Lots of people have posted on the Spring Hill Now Facebook page inquiring about etiquette and procedures for trick or treating on Halloween in Hernando County so we figured we’d share a few things everyone needs to know:
- There is no specific area designated for trick or treating and all neighborhoods are fair game. You can trick or treat on your own block or drive to one of the swankier subdivisions that are rumored to hand out the “good candy.” Regardless of what area you are trick or treating in look for houses that are decorated or with lights/porch lights on to indicate that they are likely handing out treats.
- Trick or treating usually begins around dinner hour/dusk and the consensus of local residents seems to be that 9:00 pm is a polite time to stop knocking. Little children are ready for bed, dogs are tired of barking, and adults are ready to scarf down the leftovers in the candy bowl by that hour. If the porch lights are out please don’t ring the bell.
- People do not have to be dressed up, nor do they have to say “trick or treat” to participate. However, the people who purchased the candy did so to show their Halloween spirit and if you’re holding out a candy bag you should at least throw some fake blood on your face and make some sort of effort so you don’t look like you’re just mooching.
- DRIVE WITH CAUTION! Children are unpredictable, they’re darting around excitedly, and they’re dressed in dark clothing. It’s better just to plan to be home for a few hours to hand out candy…the kids will appreciate it and you’re night will be brightened by all their grateful little smiles…but if you have to drive be on high alert. If you decide to speed through a residential area don’t be surprised if your car gets dented by the flying candy bucket of an angry parent…and don’t complain about it either. You deserved it.
- Don’t give out homemade treats. No parent in their right mind is going to let their kid eat it. You’ll have plenty of time to show off your Betty Crocker skills at Thanksgiving and Christmas to people who know and trust you. Stick to the individually wrapped candy…and preferably not caramels, Tootsie Rolls, or the stuff you have leftover from last year.
On a more serious note:
- Many homes are burglarized on Halloween night while parents are out with youngsters. Lock your house up tight and turn on the alarm.
- Do not leave your pets outside/unattended on Halloween (or on the days preceding or following Halloween). Halloween pranks committed against pets can be vicious, and black cats are particularly at risk.
- Don’t leave lit pumpkins unattended. They are a fire hazard and could burn curious children and animals. Use a glowstick to light your Jack-o-Lantern instead!
- Strange people, in even stranger costumes, can frighten pets. Please be sure to restrain your pets properly or secure them in an area of the house where they don’t need to interact with trick or treaters.
- Have your children wear light collared costumes or reflective tape on their costumes so they can be seen by drivers. Carrying a flashlight or glowstick also helps increase visibility.
- Kids should stay in groups and parents should accompany young children.
- Make sure children know their home address and telephone number(s) as well as how to use 911 properly incase they are separated from you.
Serious tips were courtesy of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office of course.