There were plenty of ghouls and goblins out on Island streets Monday night, collecting their yearly haul of treats.
While the masks and costumes are spooky enough, the aftermath of the various Halloween tricks is often scarier than All Hallows’ Eve itself.
In Prince County alone, the RCMP responded to a total of 25 complaints throughout the evening.
Some of it was the usual mischief – houses egged, minor vandalism and small fires.
Other incidents were more concerning. Vacant houses were set on fire in Nail Pond, Cape Wolfe, Unionvale and Kildare, along with two structures in Mount Pleasant.
The fact that all six buildings had been abandoned for long periods of time, does not make the acts any less dangerous.
The arsonists no doubt knew no one was inside. But setting fire to houses jeopardizes the safety of local residents and emergency crews, not to mention the culprits themselves.
So what is it about this annual event that incites such troublemaking?
It seems a certain mentality has developed, earning Halloween a reputation as the one night of the year where a certain group feels it has licence to cause chaos.
The anonymity provided by the masks and costumes could certainly contribute but, just like any other day, those wouldn’t offer much disguise if caught red-handed.
Alcohol is also involved more often than not, but that too is available year round.
Maybe it’s the sugar rush from too much candy that pushes otherwise well behaved individuals into mischief.
More likely, it’s a combination of factors that drive this Halloween havoc.
One thing is for sure – there is no sense involved with these actions, whether they happen on Oct. 31 or otherwise.
People often commit destructive acts for the purpose of defying authority, perhaps against the police or the government.
But when everyday citizens become victimized by random and meaningless vandalism, the actions don’t add up.
For children, the biggest thrill of Halloween is attempting to fill their treat bags to the brim with chips and chocolate bars.
There are always a few costumed teenagers, or “big kids, who show up at the door on Oct. 31. “Aren’t you too old for this?” we might ask them.
But maybe these older trick-or-treaters are doing it right.
Maybe embracing the innocence of what Halloween is for kids would keep more people from seeking their thrills elsewhere.