Great Debate

Trick or Treat?

More stories from Deanna Kolell

More stories from Sydney Purpora



Every year when Halloween season comes around, I find myself craving a good scare.

The legend of trick or treating is based on people going door to door and saying the phrase as a question to the homeowner, trick or treat? They ask the homeowner, “Will you give me a treat or shall I play a trick on you instead?”

Although I have never played a trick on anyone during Halloween, there is something about the adrenaline rush and the fear of the unknown that keeps me wanting more. Going to haunted houses, watching horror movies, telling scary stories and keeping an eye out for clowns during the night (especially recently) are all part of what makes Halloween spooky.

Even in the iconic movie “Mean Girls,” the main character Cady Heron dresses as zombie bride for Halloween and scares just about everyone she runs into. Classic Cady Heron.

Now that the tradition has grown, trick or treaters often find themselves being tricked by homeowners as they walk up the driveway to their front door. With freaky graveyard scenes and people waiting behind bushes ready to jump out and scare you, many find it fun to participate in the game.

I have to admit, seeing the looks on everyone’s face when they realize the fake zombie statue holding a giant bowl of candy isn’t so fake is priceless.

When I think about Halloween, what stands out the most are the mischievous acts of the night; not the candy I used to get as a child.

Don’t get me wrong, I love candy and I did enjoy getting a pillowcase full of the stuff as a child, but I am a 20-year-old junior college student now, I can get candy at any time I want regardless of the time of year.

So, when it comes to trick or treating, I always pick trick. It is what makes Halloween, the day of remembering the dead, the strange spine-chilling holiday we all know and love.

— Sydney Purpora, Copy Editor


Think back to when you were a kid. On Halloween night, you would put on a costume — one you may have been planning for weeks — and go door to door repeating the same mantra: “Trick or treat!”

And which did you receive? Oh, yeah — treats!

Let’s be real, candy is the real reason we celebrate Halloween. My personal Halloween experience was trick-free. My siblings and I would dump piles of candy from our plastic jack-o’-lantern baskets, carefully weeding out any Almond Joys or the occasional toothbrush. Then it was time to consume while watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

The adrenaline that comes with being scared silly is not something everyone enjoys. Even seemingly mundane horror movies like “Paranormal Activity” are enough to send me running to the hills.

Of course, not all Halloween traditions like horror movies are so innocent. It is also a marked time of increased crime, acts of violence and vandalism.  

Now we have a country-wide clown epidemic. Would you really rather get scared by Pennywise than devour a delicious Snickers bar?  

Candy is something everyone can enjoy, even those with dietary restrictions. And yes, we’re now college students. However, does that decrease our pleasure of candy? Personally, I never buy candy outside of Halloween; if anything, it gives us a free pass to purchase those monstrously large, 500-piece bags of candy from the local Walmart.

Of course, many people don’t celebrate Halloween by egging a house or toilet-papering trees. Instead, people go to haunted houses or attend Halloween parties, but no matter how you celebrate, candy is the one constant that remains.  

Honestly, would you rather have a cheap jump scare or a good, old-fashioned sugar buzz? Eventually, you outgrow scary; you stop going to haunted houses or playing pranks, but the love of candy lasts forever.

— Deanna Kolell, Copy Editor