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How to Scare Kids on Halloween

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

Tactics Apply To Children of All Ages

My granddaughter Lily enjoying her first Halloween - 2013

My granddaughter Lily enjoying her first Halloween - 2013

Happy Halloween

Halloween is my second favorite holiday. One of the reasons I enjoy Halloween is because it offers us the opportunity to be whatever we want for a few hours. We can release our inner monster and have a frightfully fun time.

Halloween also offers us the chance to scare the heck out of people. Even children. There is no age limit.

All Hallows Eve is truly about the kids and witnessing their expressions and excitement. Those little beggars get to dress up in their creative costumes and go door to door and beg for candy. What a spooktacular evening for them.

I always have plenty of treats available for my goblins. I used to have the kids perform a trick before they got their candy. The tricks were simple. Toss a ball in a bucket, it usually only took one or two throws to get their treats, but there were some kids who just had a bad aim even though the bucket was in front of them, of course they still got candy - just not as much.

One year I had the little witches and warlocks answer questions; such as simple basic math problems. I was amused with their quizzical glances at me, but I was trying to teach them that nothing in life was free.

The parents of the ghouls were impressed with my tactics.

Not So Wicked Witches

My granddaughter Faith and myself as not so Wicked Witches -2013

My granddaughter Faith and myself as not so Wicked Witches -2013

Trick or Treat

Halloween 2008 was one of my favorites. The presidential election of Obama vs McCain was in full force. I was a strong supporter for Obama and for fun I ordered a bunch of stickers from eBay that said OBAMA FOR 2008. I placed the stickers next to my bowl of goodies. The trick or treaters would walk up my front stoops and see my display. The majority of them eyed my stickers. I was a bit surprised. I had them there for the adults. These kids varied in ages from 3-12. I asked whether they would like an Obama Sticker or candy. Most of them said both...duh. What shocked me the most were the 4 to 6 year olds immediately saying "I want a Bawack Obama sticka." Huh, they said the name perfectly, well almost. I thought "WOW" this is impressive! Either these beggars were brainwashed or they are true supporters! I wished they were old enough to vote! That was a memorable Halloween. I will be giving out Obama stickers once again this year for Obama 2012.

I've grown up a bit since then and now I don't demand tricks anymore. I now just enjoy scaring them. In a nice way of course. Kinda. Each year Sunshine sets up her station on the porch with candy, music and some tricks up her sleeve. One of my favorite tactics is to play haunting music that gets louder as the princesses and the pirates approach the house. I watch as the little tiaras and masks get closer to the house and they look so excited and eager to plead for a treat. I reach for my iPod and the music gets louder, they get a bit concerned but keep on walking towards the porch...spooky, eerie tunes blaring a bit louder now and their eyes are getting bigger BUT they approach me with no fear ... "Twick or Tweet" ... those kids received extra candy for their bravery!

Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies

While cookies are still warm use a toothpick to drag out the spiders legs from the melted chocolate chips. Guaranteed to scare a few kids with these cookies!

While cookies are still warm use a toothpick to drag out the spiders legs from the melted chocolate chips. Guaranteed to scare a few kids with these cookies!

Spooktacular Halloween

Another fun way to frighten them is to have my little doggy Foxy outside. Foxy is only 8 pounds, she's a small girl. Foxy's not a people person BUT she's harmless and doesn't have the capability to harm a fly! I figured Foxy would bark and the kids would hightail it out of town. The children approach my work station...Foxy pops up her little head and BARKS....the children seem a bit shocked at first and then proceed to say "awwww, what a tute doggy, can I pet her?" HELLO KID, the dog is barking at you, shouldn't you be scared!?! Extra candy for bravery again.

My third favorite way is to casually hide behind a bush and trick the treaters into thinking that I'm not home. They assumed that they can help themselves to the candy bowl. I patiently wait until the glistening gowns and vampire capes stride over to the goodies. They look around for someone. They don't see anyone. Their hands reach into the cauldron of tempting treats. I leaped into action and yelled "BOO!" They began to SOB which in turn made me CRY!!! I then dumped the remaining candy into their pumpkins which were already overflowing with the evenings stash of freebies! I bid them a farewell and then went indoors to retrieve more candy for my next victims. I should now pause to emphasize...always take into consideration the ages of the children with any scare tactic. Use your best judgment and common sense. I thought I did. No one is perfect.

My final favorite way to frighten the kiddies is by having a witch or ghost battery operated doll that plays scary sounds. I thought for sure this would do the trick. Those ghouls can't fool Sunshine any longer they will run for the hills! The button is off until the kids say "Trick or Tweet" and then the witch begins to heckle and the ghost begins to move and dance. The kids look at the dolls in awe, proceed to smile and then turn to their parents and say, "I want one of those, pleaseeee!" Seriously, kid!? What happened to being scared of these things? I was scared when I was a kid!

I guess times have changed. Maybe it's time for Sunshine to continue on with her growth spurt and come up with another game plan for entertaining herself on Halloween! The fun of Halloween is endless. I've always been a fan and always will. The kids dressed up in their costumes are such a joy to share the holiday with. I'm looking forward to what the most popular costume will be this year. Happy Halloween to all and have fun making memories and scaring the children! If that's even possible anymore. Maybe you'll have better luck then me. BOO to YOU!!!

Halloween Haikus

  • Halloween Haikus
    Halloween is a fun holiday for kids of all ages. I've compiled these haikus as a tribute to Hallows Eve...

© 2011 Linda Bilyeu

Wishing y'all a Spooktacular Halloween!

Suzie from Carson City on October 30, 2016:

Happy Birthday to Faith..too! I can't get over that baby pic of Lily...she's such a big girl now! They grow up on us too quickly, Gram :(

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 30, 2016:

Hey Effer! Happy Birthday to you Goblin Prince! Last night I dressed as a Fallen Angel, I went dark. For Halloween I will be the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. We will be celebrating Faith's 10th birthday on Halloween (born on the 25th) and she chose our costumes to go with her theme! :)

Suzie from Carson City on October 30, 2016:

What is Grandma dressing as this year? You really do it up big. A grandma with spunk & pizzazz.....that's what kids love. Easy on the candy, GF, it's habit forming. I found that out. My grandkids have started hiding their stash of treats from me!

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Have a spooktactular time. Today is son # 3's birthday (Juan & Two's Daddy)...38 years ago I gave birth to my own little he's a big tall handsome Prince! LOL

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 30, 2016:

Happy Halloween 2016!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 28, 2015:

Indeed those rugrats do scare the heck out of us! I need to get in the mood for Halloween this year, I do not even have a costume yet. Oh my!

Suzie from Carson City on October 28, 2015:

GF...It's only fair to be able to frighten the precious little rug rats one night a year.......they scare the hell out of us every day!! LOL......Their sheer intelligence and maturity scares me!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 28, 2015:

Hi Chitrangada, I attempted to make those spider cookies, mine didn't come out as well. Thanks for your visit! :)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 27, 2015:

What an entertaining hub! I enjoyed reading and it seems Halloween is great fun for all age groups!

You and your granddaughter look so cool together. The spider cookie is a brilliant idea.

Thanks for sharing this interesting hub and Have a Happy and Scary Halloween.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 31, 2014:

What great fun Linda. Kids are getting harder and harder to scare seems they have seen everything and more before. Glad to hear you keep trying new things every year. Good tips though, voted up.

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on October 31, 2014:

Well now I'm certainly glad I found this hub today. You've given me some ideas for tonight. Thanks and Have a Happy and Scary Halloween :)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 31, 2014:

Halloween is great fun! You and your granddaughter look smashing cool and the little one is awesome cute!! Great hub!

whonunuwho from United States on October 31, 2014:

Sweet pics and well done. whonu

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on October 31, 2014:

I saw that cute baby all dressed up on the feeds and just had to come read this hub, Linda. Very cute! And, woo to those spider cookies, too.

Happy Holiday!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 31, 2014:

Happy Halloween Y'all...having grandkids to celebrate with does make the festivities much more fun :)

Audrey Howitt from California on October 31, 2014:

This made my day Linda!! What a cutie!!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 31, 2014:

Anyone who can see that photo of Lily and not smile is heartless! You are such a fun Grandma! This is my first Halloween in this neighborhood, so I'm anxious to see how many little goblins we will get tonight!

Have fun tonight on Halloween!

kimmie on October 31, 2014:

One daynI wantnto come back as your hub! The kids are very blessed to have such a fun grandma! Xo

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 31, 2013:

Hi Vicki! I hope you had a Happy Halloween! I know I did! :)

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on October 31, 2013:

This is hilarious! I love the tricks the kids have to perform. And the Obama stickers--priceless! The spider cookie idea is great, too!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 30, 2013:

Thank you Nell! Lily does have a way of making many smile! :)

Nell Rose from England on October 30, 2013:

I always have to smile when I see that beautiful lily! lol!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 31, 2012:

I'm glad you enjoyed my scare tactics Dotti! :)

Oh no Alexandra, don't cry! Ok laughing until you cry is a good thing!

Hi Michelle, We didn't have as many wee ones as we usually do, but I had a blast anyway and gave out quite a few Obama stickers! Woot!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on October 31, 2012:

Hope you had fun this halloween, Linda, hiding in the bushes! Good call teaching them that nothing in life is for free, and it isn't. Great scare tactics! Sharing!

SilverGenes on October 31, 2012:

I can just see you now... hiding in the bushes! Laughed so hard, I cried too! Awesome hub!

D.Juris Stetser from South Dakota on October 31, 2012:

Linda this is just great!! I got into fits of laughter at the part where you jumped out at the kids, scared them, they cried, you cried...etc. just so cute to visualize. aside from the humor, some great ideas, voted Up, Useful, Interesting, funny awesome, and boy and I ever Sharing! Thanks again....

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 31, 2012:

Boo back to you Nell ;) I intend to have some fun tonight!!

Happy Halloween!!!

Nell Rose from England on October 30, 2012:

Boo to you back! haha! jumping out of the hedges and scaring the poor little things, I say Heehaw! lol! have a great halloween linda, and don't forget to set the dog on them! lol!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 25, 2012:

Sharkye! I bought the Obama stickers from Ebay. I had them custom made by a fellow Obama supporter from Texas. I hope the kids enjoy them this year as much as they did 4 years ago!

Mary, I'm looking forward to the lil monsters! :)

Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 24, 2012:

I love your sense of humor, Linda. I can just see you sitting on your porch waiting for the little monsters (I mean sweet kids) coming for their treats.

Loved this, Mary

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on October 24, 2012:

Great Halloween hub! Its sounds like your house is THE place to trick-or-treat! I wish I lived closer....I could use some more stickers! ;)

Love the idea of having the kids play a game. Maybe not so much to make them earn their candy, but definitely to make them remember that there were fun games as well as candy!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 22, 2012:

Mary ~ Christy ~ Steph ~ RC ~ Julie ... It's almost time to scare the lil rugrats once again! :)

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on October 17, 2012:

Linda, I bet you just love scaring the kids :o), I used to do it all a few years ago when dear daughter was young enough to appreciate it but we don't get many kids knocking at Halloween now so I will be celebrating it indoors, warm and with my feet up!

Rich from Kentucky on October 16, 2012:

Linda, what a cold hearted person you are, making kids cry on Halloween. lol I Loved It!!! I used to buy the spray cans of cobwebs and put them all across the sidewalk area hanging from trees and bushes. what didn't get the kids got the parents. lol Okay, so I've got a mean streak in me, too! Great Hub!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on October 16, 2012:

Awww...I can't imagine that you'd really aim to scare the kids except for fun. I'll bet the whole neighborhood loves you for being a soft touch! :) Nice hub and just right for Halloween.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on October 16, 2012:

How clever you are Linda! Foxy is sooo cute :)

Mary Craig from New York on October 16, 2012:

How did I miss this one? I am the Queen of Halloween! We have a fog machine that keeps the kids on their toes (we 'spray' it as they leave) costumes usually draw a bit of a crowd. I learned years ago to make my costumes somewhat kid friendly so I don't scare the little ones. One year when I was the Statue of Liberty I was standing rather still and a young couple pushing a stroller came up my they approached I moved and they screamed...they thought I was a statue.

Can't your antics!

Voted up, useful, funny, awesome and interesting.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 16, 2012:

Two weeks until Halloween 2012!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 08, 2012:

Hi Josh ~ Keith ~ Terrye ~ Jeannie ~ Denise ~ Crissytsu ~ Rfordin

Thank you for stopping by this spooktacular hub! Your comments are appreciated!

crissytsu from Texas on October 05, 2012:

Total greatness...I never thought about making them perform for treats bahahaha...thats a good one. Scaring them is my favorite of all fact I love to scare everyone during the entire Halloween season, especially my best friend's mom--we start plotting in Sept on everything we're going to do to scare her. Great Hub, voted up and awesome.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on October 05, 2012:

I loved this hub, Linda, because I can totally relate to ALL of it. Halloween is MY second fave holiday as well. AND, I LOVE to scare the kids or at least make them 'dance the jig' for their treats. My late husband was a big kid himself and would sit on the porch dressed like a stuffed monster only to reach out and grab them when they went for the candy bowl. He got a lot of joy out of that one, sad to say, haha. Third: yep,Obama all the way!

Great job-Up/F/A Sharing............:)

Rfordin from Florida on October 05, 2012:

Sounds like you manage to have a good time every year. I love Halloween too. One of my daughters is totally into "spoooooky" things while the other one is not quite ready for all Halloween has to offer. Thanks for your cute Halloween tips, tricks and ideas.


Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on October 05, 2012:

This is so cute! I hope you come up with some awesome Halloween ideas this year, too. Voted up and shared!

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on September 22, 2012:

You are easily amused huh? Yeah, me too. :) lol Loved these ideas and I might have to borrow some for this year. :) Voted up and sharing!

KDuBarry03 on July 21, 2012:

I think holloween this year will be full of surprises in my town now, haha! Great suggestions and great stories! My neighbor does have two large German Shepherds...hmm, I'll pass the idea on!

Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 16, 2012:


I love the hiding behind the bush idea! You are a riot! Those poor kids, they are so vulnerable! LOL

Thanks for sharing this with us, I may or may not try some of these this upcoming Halloween!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 08, 2012:

Hi Cloverleaf and Martie...I am so ready for Halloween!:)

Martie Coetser from South Africa on October 31, 2011:

This sounds like so much fun. These kind of esprit de corps establish solidarity and fortify a nation. I wonder who would I like to be at a Halloween party. Mmmm, my imagination will go crazy on this. EnJoY your heart out!

Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 31, 2011:

Happy Halloween! I'll be thinking of you this evening, scaring off all those little kiddies! :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 30, 2011:

Happy Halloween!!! I'm ready for the lil kiddies!!! :)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 29, 2011:

Hi Ruchira and Susan! Thank you for sharing your Halloween stories and memories. I just might allow the lil beggars to try and scare me this year OR at least allow them to try! :))

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on October 27, 2011:

I loved this hub and all the stuff you do at Halloween. We hardly get any children coming to the door anymore which is sad as I love seeing all the little ones in their costumes.

Ruchira from United States on October 27, 2011:

hey sunshine...loved your hub.

Unfortunately children of today aren't scared and are so bold. My 7 year old kid is into reading the series of GooseBumps and honestly I still get the goose bumps reading those books. He can easily read those at night and have a good night's

Halloween is for people of our generation :) kids of today love it more for socializing purposes and getting different treats.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 24, 2011:

Hi Teresa and amymarie! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your stories...they are always appreciated :))

Amy DeMarco from Chicago on October 19, 2011:

I love this! You must have a blast when the kids come by for candy! I usually get my witch's wig and hat on when I'm passing out candy. The kids love it when your dressed up. I had a little boy take a picture with me one year. I am forever in his family's photo album, looking like a witch! ha. Great hub! Voted all ups!

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on October 19, 2011:

Awesome Hub Sunshine. We too live on a farm and no one comes to visit. My son grows pumpkins every year so all three boys still make their Jack o' Lanterns. We travel to the local village down the road and admire the spooky houses while the kids have their fun. Last year in Ontario it was very cold so the fun was much shorter lived. But we all still enjoyed some amazing spooky fun and appreciated those who went the extra mile and produced a fun maze in their backyard complete with a chain saw masacre! Voted up Sunshine! Enjoy this year's festivities!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 11, 2011:

I appreciate your Halloween comments and suggestions! What a fun yet spooky holiday for kids of all ages to enjoy!

carriethomson from United Kingdom on October 11, 2011:

hey that’s a cute hub!! Kids these days are actually very difficult to scare :) these tricks seem like they will work, else just treat them maybe!! have a fun filled Halloween with lots and cool tricks and great treats.


PADDYBOY60 from Centreville Michigan on October 09, 2011:

We dress up every year and have a lot fun with the kids. This year I have several life size sculls. A couple of them have jaws that move, with spooky sounds and laughter. Your hub was a fun read.

gryphin423 from Florida on October 07, 2011:

Very cute hub with some great ideas for Halloween fun! Thanks for sharing. :-)

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 28, 2011:

What fun ideas and comments!!! Sharyn ... my neighbor and her daughters all dress up as witches and they decorate with the works and sit motionless, last year I couldn't tell if they were real or fake. A lot of the kids skip their house. haha!

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on September 28, 2011:

Hi Sunshine!

Really fun hub! Here's an idea. Dress up like a "stuffed scarecrow" and prop yourself (kinda dangling) on a chair on the lawn or wherever the kids cut across. Hopefully, they will think you are fake and you may make them poop their pants. Have fun this year!


Suzie from Carson City on September 27, 2011:

Your neighbor Dentist wasn't using his WISDOM teeth, that's for sure. He should be handing out the chewiest, gooiest, sugary treats available. It's GREAT for business!! TOOTHBRUSHES! Oh please! YUK!

Cousin Fudd on September 27, 2011:

Great hub and a fun read. Halloween is a fun time and my wife is the best fixing decorations and goodies.

Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 25, 2011:

Hi Sunshine,

I'm convinced that kids these days know no fear! LOL. Top marks for the scare tactics, though. I can tell that you really love the Halloween Holiday yourself. Gotta have fun, right? Voting up and awesome.


september girl on September 25, 2011:

Very cute hub! :D Thanks for the share. I loved it all...and your stories when you tried to scare the children who merely would smile. I liked it all the way through...videos too. : ) Voted up and awesome!!

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on September 24, 2011:

It would be so fun to visit your continent on Halloween! Even though some people here celebrate Halloween it is nothing like you crazy Americans! It sounds so fun! Here in Sweden Halloween is more used as an excuse to have a private masquerade party with some spiderweb. Not so funny:(

Great hub, I enjoyed reading it and now I know what we miss here!


Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 23, 2011:

@cogerson... adult trick or treating is November 1st when candy is %50 off! Witchy Sunshine is so there! :)

@mentalist...amen to that! Kids have no fear when it comes to the goods!!!

@fpherj ... we had a dentist neighbor who gave out toothbrushes for treats, the kids eventually just stopped ringing his doorbell! hahaha!

Suzie from Carson City on September 23, 2011:

hahahahahaha...Mentalist acer! How true......much to the dismay of the family Dentist!

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on September 23, 2011:

Lessen Here:A Child's Bravery Surmounts Any Goulish Phenomena When It Comes To Candy:-))

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on September 23, 2011:

It sounds like you really enjoy Halloween....this is why my wife and I decided to have more we could keep trick or treating.....with our youngest only being 2 that leaves us 10 more which point we would have 30 straight years of one of our kids trick or treating.

Great ideas from your past which makes your house one of the houses they remember.....keep up the great work....awesome photos and videos as well.....thanks for sharing Withchy Sunshine.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 23, 2011:

Hi Barb! Offering tricks, hmmmmm you are giving Sunshine ideas!! Thank you!! :))

Barb Turpin on September 22, 2011:

As long as you don't offer 'tricks' I hope your BOO! night is wunnerful!!!!!

Most fun I had on Halloween ~ knowing apartment managers, we used an empty apt, made a HUGE maze Haunted House! We had a fog machine, same spooky sounds up/downstairs. SOOOOO much fun! The shrill of those kids!! OMG!

I can see your FULL of haunts for the little beggars around you!!

Living in the country again, we have NO trickers anymore. UNLESS you count the other nights of smashed mailboxes!

Happy Halloweenie!!

Voted aaallll the way across !

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 22, 2011:

Hi drbj....Lady Gaga costume will be very much appreciated as long as it's NOT the meat costume! ewwwww! Jo Calderone would be great!!! :)

drbj and sherry from south Florida on September 22, 2011:

If you find a really OLD kid ringing your doorbell this Halloween, Sunshine, don't be afraid. It will be me. I'll go almost anywhere for a free Snicker bar or some M&M chocolate peanuts.

My costume? I'm leaning toward a really OLD Lady GAGA getup. Whatcha think?

LADYBUG, AKA SUE on September 22, 2011:


Mich S on September 22, 2011:

You sure do love Halloween! :) Fun hub!

Suzie from Carson City on September 22, 2011:

speaking of're just a bundle of fun and info!!!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 22, 2011:

Just give them some treats, no problem. It's not like you are inside the house....just on the porch. Hold up, Halloween in NY is cold...In FL we are still in the 80's so BUNDLE UP!!! :)

Suzie from Carson City on September 22, 2011:

Hmmmm... a vacant house, pretend I live there, on Halloween?....I'll bet a couple of LARGER kids dressed like cops show up before any little gobblins!! I'll tell them you told me to do it. Expect the call!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 22, 2011:

BOO HOO for SURE! I can't imagine a halloween without little monsters and fairies begging for goodies!!! I suggest you go to a vacant house in a neighborhood where there are tons of kids and pretend you live there for a couple of hours just to give out treats!! :))

Suzie from Carson City on September 22, 2011:

Sunshine....You are a TREAT all by yourself!! This hub made me miss the days when I could see all the little darlings come for goodies. For 10 yrs. now, we live alongside a major trick or treating for us. What used to be BOO! is now BOO HOO!! Sounds like you have enough fun for both of us!! lol

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