Is trick-or-treating safe anymore?


Kira McAuliffe

Halloween safety becomes more of an issue, leading many kids to have different experiences than in previous years

Kira McAuliffe, Student life editor

On the night of Halloween, streets are traditionally lined with dressed-up kids traversing house to house to collect candy. However, this year was different. The streets were silent and bowls of candy remained untouched. 

What caused the decreased turnout on this national holiday loved by children across the country? 

The problem: parents’ concerns of their children’s safety while trick-or-treating. With unknown candy sources, people dressed in inappropriate costumes and the streets busier than normal, many parents are growing wary of allowing their children to participate in trick or treating.

One of the main concerns that has become a problem more recently are the use of weapons and shootings during this time of the year. 

Chicago experienced a mass shooting of its own Halloween night. Trick or treaters and parents gathered near Garfield Park on the night of Oct. 31 at a nearby neighborhood. 

A car driving nearby opened fire into the crowd of people. Although it was over in a matter of seconds, the incident was caught on surveillance by nearby cameras. As the investigation is still open, law enforcement officers are unsure of all of the details, but it is suspected that  there were two shooters on scene. 14 people were injured and one was killed during this incident, ranging from the ages of three to fiftie. 

Andrew Holmes, a community activist had a lot to say about this incident,”The children shot during the incident are ‘just young.’ They’re putting on an outfit just to enjoy the evening, and then you got a clown that goes and discharges that weapon, bringing great bodily harm to these families,” Holmes stated. 

Although Halloween may seem like a scary time for your kids to be out in the world, many parents have found solutions to still let their children experience the fun of trick-or-treating. 

Many parents opted to load their children and friends up into big vans and trucks and make the trip to different neighborhoods in safer areas or participate in local trunk or treatings for the protection of their children. 

Many families living in the PV neighborhood noticed an increase in children not from the area  coming in carloads. Some families were bothered by the amount of carloads coming in, but to one family, they didn’t mind at all. As long as the kids were safe, being respectful and having a good time, that’s all that mattered to Heather Knoll and her family. “I have noticed an increase in kids not from the area coming in town for trick or treating but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m just happy that parents are letting their kids go out and enjoy the night,” Knoll stated.

Although Halloween has become a sensitive subject in recent years with an increase in crime, community efforts have proven that  it is possible to preserve both the children’s safety and the experience of trick-or-treating.