Trick or treat - do you love or dread this Halloween tradition?

Children trick or treating In costume. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Children trick or treating In costume. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Are you a fan of trick or treat, or do you dread it? Readers have been having their say - and you can join in by taking our poll.

It seems as if views are split down the middle in Suffolk and north Essex, with many people criticising this aspect of Halloween as a US import and saying they are nervous about visits from youngsters - while others say it is harmless fun and that children love it.

As a 50-something, I remember the puzzlement when trick or treat first took root in the UK, and how it was very controversial at first. Now it has become more accepted and is even seen as a tradition, but not everyone is a fan.

On Facebook, Marion Fowler said: “I don’t really agree with it myself. Many older people around me would be too frightened to open the door after dark.”

Irene Wragg commented: “Begging by another name, another Americanism we could do without. Yes, I am a bah Humbug too!”

June King agreed, saying: “It’s begging. All year, you teach children not to talk to strangers, not to take things off strangers. Halloween comes round, free for all. If you don’t answer the door or don’t give, your house gets egged or cars get scratched.”

Elizabeth Alexander took a similar view, saying: “We teach kids about stranger danger and then encourage them to knock on a stranger’s door and eat the sweets they give them. I hate it.”

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However, Kath Chmiel said: “Rules are to only knock on door if the person has a pumpkin out and 99% of trick or treaters obey the rule. So, unless they leave a pumpkin out, they don’t have to stress.”

Some readers are big fans of trick or treat. Sam Porter said: “Absolutely love it. We go early evening and would never knock after 6.30pm - and only ever knock on decorated houses. My girls loved it.”

June Radley said: “I think it’s great to see the children dress up in their outfits. From a safety aspect, young children need to have one parent there too, standing at the top of the drive.”

Aileen Wagner said: “Love Halloween. If the property is decorated, it’s game on for trick or treaters!”

And Georgina Gallant said: “I think going to family and friends is fine. I wouldn’t knock on strangers’ doors.”

Bee Wiles said: “Oh, get a grip. It’s been around for decades and has roots back to days of yore. Despite always having sweets handy, I have never had any kids coming around trick or treating in any of my three last homes in different parts of England.”

Looking at how the tradition evolved, Phil Clarke felt it was a replacement for “penny for the guy”. He said: “It grew in popularity as it’s less effort for parents than building a guy. Not a grumpy comment, just an observation based on my childhood. When the ET film came out, trick or treat took over from ‘penny for the guy’.”

Several people felt that it was not an American import, with Al Carless commenting: “Wasn’t it started by the Scots?” However, Heidi Wright commented: “The origin of Halloween or All Hallows Eve was started in Ireland with pagans, but that trick or treating, no thanks. That is purely American and I personally see it as a form of begging and do not allow my kids with me to do so.”

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