Miscellaneous Topical

Scare the Trick or Treaters The Complaining Cow way!

Hallowe’en trick or treating

Back in 2012 I put in “Ideas for really frightening children at Halloween” into Google images. Up came a picture of Amy Childs and one of Boris Johnson. So look out for them trick or treating and make sure you scare them away so they don’t come back!

Dress your dog up for Halloween to scare the kids away

Trick or treating and the law

Right, I don’t care if you think Hallowe’en is great fun and a good opportunity to go round to people’s houses and let your kids annoy, inconvenience and scare people they don’t know. It’s begging okay? And not the begging by people who have been let down by the system and have  nowhere to live etc. Begging is a matter of life or death for them. You are not worried about dying from cold or hunger if you are out trick or treating. If you have friends with whom you have agreed for your child/ren to trick or treat with that is not begging. That is agreeing a game.

Going round to people’s houses and asking for sweets and money is begging and that’s illegal did you know? Begging is an offence under section 3 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 (as amended). It is a recordable offence.

Demanding something ‘with menaces’ is also illegal, and could also be construed as a public order offence as well. And the parents are considered liable for children under 10, and as ‘an accessory’ for those over 10.

There are even laws regarding children and adults being negligent and causing damage to property or people. See inBrief for more details.


So many of the kids that do go begging don’t even make an effort with their costume, so they are lazy as well.

How many collect for charity? You do? Really? Where’s your ID and paperwork?

Trick or treating down our road

The kids round our way know that the witch lives at our house so don’t bother! The bull accidentally did a trick a few years ago. He told them to come back later when I was in. They did and I sent them away with “A don’t come begging at my door” still ringing in their ears as they went along their merry way. Good trick eh?

And look, a large selection of fun size treats. Bargains. And they are all for me.

Children trick or treating on their own is asking for trouble

On a cautionary note joking aside don’t let your kids go to doors of people they don’t know because it is rude, frankly. But if you must do it please please please go with them.

1) To stop them actually getting into trouble.

2) It’s not actually safe to let kids roam streets knocking on random doors you know! Some people won’t be told though… I used to run open access play schemes and children as young as five would be sent out on their own to play…

3) Someone vulnerable could be behind any door. No pumpkin on the doorstep? Leave the door alone. You could be responsible for scaring someone with a mental health issue into having a panic attack, an elderly person to be so scared that anything could happen. THINK.


Link to a poster to say no to trick or treating if you want to be a bit more polite than me at The Diary of a Frugal Family blog.

On Facebook I asked for some ideas for frightening children. Here are some tame and less tame ones should you need some inspiration.

What do you think of this?!


1) Worm jelly
2) Push scary plastic hand through letterbox (with one finger missing optional)
3) Open door foaming at the mouth (milk shake or soap if you are feeling brave and shout “I have rabies”
4) Lie at the door under dark sheet and sit up and shout as the kids approach the door
5) Brussels wrapped up in foil and put in jelly
6) Race out of door dressed in white coat covered in fake blood and chainsaw in hand (blade not in there please!)
7) Let off fire extinguisher
8) Dress as the Black Reaper hidden in the darkness then just slowly appear as they walk towards the door
9) Dress your dog up like the picture
10) Cover onions in chocolate and put them on sticks
11) Put a sign up on the door saying “The Vagrancy Act 1824 (section 3) Enables the arrest of anybody who is begging”.
Or perhaps the most frightening of all….
12) Get The Complaining Cow to open the door…


Got any good ideas? Do please add them below!

And something a bit odd for Hallowe’en:

How Hallowe'en can be something different for you

By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

10 replies on “Scare the Trick or Treaters The Complaining Cow way!”

I sooo agree with you! You tell children 364 days of the year not to:

1. Talk to strangers
2. Take sweets off strangers
3. Go off on your own without an adult

So WHY is the 31st October so much safer?? I wish parents who allow all of the above would it explain it??

I download a poster from the Police to say NO Trick or Treaters! Plus we try & go out on the night!

Yes! It’s begging, thank god I’m not the only adult that thinks like that.
My kids don’t see it that way. Of course not. I’m the most evil woman in the world for not wanting to blackmail people on their doorstep and extort sweets from them.

Five lots we had to the door. One of the times my 4 year old even shouted “Go away!”

I completely agree with you! I hate trick or treating and will never understand why parents let their kids go knocking on strangers doors. I know I’m going to be the wicked mum when my kids grow up and want to go trick or treating!

My son, now 10 was asked to go trick or treating and I just told the mother I thought it was begging and a horrible Americanism. I didn’t mind if she wanted him round to play and do pumpkins and dress up or whatever but absolutely no to going to doors conversation in front of the kids! Because he has always known my feelings he’s actually ok. I said I’d buy him some sweets but think that going round people’s houses begging for sweets is horrid. he just accepts it I think so you should be ok it will be natural for them not to do it. I half expected him to go round telling other kids they were begging which would have been slightly more difficult but luckily he didn’t do that!

Stand outside the house dressed as the grim reaper completely motionless. People think you are a statue until you speak to them, just as they get to the door.

You may also get some that come up close to inspect the statue, if you are motionless. When you are ready drop the scythe and speak in a deep voice. They will normally scream and run away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.