks some of the fun out and can actually be more unorganized since the day for trick-or-treating is changing every year. Everyone used to know that the 31st was candy day.

However, as an adult I still find Halloween incredibly fun. I love cheesy horror stuff. So I usually end up going to a pretty sweet party and doing some traditional stuff like hay rides, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, scary movies, and making caramel apples. And yeah, I destroyed two bags of Reese's this month already.
 
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GeorgeTheUnseen

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Depending on your age, could just be because you have grown out of it. I will admit Halloween doesn't seem like an event to me anymore either, but I have always chalked that up to me just growing up. Your younger self tends to play up things and remember them as being bigger or more significant than they actually are/were.

Then again, I could just be talking nonsense and it really has died down in recent years as a generational sort of thing. Not sure.
I used to think it was an age thing too. I stopped going out for Trick-or-Treating when I was about 13 or 14 but it didn't really stop my love for celebrating. I would actually sit outside and hand out candy for the kids that came by to see all the neat costumes or go to a fun little costume party with friends(This might be something that we all kinda grew out of which happens). But yeah Halloween has just.... Died with the generation :/

There was definitely a big "neighborhood" vibe for trick or treating and costumes when I was a kid. Usually one or two people held a neighborhood party where families would all get together and dress up, and most of the kids were allowed to go around the neighborhood in groups without adult supervision.

Post 9/11, though, there seemed to be a much bigger "it's just not safe out there" attitude that kind of killed a lot of the Halloween tradition. What kids we did continue to get for trick or treating were usually driven around by their parents, and eventually, a lot of shopping malls or big commerce areas would start offering candy buckets at their store fronts. Instead of going around the neighborhood, parents just took their kids to the mall and did all their trick or treating there during the day/early evening.

We bought candy for a couple years with either one or no trick or treaters showing up, so we just stopped buying. We don't even turn our lights off any more, because there's no reason to indicate we don't have any candy - nobody shows up.

A lot of generations prior were much more lax on their kids being out and about on their own, too, but in the last 10-15 years, there's so much more paranoia and concern about safety. You hear stories about parents being charged with child neglect for leaving their kids to play out in their front yard alone, or for letting them go out into the woods on their own. There's no way they'd let them wander their neighborhood at night in our current society.

There's also always been stories about dangerous things being done to candy that's handed out, even though not a single one of them is substantiated (i.e., razor blades or drugs in candy), but it seems like the belief in that kind of silly scare has become much more pronounced, too.

With the globalization of our societies, too, there's kind of a breakdown of the "neighborhood" vibe that a lot of people grew up with. There's not as much incentive to get to know your neighbors because, well, you have the internet. If you want to interact with people, you don't have to do it with the people who live near you - you can just go look up anyone with the same interests in an x mile radius and tell them to meet you at whatever place, or just do all your interaction with them online. This probably creates a lot of distrust about who actually is living near you because you've never met or spoken to them, so parents wouldn't let their kids go out and about, and they don't know anyone well enough to invite them over for a Halloween party.

The only celebrations I really see nowadays tend to be very club or college based - just an excuse to wear the skimpiest outfits you can legally get away with, then get as trashed as possible. I think Halloween has really shifted from a "neighborhood, for the kids" holiday into a "we just want an excuse to party" holiday - probably because of a lot of undue fear. The people who do still trick or treat don't do it around the neighborhood any more, they go to a central shopping area and do it there, more like an errand than anything else.
I had this same exact conversation with my girlfriend about this. People are simply just scared to do it now it seems. You have so many things to worry about today that parents are just scared to let their kids go out trick-or-treating at all. Since child predators is such a huge thing now, parents just don't want their kids going out alone, heck even if the parents are with the kid there is that chance they just might get a abducted since it would be pretty hard to keep track of everyone when you have a crowd of kids.

I'm not 100% if 9/11 really is the major cause of it (could be who knows) since I've still gone trick-or-treating after the incident but I probably never really noticed since I was pretty young when that event happened.

When I was a kid people used to just go out on the 31st, roam around the area, and peeps had candy. These days trick-or-treating "days" are often planned by local governments and/or HOAs and rarely actually fall on the 31st. Sometimes they even try to split it into two days! While I suppose it has some advantages I find that it sucks some of the fun out and can actually be more unorganized since the day for trick-or-treating is changing every year. Everyone used to know that the 31st was candy day.

However, as an adult I still find Halloween incredibly fun. I love cheesy horror stuff. So I usually end up going to a pretty sweet party and doing some traditional stuff like hay rides, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, scary movies, and making caramel apples. And yeah, I destroyed two bags of Reese's this month already.
Yeah basically the city decides what day and time Trick-or-Treat will fall on here as well. (Its rare for it to fall on the 31st at times)

They mostly have it on the weekend before the 31st or something since its not a school night and work night so people can afford to go out and do it.

But they start Trick-or-Treat at such a weird time. Like they start it at 5p.m. to 7p.m. and that is basically still daylight sorta.

At 5 the sun is still out enough that it can hardly get dark! Then when it ends at 7 its gotten darker but the sun is still out that its not dark for that Halloween charm.
 

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We still get trick or treaters at my house, but it really is much much less than before. As stated, its gotten to be a more organized mall/shopping center/park/church type thing rather than just impromptu walking the neighborhood.

I still go to a friends party every year though, because she throws giant halloween parties and its her favorite holiday. And my wife's favorite holiday. And actually almost all my real life friends with the exception of myself. I prefer fourth of July because I like grilled food way too much. (Second is Thanksgiving. Also because food).
 

mlogan

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But yeah Halloween has just.... Died with the generation :/
I dunno, I'm guessing it's more just certain areas. Where we lived in Maryland (we moved about 5 years ago) it was big. We lived in a neighborhood of townhomes, so it meant tons of homes crammed into a smaller space. As a result, people from all over would flock there. The fire department would bring out a truck and park by the school and the kids could trick or treat from it. Our first Halloween there we way underbought candy - about 10 big bags were gone in maybe half an hour. We also lived next to the "Halloween House" - our nieghbors would go crazy decorating, realistic looking skeletons hanging from the trees, rigged to drop down at you. Fun times.

Here it's still pretty big. As Meg said, different neighborhoods might have their Trick or Treat on a weekend regardless of when Halloween is. But our town square has the businesses giving out candy and most of the churches do some type of trick or treat thing. Actually, it's a juggle to do all the things we want this year.

So, yes, having kids, I still do Halloween and it is a pretty big thing around here still.
 

Zevia

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I'm not 100% if 9/11 really is the major cause of it (could be who knows) since I've still gone trick-or-treating after the incident but I probably never really noticed since I was pretty young when that event happened.
I'm not saying 9/11 was the cause of it, per se, but the difference in concerns over safety in every aspect of life very much picked up in the years since. It could just be that the media is more capable of circulating stories of child abduction or child fear than it used to be.

We stopped getting regular trick or treaters or even seeing kids out and about on their own after 2001 - so I don't mean to say that it's because of 9/11, but that it very much died down in the era following it, possibly because as a society, we became much more afraid of, it seems like, everything. That could be for any number of reasons.

I think, depending on the area you live in, a lot of parents would probably be judged harshly for allowing their kids to go out on their own, especially at night. As a hypothetical situation, let's say some kids show up to trick or treat without an adult around, and then someone calls the police to report that some parent is being grossly irresponsible. I would've laughed at the idea of it in the past, but I'd find it a totally believable, if ridiculous, event now.
 
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Touchfuzzy

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Honestly the whole fear thing is cultural to different areas. I live in a neighborhood that isn't exactly high class, more lower middle class families, and all the kids around here wander EVERYWHERE.

I don't even know the names of all my son's friends, they just wander in and out of the house. Its a nice friendly neighborhood (other than my one neighbor who just seems to hate dogs). (I've seriously considered having business card's made that just say "Alec's Dad" with my number and address on it to give to the kids to hand to their parents.)

But yeah. Halloween has become a little less in the neighborhoods, but if you have kids there are plenty of things for them to go to and do, its just not as visible as it was. We take the kids to like, 3-4 Halloween things every year.
 
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mlogan

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Yeah, from a parent's perspective, it's honestly not - for me at least, and many parents I know - a safety thing but 1) a convenience thing and 2) an opportunity thing. When you can take your kid and let them roam around a church for a while and get the loot and fun games and stuff they have, it's just easier than trekking door to door to door.
 

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Allow this intelligent kitten to enlighten you all meow. One must understand The Culture of Fear. Welcome to Sociology, where Professor Chester may enlighten you all. This is the reason to why Halloween has died...but wait...isn't it suppose to be undead?
 

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Yeah it has died down. From it's mostly because no one in my area doe's it so I don't take my little brother out anymore. For the last three years I've just stock load some candy and watch some old black and white horror movies. This year I plan on playing John Carpenter's The Thing. It's gonna be gooooood...> :)
 

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Of course. That's the day you know all the chocolate and candies will be on sale the day after.
 

Chester

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The catch is...that Halloween ACTUALLY begins the day after Oct 31...hehe....I can't wait to get $1 large bags Choco Bars hehe...
 

GeorgeTheUnseen

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I dunno, I'm guessing it's more just certain areas. Where we lived in Maryland (we moved about 5 years ago) it was big. We lived in a neighborhood of townhomes, so it meant tons of homes crammed into a smaller space. As a result, people from all over would flock there. The fire department would bring out a truck and park by the school and the kids could trick or treat from it. Our first Halloween there we way underbought candy - about 10 big bags were gone in maybe half an hour. We also lived next to the "Halloween House" - our nieghbors would go crazy decorating, realistic looking skeletons hanging from the trees, rigged to drop down at you. Fun times.
Yeah it seems that big city areas tend to drift away from it mostly due to the crime rate.(Like my neck of the woods)

The catch is...that Halloween ACTUALLY begins the day after Oct 31...hehe....I can't wait to get $1 large bags Choco Bars hehe...
This is very true. You bet I'll be raiding the candy aisle at my local grocery store the day after Halloween. Heh...
 
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Touchfuzzy

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The catch is...that Halloween ACTUALLY begins the day after Oct 31...hehe....I can't wait to get $1 large bags Choco Bars hehe...
My wife and I call it the Second Feast of Saint Markdown. (the first is the day after Easter).
 

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Days after Valentine's and Easter are also prime times to score chocolate.
 

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You see attractions and mall events but trick or treating hasn't been occuring much since 2004, but what I'm seeing more and more are house parties and office events for adults.
 

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