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Rich Parent Asked If It’s Wrong To Keep Other Trick-Or-Treaters Away On Halloween

aita trick or treaters
Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock

With Halloween coming up, this viral Reddit post is circulating again as people debate the morality of keeping poor kids out of rich neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. This was shared last year, but we can probably assume that Redditor u/throwawaynotherr432 is still feeling the same way after they wrote their post titled, “AITA? for ruining thousands of kid’s Halloween and not feeling bad about it?”

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The OP says they live in the “rich” neighborhood and they often get a lot of kids on Halloween.

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We used to get about 700 – 1000 kids a year, I’ve always loved getting trick or treaters because my kids are teens now and don’t trick or treat anymore. But in the last four years, it’s gotten ridiculous. There’s thousands of kids and their parents flooding the streets, people with hay in their rigs carrying kids around, trampling yards, littering candy wrappers everywhere, and the amount of small children walking around by themselves is APPALLING. People from the neighboring town of 30,000 people take their kids to my neighborhood.

The OP found it annoying but didn’t do anything until two years ago when their daughter had an accident and they couldn’t get out of the neighborhood to take her to the hospital. They don’t say why they didn’t call the police to start ticketing and towing, but whatever—the parking situation was bad:

At that point, I was done. I contacted the neighborhood community and we managed to get some folks (cops mostly) to stand the at the gate with a list and only let in certain people. (folks that live here, family members, friends) If you wanted to get in, you had to be close to someone in the neighborhood. It was great, there were only about 300 kids in the neighborhood and after there was barely any trash. And, we’re doing it again this year.

I recently told my sister what I have done, and she got really angry. When we were kids, we had to trick or treat in other neighborhoods because we lived in a trailer park with no other kids. She told me I was a horrible person for ruining thousands of kids Halloween. But honestly, I’m not too broken up about it.

It was a hazard, if there was a fire or an emergency, no one would be able to get in to help. When I was a kid, there was never any cars lining the streets, the residences could get out if they wanted, it was never dangerous.

Most people in the comments seem to think the OP did the right thing, and the gatekeeping was the right thing to do.

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But Redditor readmancy felt they had another perspective to share:

I come from a rich neighborhood too and I see a bunch of kids coming into during Halloween as well. A lot of kids have very limited opportunities, so for them experiencing Halloween seems like a privilege.

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The parked cars were definitely a hazard, but I’m sure there would have been better ways to deal with it (e.g. stricter parking rules, not allowing cars to block entrances, etc.) instead of completely blocking out all those children from your neighborhood.

At its core, it’s just a bunch of kids who want to have fun. They just want to experience going around in costumes and getting candy with their friends. The bad parking is really a fault of their parents or whoever was driving. It just seems a bit of an overkill to punish these children for their incompetent parents.

Yeah, if you can pay people to stand at your gate and keep folks away, you can make sure they don’t come through with cars and let the kids trick-or-treat.