The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Trick or Retreat?

It’s Halloween night and the doorbell rings. You go to answer it with a bowl of candy in your arms, expecting a neighborhood assortment of miniature vampires, witches, princesses and ghosts. Instead, however, you encounter a trio of college students in hastily assembled costumes in search of some free chocolate.

Grinnellians, members of both the college and the town, have mixed feelings regarding a trick-or-treating age limit. “I think it depends on what you’re trick-or-treating for,” said Tom Falls, a Saints Rest patron. “I’ve seen college and high school students going around collecting cans and spare change for charities, which is completely acceptable.”

Leslie Bean ’13 shares this attitude. “I went trick-or-treating for cans with my theater group all four years of high school,” she said. Bean admitted that they always collected candy afterward.

This illustrates another trick-or-treating philosophy—it is acceptable to give candy to those who earn it. “I think if you can pull it off you should go for it,” another Saints Rest patron said. “I might look a little strange, but if you’re a high school or college student with a good costume, why not?”

A few others disagreed, feeling that regardless of costume quality, trick-or-treating after high school is inappropriate. “After about 25, you need to have a small child with you, babysitting or something,” says Christian Loggins ’12. “Otherwise it’s a little creepy.”

While trick or treating may have an expiration date—however variable—Halloween memories do not. “It was always fun when it snowed on Halloween,” Alexa Reynolds, ’13, a native Iowan, said. “But the worst was when your parents would make you wear snow pants under your costume. I think that may have been the source of some tears once or twice.”

“Halloween is just a lot of fun,” commented a Grinnell resident. “I love the porch decorations and the costumes. I think you can really be any age to appreciate that.”

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