Halloween 101: A guide to trick-or-treating as an adult

Posted on Oct 27 2017 - 8:00am by Jonathan Gibson

Although the weather is still warm enough to melt the chocolate you accidentally left in your car’s cupholder, it’s somehow already the end of October, and that means Halloween is quickly approaching.

For some, this holiday brings back happy memories and makes them nostalgic for their childhood adventures trick-or-treating around the neighborhood in delightful costumes. For others, the holiday never ended, and they’ve been spending the last 364 days planning how to stage the biggest candy heist the city of Oxford has ever seen, “Ocean’s 11”-style.

If you somehow missed the memo that adults don’t get to have fun anymore and can’t participate in kids’ holidays like Halloween because it “isn’t fair to the kids” and “is kind of weird, Jonathan,” then you’re in luck — so did I. Here’s a how-to guide to make the most of trick-or-treating, even when you’re past your prime (or age 12).

1. Develop a plan before you hit the streets. Use your LinkedIn account to find out where the wealthiest business owners live so you can make sure you hit up their neighborhoods. Not only will you get the best candy, but you might impress them so much with your go-getter attitude and entrepreneurship that they’ll offer you a job right then and there.

2. Teach kids a hard lesson in economics by helping them understand the intricacies of the free market economy and government taxation. Sure, they may cry now when you take 10 percent of their candy, but in 20 years, they’ll look back and thank you for helping them understand this complicated system.

3. Use your height to your advantage when approaching houses with groups of small children. Simply reach over their heads and catch as much candy as you can in your bag before another adult realizes what you’re doing. While this can be combatted by cunning children who think to stack themselves two or three people high, they are generally unbalanced enough that they’ll drop their candy anyway, so you really don’t have to worry about it. If height isn’t your advantage, you can probably pass as a child already, so just grab a bucket and start cashing in.

4. Go out a day early to get a head start on the kids. People may seem confused at first, but simply show them a calendar with the 31st circled in red pen and they’re sure to accept that they were mistaken about the date. If they insist you’re wrong, begin crying and walk away slowly, repeating “trick or treat, smell my feet” in a mantra-like state until they either close the door or nervously set their candy down on their welcome mat.

5. Have a little sibling of trick-or-treating age? Perfect, you lucky duck. Toss a bedsheet on him and pick up that king-sized pillowcase you have lying around — you’re about to fill-er-up. Don’t have a sibling? Ask around and see if you can find one to borrow for an hour or two. If your friends are uncomfortable with you borrowing a human person and using him for your candy scheming, you can always tell whoever greets you at the door that your little brother is definitely just around the corner and you’re just getting candy for him because he was scared. Whatever is easiest.

6. Should these plans fail you, you can always just go to the store and buy yourself some candy. It’s not that expensive, you know. Is it really worth walking around all night just to end up with a bag full of Smarties and those weird waxy caramels that old people love to give out but you aren’t sure what they are? Enjoy your night in with candy you actually want to eat, and start planning how to convince your family that Easter baskets are definitely something that every college student gets sent.