Trick or treat?
By the late 19th century, children were going door-to-door on Hallowe’en, to collect food and money. They called it 'guising,’ because the children were in disguise. They'd dress as ghouls and perform a song, play, or dance on the doorstep to earn their treats. The term 'trick or treat' seems to have been coined in the 1920s, but it was another 30 years before it became popular first in America, and then in the UK.
Hallowe’en really exploded in popularity across the Western world throughout the 1920s and 30s – but it was because of the party aspect rather than the pagan or religious roots. As the decades passed, dressing-up became an increasingly important part of Hallowe’en, and fortune-telling, dancing, singing, ghost stories, and mischief-making were all part of the fun. Gradually, the idea that costumes would scare away evil spirits was lost as the festival became more commercial, and interest in religion declined.