Is Halloween Harmful?

A not so cuddly werewolf

Several years ago (before I had children), I offered to take my friend’s kids (3 and 5) trick or treating around the close in which they live. Excitedly they got dressed up as a skeleton and a fairy/witch, picked up their pumpkin buckets and headed out the front door. Chattering about how many sweets they would get we knocked on the first door. The door swung open and a figure wearing the elongated scream mask jumped out yelling ‘Whooohoooo’. Cue two hysterically crying children, an apologetic neighbour (too late mate, harm’s done) and a Halloween over before it had even started. Ever since I have been asking myself: Is Halloween harmful for young children?

Demon child

I’m not talking about the fake spiders and tissue paper ghosts that may adorn your kitchen this All Hallows’ Eve. I have no problem with pumpkin carving and plastic bats. Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy and a scaredy-cat to boot, but some of the things associated with Halloween are just not child (here I’m talking about 3- 8 year olds) friendly. Scream mask aside.

You wouldn’t let your 4 year old watch a horror film and yet it’s acceptable to paint blood down his face or dress him up as a zombie. Take a quick look in any of the major supermarkets and you can deck your five year out as a creepy laughing clown, guarenteed to have him sleeping with the light on until well into his teens. What about a spooky undead bride for the discerning six year old?  This annual shockfest is not harmless fun, it is as age inappropraite as dressing your tween  in a push-up bra and hot pants.

Last year I did put a pumpkin outside my front door to signal to the local kids that I was willing to hand out fistfuls of sugary treats, (oh and some packets of raisins when my supplies ran out, unlucky latecomers!) At first I got some the neighbourhood kids, cute wizards and glittery witches. Then I opened the door to some older kids who were obviously just cashing in on Halloween. That’s cool, who doesn’t want complimentary confectionery after all? I did decide to call it a day when one teen asked for cash. Dude, I know my raisins are a poor treat, but seriously cash!!! By this time the neighbourhood kids were all playing outside. These sweet magical creatures had become crazy monsters. They were off their heads on Haribos, rushing around like maniacs, shrieking and screaming. So not only are we telling our kids “Hey, dress up as something terrifying that will occupy your nightmares forever. Then consume as many sweets as possible.” And this is the point of Halloween? Am I the only one who doesn’t get it?

I don’t claim to know or indeed care what the real meaning of Halloween is, but I sure as heck know that we should not be encouraging kids to impersonate the grim reaper, doorstep demands for cash or traumatise toddlers.

So this year my 2 year olds and I will spend 31st October indoors, in a sugar-free environment, apple bobbing and pining the wart on the (friendly) witch. No tricks and no treats.

by Kim

Mums' Days



14 thoughts on “Is Halloween Harmful?

  1. I don’t really understand the whole trick or treat concept. Where it’s come from or why it’s done. Halloween didn’t come to life until later on for me, in University, where all the nightclubs did themed nights and a stupid outfit was an absolute must (cue me dressed as Noel Edmonds whilst the rest of my friends are all ‘sexy zombies’). I doubt we will be buying into it as Mason grows up… for me though, it’s just a a sign that Christmas is on its way! #bestandworst


    1. Haha you dressed uo as Noel Edmonds – now that is terrifying. I agree, I can just about handle all the Christmas merchandise but don’t try to get me to buy Halloween crap aswell.


  2. We are big on Halloween in our house but I always make sure it is kid friendly. Up until now my son always wanted to be something which wasn´t scary which I loved, although this year at 6, he wants to be a bat, but a scary one lol. We also do a halloween party every year but it´s all about Oliver, so he has his friends over and he helps decorate the house. I think as they get older they start to like the scary bit although we will certainly won´t be going for the grim reeper or anything similar anytime soon 😉 #bestand worst


  3. I was never really allowed to go Trick or Treating – My Step Dad said it was practically begging, and even though I am a lover of the spooky, I don’t really do much for Halloween even now. I like some of the cute crafts you can do with kids, and babies dressed as pumpkins really make me happy, but I have to agree that trying to make a child look terrifying, even to themselves, seems a little inappropriate. Also, can’t believe anyone would ask for money! #Bestandworst x


    1. Haha I’m not sure asking for sweets is practically begging but I can see your Step-Dad’s point. As for asking for cash – have some respect kid, that is begging! I was horrified.


  4. This is a great post…..I think I have to agree, I do dress my son up for Halloween but he’s only three so have yet to go the ‘whole hog’ with an outfit, tends to be just a themed top more than anything! I don’t think he’d be keen on dressing up really! We do the same with a pumpkin outside and at first seeing the the kids dress up is great but then come the older ones and they are practically inside the house grabbing sweets! Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst X


  5. This is interesting. When we were little my little bro and I used to get taken around the village by our bog brother BUT we only went to houses of people we knew and were expecting us. Those were the rules! It wasn’t about being terrified back then either – I was a witch, my brother was a wizard. We carved a pumpkin, or a marrow one year, and we had a little walk round the village. I live in student-ville in Exeter – I remember it being mental last year: wondering where I can escape to this year – as there will be zombies running around all over the shop…


    1. I agree Grace – if Halloween was simply the friendly festival of yore, when kids enjoyed apple bobbing and marrow carving i wouldn’t have a problem. Sadly it seems to have become an outright gore-fest.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with you, love. We didn’t do Halloween in our house as kids and after a serious Halloween accident this year (we had an early party), it has confirmed that I just don’t want to be involved with it really – aside from a bit of apple bobbing, I think I’m done! thanks for linking up to #TheList xx


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