Trick or Treat: The Great Game of Halloween


Contributing Writer
Robert Houston

Halloween is a sport of witches, ghosts, monsters, and children. Like most sports, the Great Game of Halloween is played with two sides. Unlike most sports, this game has no limits on the number of players on each team. 

The rules of Halloween are simple.

1. The Teams are known as the Givers and the Getters.

2. Uniforms are encouraged but not required. Getters are free to wear any outfit they like. It can be scary or funny or beautiful. Givers sometimes wear uniforms, but most are happy to play the game in their regular clothing. Either situation is acceptable.

3. Getters begin each play by approaching, individually or in groups, a house occupied by a Giver. At the house, Getters ring a bell or knock on the door, then wait for a Giver to open the door. Getters then shriek “Trick or Treat!” while holding out Bags of Acceptance while Givers ooh and aah over the Getter Team’s various uniforms. Once this ritual is ended, Givers offer any of a wide variety of treats, from candy to apples to popcorn to coins of the realm. They then wave goodbye and close the door, ending that play. Getters then regroup and move on to the next house.

4. Givers must keep a light on at their front door to let Getters know they are still in the game. Getters must not annoy spectators and other non-players, who are identified by their lack of exterior lighting.

5. Getters should visit each Giver once and only once. This is believed by some Getters to be a suggestion rather than a strictly observed rule. But these naughty Getters should keep in mind that Halloween is only the first of a series of holiday games — there’s still Thanksgiving and Christmas — and that Santa Claus is keeping track of everyone who’s being naughty!

6. Getters should never NEVER eat ANY treat until after they return to Home Base and their accumulated treats are inspected and approved by the Halloween Umpire. NOTE: We said UMPIRE, not VAMPIRE.

7. All Players should be aware of the Great Danger of the Game of Halloween — Please be very careful crossing the street in your eagerness to get to the next house. Drivers in cars are easily distracted by all the fantastic costumes they see running along the sidewalks and over the lawns. They might not see you if you suddenly dart out between parked cars. So have fun, but BE SAFE.

While many people love to play the Great Game of Halloween outdoors, running from house to house, others prefer to play the game indoors, at churches or other group facilities.