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What to Do If You Don't Want Trick or Treaters

Halloween can be such a fun occasion and great for kids and adults to enjoy. But, for those who don't want trick or treaters coming up to their door, it's no fun at all.

There can be lots of different reasons why trick or treaters are unwelcome and not just because the homeowner is being a grouch. There's no need to feel bad about it or apologetic in any way. If you don't wish to open your door this Halloween, you're well within your rights not to.

Whatever reason you have, it's perfectly fine not to engage in this activity. Here's my top tips for stopping those Halloween trick or treaters from spoiling your evening on October 31st.



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Here's What to Do If You Don't Want Trick or Treaters This Halloween

how to stop trick or treaters from coming to your door how to avoid i hate trick or treaters

Image Credit: Original image shared by Jo-B on Pixabay with a CC License

There are lots of reasons why you may not want Trick or Treaters this year. It may be because of elderly or vulnerable residents, having a young child or baby who is asleep, being nervous of opening the door to strangers or just because you really don't like this annual tradition. Here's exactly what to do to keep Trick or Treaters away this Halloween.

Step 1: Make the Entrance to Your Home Dark and Uninviting

It is an unofficial signal, at least to those savvy trick or treaters on the evening of Halloween, not to bother going up to homes that have no visible decorations and that are not lit up.

There is something called a Pumpkin Rule. This means that if there's no lit pumpkin in the front window or outside and / or no welcome lights and Halloween decorations on show, not to disturb the people inside.


Not everyone knows about the Pumpkin Rule, of course. However, it will help you to know this and realize that you are better off making the entrance to your home look dark and unappealing. It should at least stop some uninvited guests from knocking on your door.

Step 2: Place a No Trick or Treaters Sign on Your Door

West Midlands Police pink no trick or treating sign

Image Credit: Shared by West Midlands Police on Flickr with a CC License

For those who make it as far as your front door, make things very clear by placing a sign up. You need to make sure that the sign cannot be missed. Have it as near to the door knocker or door bell as possible.

You can also put up more than one sign. Some people have them positioned so they can be seen before you get near the front door. They could be stuck on a gate, fence, wall or even a tree.

Get my free printable no trick or treater signs or look for ones that may be supplied online by your local cops, police force or law enforcement agency.

Most reasonable adults and kids will take note of a clear sign. The only ones who may not take note are those who are out to cause a bit of trouble or mischief anyway.

Step 3: Reduce Ways in Which You Can Be Disturbed


One of the most annoying things to those who don't want trick or treaters can be the level of disturbance on October 31st with the door being knocked and the door bell ringing.

This can be especially irritating if you have a new baby or young child who is sleeping. Clearly you don't want them woken up every 5 minutes.

Most doorbells can be disabled in some way. Some need to be switched off at the mains and some need a battery to be taken out. If you cannot do this, then consider muffling the sound from your doorbell by placing a folded cloth or blanket over where the sound comes out. You can test this in advance of the evening to be sure as to what is effective.

A door knocker is harder, though not impossible, to disable. Some people use duct tape or similar over the top of the knocker so it would take a lot more effort for anyone to be able to use it. Be aware that using tape could leave marks on your front door or even possibly peel paint off when you come to remove it.

To take things even further, you can also tape over your letterbox or letter box plate to help prevent people from rapping that up and down. On the inside of your home you can additionally place cardboard over your letter box and tape it down in case kids get silly and try shouting through it.

If you have front windows, it is possible that you may get the odd person knocking on those. You may be better off closing off those front rooms and spending the evening at the other side of your accommodation or perhaps upstairs. Remove yourself away from the risk of noise disturbance if the noise or getting disturbed is an issue.

Step 4: What if You Like Halloween but Don't Want to Answer Your Door?

Some people love Halloween but it's the thought of answering the door that is the issue. Perhaps you live alone and feel vulnerable or scared, you may not want to open your door in the evening to strangers or you don't want the bother of getting up all the time.

Candy left out on porch for Halloween night

Image Credit: Shared by Ginny on Flickr with a CC License

One option is to leave some candy or sweets outside your front door along with a note. The note could say something along the lines of you do not wish to be disturbed but here's a bowl, bucket or basket of candy and please take a few each. Make it clear that once the treats have run out then there are no more.

Of course, there is always the risk that some silly trick or treaters will come along and take the lot. Unfortunately that can happen and it is more likely to happen with unsupervised kids. But it can be a good way for you to join in but remain safely inside your home and with no reason to answer your door.

Step 5: Remove Yourself from Stress and Go Out for the Evening

If Halloween really stresses you out, consider going somewhere for the evening and removing yourself from the stress of getting disturbed.

You could book a meal out, go to see a movie, do an exercise class and have a coffee after or go and visit a friend or family member. There may be someone else like you who feels the same way about trick or treating.

Step 6: You Can Also Put Up No Treat Signs

In addition to having a no trick or treater sign, you can also have one that says no candy or sweets. I don't really think it is necessary to have both but if kids know they're not getting any treats (or money!) then most won't bother to knock. It does remove some of the incentive for them.

Step 7: Lock Your Front Gates

If you have gates for your property, you may not even normally use them, you can close them and lock them up just for Halloween. You may even want to padlock them depending how strongly you feel. I think this sends a very loud and clear message that no one is wanted.

8: What to Do with Real Nuisance Trick or Treaters

If you've put many of these measures into action but you get some trick or treaters who are trying to harass or intimidate you, are engaging in nasty pranks and especially if you feel threatened and scared, then you can call your local non-emergency police number.

Here in the UK, the non-emergency police number to phone is 101. Only ring the official emergency number if there is a serious incident which requires immediate attendance such as a fire starting or if someone's life is in danger.

Stop Halloween Trick or Treaters Upsetting Your Halloween

I hope this has provided you with lots of tips on making your Halloween a more pleasant one. It does not need to be a frightening, scary, intimidating, stressful or annoying occasion. And don't feel that you need to join in unless you want to.

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Articles are accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.





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