Adult Trick-or-Treating: Why it’s perfectly OK now for adults to celebrate Halloween

I grew up in an era when trick-or-treating was an event strictly for young children. If you saw an adult out, they were chaperoning kids in their neighborhood.

In the Shepherd Community of Columbus, Ohio, the neighborhood where I grew up, if you were a teenager trick-or-treating and you were not supervising young’uns, you had better NOT ring someone’s doorbell and not have the decency to be wearing a costume. This was a cardinal sin, tantamount to talking about someone’s mother.

As long as you were in costume, the Shepherd homeowners looked forward to the teens coming by on “Beggars’ Night” because it gave them an opportunity to scout new talent for the upcoming leaf-raking and snow-shoveling season. The teens knew this, too, so everyone was always on their best behavior in case they were meeting a potential employer.

Under no circumstances, however, was it okay for a grown-up to be out trick-or-treating without children. Bear in mind that this all took place during the Reagan administration when about the most heinous thing we had to worry about was the house that gave out fruit and trickle-down economics.

It’s a quarter of a century later and things have changed a lot; one of those changes is trick-or-treating adults. Unlike regular trick-or-treating, adults do not typically go door-to-door without kids, but they will dress up and go with their children and fully expect to receive a yummy treat.

Once the “witching” hour has begun, adult trick-or-treaters still go door-to-door; only, it’s not houses in a neighborhood but bars and clubs. Unlike traditional Halloween parties, adult trick-or- treating is more than just going to hang out in one spot all night. It is actually a pub/house party crawl. You start at one place, grab a drink, some food, candy, a random stranger, etc. and keep it moving. And unlike trick-or-treating with the kids, it’s not impolite to go back to the same place more than once; in fact, it’s encouraged.

Now, for the typical Georgia State student (under the drinking age), doing a bar hop or pub crawl may not be feasible because of the legal ramifications and going door to door in an unfamiliar neighborhood may not be safe. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of ways for you to enjoy many of Halloween’s high jinks. For example, several student organizations are having Halloween events. has a listing of most student organizations, complete with event calendars and contact information, where you can look to find the most spooktacular events the university community has to offer. Additionally, any number of “18 and over” venues are having college Halloween parties. And, if all else fails, there will plenty of house parties to crash; just dress up as an invited guest.

Obviously, it’s only safe to participate in adult trick-or-treating if you have a designated driver, so make sure you have one and “PARTY ON, WAYNE!” (Excellent costume idea…)