Contact Us

The History of ‘Trick or Treating’ at Halloween

Pirate and Nerd

Sometimes random thoughts just “pop” in my head, just ask all my co-workers. Well I had this random thought last night – who is the genius that came up with the concept of trick or treating?   As a kid, not many things are cooler than going house to house and getting free candy! From everything I’ve read about the Halloween tradition, it’s been around for over 100 years,and not just in the U.S. but other countries too.

One theory about the origin of trick-or-treating,is the practice started in ninth-century Europe, and was called “souling”. “Souling” would occur on All Soul’s Day, where  Christians would walk from town to town asking for square biscuits with currants, called “soul cakes.” The beggars would promise to offer prayers for the giver’s dead relatives in purgatory. The generosity of the donor affected the number of prayers the beggars would give. This theory seems a little “creepy” to me so I went looking for another theory. I found this one – Scotland and Ireland,  trick-or-treating was called “guising” since children went from house to house in disguise. The children would receive food or money as they went door to door. Money?! Now this theory is the one I like.

I found a lot of information, but it didn’t really answer my question, “Who came up with the concept of trick – or treating?” I guess it doesn’t matter, just as long as we continue with the tradition. Trick – or treating is one of my favorite childhood memories.

Here’s a fun fact – In 2012 the  U.S. Census Bureau estimated there was 41 million trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14. Parents spent $1 billion on children’s costumes. The best-selling costumes in 2012 were witches, princesses, pirates and Spider-Man.

The picture is me and my friend Leslie, I think I made a pretty good pirate Arrgh!

Best of 101.5 KNUE

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KNUE Country Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KNUE Country Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.