How did Trick or Treating Start?


Trick or Treating has been a favorite Halloween tradition for as long as anyone can remember. Children dressing in costumes and going door to door in the neighborhood asking for candy all traces back to the Celts and a very old Christmas tradition. The Celts would celebrate the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. The Celts believed that as we moved on in years that the bad spirits would roam with us; Therefore, they would dress up as them as a defense against the spirits. The defense that they were using is that if they encountered a real demon roaming the earth they would think they were one of them. After this tradition became sacred to the Celts, The Catholic Church stole this holiday idea and turned it into “All Hallows Eve “. People would still dress up as demons but it was more transferred into angels. The tradition didn’t follow along for much longer and took a pause from the 1920s to the 1930s. The trick or treat portion came from poor adults or kids who would dress in these costumes and go around to homes begging for food or any scrapes. These people were called soulers. According to, ” Volunteers would dress in costume and perform dances to scare off the spirits in exchange for food and drink” the poor people would go scare off the spirits while the rich would reward them with food.

The soulers that went around asking for food usually received “soul cakes”, a pastry of some kind. This later switched into candy bars and different sweets. The phrase “trick or treat” comes from the movie Charlie Brown where they would use that phrase for halloween.