Anyone who loves scary movies, candy, pumpkins and dressing up as killer clowns will tell you one thing: Halloween night is a good time. Whether you spend Oct. 31 trick-or-treating or doing the Monster Mash at a festively spooky party, it can be good to let loose. However, basic rules of etiquette and politeness still need to be followed, and that includes letting people who don’t want to celebrate Halloween just be.
With the exception of illegal activity and vandalizing others’ properties for failing to give you a treat, the rudest thing you can do on Halloween night is ring the doorbell of someone who has their porch lights turned off. In most neighborhoods, residents who are giving out treats will keep their floodlights on, while those who are not keep their houses dark. If a house’s exterior lights are off, there’s likely a good reason that a home isn’t participating in trick-or-treating. Maybe they don’t celebrate for religious reasons or they have dogs who don’t like children and could potentially bite. No matter the reason, their choice not to be bothered on Halloween night should be respected.
Conversely, keeping your porch lights on during trick-or-treat hours when you’re not handing out candy and then getting angry at people for coming to your door is also inconsiderate. If you keep your porch lights or floodlights on during your neighborhood’s designated trick-or-treat hours, hopeful little witches and ghosts will wander to your doorstep, only to be disappointed when they ring your bell. If you have motion-activated exterior lights or lights set to a timer, be sure to deactivate them during trick-or-treating hours.
Respecting others is the basis of all etiquette, whether you’re at the grocery store, work or wandering from house to house collecting candy or giving out treats on Oct. 31. Keeping that in mind, trick-or-treaters should also remember to say “thank you” and be respectful of others’ property and costumes. Those handing out candy should keep their scares PG, give out an equal amount of the best Halloween candies to all who come to their door and follow these other rules of trick-or-treating etiquette.