Teens Greeting Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating

Written by Brady Reynolds, Grace Robinson, and Sarah Snare, Woodgrove Outlander

Looking back, some fondly recall nights filled with tiaras, superhero masks, plastic orange pumpkins, and pillowcases overflowing with candy. These fun-filled evenings turn into nostalgic memories when one becomes too old for trick-or-treating.

Some believe there is an age limit to the candy-collecting fun, while others don’t think it ever has to end. No matter what your opinion is, there are tons of thrilling, yet chilling events for people of all ages to enjoy.

The controversial views of peers on the age restriction of trick-or-treating are what lead teens to seek alternative plans.
Freshman Dani Kimbrough said, “18 is when you should stop [trick-or-treating]; it’s kind of creepy after that.” Kimbrough explains that she would find it weird for an adult to come to her door asking for candy.

Senior Emma Renner, however, has a different belief. “If you have a good costume and you put a lot of effort into it, you can go until you’re 15 or 16,” Renner said.

Even teachers have something to say on this controversial topic. Math Teacher Sean Welsh, father of three, has not yet stopped trick-or-treating.

“It’s my favorite Pagan holiday of all,” Welsh said. “I’ve always had someone under the age of ten in my life to take trick-or-treating.”

Whether there is an age restriction or not, these unspoken rules keep the childhood memories in the past, but that doesn’t mean that this beloved holiday has to go uncelebrated. No matter how old you are, there are plenty of other enjoyable options to have fun on Halloween.
For those who enjoy the social aspect of the holiday, Halloween could be celebrated by getting together with friends and participating in local events, such as town celebrations or costume contests. Junior Mark Doherty opts to attend neighborhood parties this October 31.

“I mean what’s not fun about a party?” Doherty said.

Halloween parties combine fall festivities with social interaction, but in a more mature setting than trick-or-treating.
Renner also attended a social gathering for this holiday last year: a costume contest.

“I was dressed as Blake Lively and (senior) Ryan Reynolds was (actor) Ryan Reynolds,” Renner said.

Costume contests are another way to spend Halloween in a good spirit surrounded by friends. They provide fun competition as well as opportunities to meet new people. This can also fill time leading up to Halloween, as one can get together with friends to pick and design costumes.

Although camaraderie is sought after by some, others look forward to the elements of fear that come along with the holiday. Local spooky events include Shocktober at the Paxton Manor and Loudoun Museum’s Annual Hauntings Tours.

For an authentic experience, Paxton Manor claims to be Northern Virginia’s only real haunted house. Located in Leesburg on Catoctin Circle, this long-standing mansion was once home to orphaned and ailing children. Some say that the spirits of past residents still linger throughout the manor. For $35.00 every weekend in October, visitors are invited to experience the hauntings of the main house and its basement.

Also found close by, the town of Leesburg hosts The Hauntings walking ghost tours through the historic downtown streets. Tour guides lead groups to various houses and businesses that have been deemed “haunted,” sometimes even taking people inside of the 18th century buildings. Visits begin at the town hall and last approximately 90 minutes.

There is another option for those thrill-seekers who don’t want to spend money. One can avoid venturing out into the chilly autumn weather by inviting friends over to watch horror movies. This is an inexpensive option that can be just as fun as paid events.

Doherty said, “Last year, I got together with a bunch of friends and watched movies. It was fun.”

Aside from friends and fright, some people just enjoy the festivity of autumnal celebrations. A few nearby events that fulfill this love are corn mazes at local farms and the parade through downtown Leesburg on Halloween night.

Great Country Farms in Bluemont and Temple Hall Farm in Leesburg both offer fun, yet challenging mazes of corn for anyone who wants to try. Temple Hall also hosts an annual Fall Festival, which involves many events, such as pumpkin picking and jumping pillows, and goes until November 3.
Another fall festivity would be the annual Leesburg Halloween parade that runs down King St. from Ida Lee Park to Safeway. Beginning at 6 P.M. on October 31, the spectacle lasts about three hours. With firetrucks, high school marching bands, and homemade floats, this procession lights up the night. People atop the vehicles and walking along the street throw out hundreds of pounds of candy to the crowds lining the sidewalks.

No matter how old you are, or what you love about Halloween, there is something for everyone in Loudoun County to celebrate.