Halloween Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of Halloween

Women in Ninja Turtles Halloween Costumes

Are any of us proudly ready to admit that maybe we use the costume platform of Hallow’s Eve to sex it up a bit in any form humanly possible—you know, sexy nurses, naughty nuns, smoking hot corn on the cob!? When it comes to October 31st, we might begin to think there’s not even any sense in trying to maintain etiquette amidst this ghoulish night that has evolved into quite the freakish spectacular. Nonetheless, before you rip out your fishnets and fake blood kits and head into the office, here are a few gentle nudges on how much to trick and when and what to treat.

Halloween Etiquette

DO WEAR CLOTHES TO YOUR OFFICE PARTY
Halloween is the ideal time to dig into our imaginations and let loose, but when your office party calls for costumes this week, this definitely means “office-appropriate.” Do not wear lingerie and hang a pair of devil horns on your head and call it a workday. Also, avoid anything psychotically gruesome that might make people wonder about the nature of your imagination long after the candy corn is gone.

Office Workers' Halloween Costumes

DON’T BE A HALLOWEEN HUMBUG
The more the merrier is always true, so absolutely dive head first into the festivities. Even if you haven’t planned a costume, wear orange and black, or at the very least, draw a little mouse nose and whiskers on your face and embrace the fun of the one crazy day when we all agree it’s absolutely appropriate to be kids again.

Woman in Cat Makeup and Costume

DON’T BE THAT HOUSE
When preparing the treats for the kids haunting your hood, remember to actually provide treats. Raisins, apples, almonds, and homemade scones wrapped in napkins are not considered treats to your local neighborhood kids. They’re considered non-tradable food items. Like it or not, Halloween is a night of indulgences so save the sugar shame for another day and share some tightly sealed name brand candy that every kid can love and trust.

Halloween Candy in Bowl

DO RAISE GOOD LITTLE GOBLINS
Despite the fact that every house may not hand out treats, remind the kids that the “trick” part of Halloween is not actually an option. The only option is a “thank you,” even if all you got was dental floss. Basic manners still apply, even if you’re dressed like a little witch.
Kids Trick-or-Treating

DO BRING MORE THAN YOUR COSTUME
If you’re invited to a Halloween party, the same rules of being a very “ghoul” guest apply tonight, so bring something for the host. If it’s a kid’s party, Halloween cookies and candies will suffice. For adults, consider a seasonally inspired beverage, like pumpkin ale or apple cider beer. Or, you can even whip up your own witches brew with a homemade pumpkin moonshine.

Pumpkin Ale from Tapped Pumpkin

 DON’T SCARE THE LITTLE ONES
If you’re staying in to pass out treats, be mindful of the little ones knocking on your door. Know your audience: Young children do not respond well to monsters horrifically yelling at them before violently chucking candy in their little lanterns.
Kids Trick-or-Treating

DO DRESS LIKE AN ANIMAL
Why not? There are so many cute ones.

Celebrity in Halloween Costume

DON’T ACT LIKE AN ANIMAL
Maybe it’s because so many of us are wearing masks, but people have a tendency to push the boundaries of their own personalities a bit too far on this spirited night. Remind yourself, often, throughout the festivities that at some point you will have to remove the mask and be the person that did and said all of those things.

Happy Halloween!

-Agatha Nowicki is an actress and writer. Read her bits of prose here or watch clips of drama here.