A Quick Guide to Trick-or-Treating
This year, as with every year, it is more than likely that a lot of Neopets will be going trick-or-treating. The array of wondrous costumes, the eerie decorations, the copious amounts of confectionery and the general ghostliness of the Halloween festivities make it one of the major events in the Neopian Calendar – along with the Altador Cup and Christmas. However, it is inevitable – as with any major festival – that those less intelligent denizens of Neopia will use the celebration to indulge in all manner of stupidity. We cannot have these bad apples spoiling the barrel for us all, so this brief guide has been composed to serve as a helping hand for those who need it. And who knows? Perhaps even the veteran candy collectors could pick up a tip or two!
1. Wear a costume.
Ringing the doorbell, then hiding at the side of the door when the person comes to answer, claiming to be an invisible pet, is not clever and is not funny. This is the sort of stunt that causes a plethora of problems for the perfectly law-abiding invisible inhabitants of Neopia. Saying that you've dressed as yourself generally doesn't work either. And don't try a last-minute clothes swap with your friend, claiming to have dressed as one another. This is the oldest trick in the book and will probably result in a handful of peanuts at best.
2. Wear one costume and one costume only!
More devious Neopians will complete a round of the houses in their block dressed as, say, a Giant Moach, then will return to their Neohome to jump into a Meuka costume in order to complete a second round and therefore doubling their turnover of confections for the evening. This is an extremely unsporting practice, but is also extremely dangerous. More than a few marauders have had an angry mob (complete with torches and pitchforks) at their door having been discovered breaking this rule. (It is widely known that denizens of the Haunted Woods are particularly zealous about the following of these rules, and as a lot of the finest Halloween bounties are to be found here, trick-or-treaters inclined to cheat should be extra careful!)
3. Don't trick-or-treat the Esophagor.
Besides being cruel, this is downright ridiculous. Even if he had anything to give, he would probably eat it long before the trick-or-treating for the evening began. This may strike some as a rather obvious rule, but it is surprising to find how often this rule is broken. And not all instances of this rule being broken are accounted for either...
4. Try not to wake the dead.
Yes, this includes Count Von Roo. Besides being a terrible inconvenience to everyone, the undead can be a terribly messy lot. They are not very clean, and their limbs have a tendency to fall off. On average seven trick-or-treaters a year are injured by tripping over unattached limbs. So leave your fantasies of becoming a necromancer at home for the evening. Or at most to your costume.
5. Have a “trick” prepared.
Some people will give treats without demanding any sort of performance – particularly if you are wearing a good costume. However, many will expect you to earn your reward – usually by entertaining them in some way. This need not necessarily consist of turning an undesirable into a Mortog as the old tradition dictates; in modern trick-or-treating a bit of sleight-of-hand or even a joke can suffice. Performing a dance, however, is ill-advised. This only really works if you are small and cute. If you are big and ugly, people will generally laugh and sometimes will be frightened. (Unfortunately not all the old Halloween traditions have thrived.)
6. Carry a container to hold your treats.
Many poor souls forget this invaluable piece of equipment when they venture forth on Halloween and end up having to stuff their pockets full of candy. This can actually be quite dangerous given the number of poor-sighted Barbats, which are active around this time of year, that can easily mistake a confection-encumbered Neopet for a piñata. This can prove a traumatic experience for all involved, so take the necessary precautions.
7. If it moves, don't eat it.
This rule will probably not apply to everyone, but generally you may want to make sure that whatever goodies you receive throughout the season are at least no longer moving. Particularly if you choose to do your trick-or-treating in the Haunted Woods (as many prefer) you will find that a lot of the greatest delicacies there can prove a culinary trauma for those not familiar with the customs of the region. Confections such as the Almost Gummy Grape Rat can either be loved or loathed. So while not really a rule as such, there is a judgement call here that trick-or-treaters should be aware of. Trick-or-treating in places like Neopia Central and Kiko Lake will reap conventionally pleasant rewards whilst the Haunted Woods offers a more... authentic experience.
8. Don't go to the Deserted Fairground after dark.
Seriously. Clowns and custard. Scary...
That covers the majority of the advice for all the potential trick-or-treaters out there. And though Halloween is widely regarded as a night for the villains of Neopia to bring terror across the land unchecked, it is also an opportunity for every Neopet to have a lot of fun – so long as they are sensible and pay heed to the mostly obvious rules. And because it is a night dedicated to the undesirables of the lands, a lot of them tend to be in rather good spirits, so with a bit of tact one may be able to acquire an autograph or a picture with them. So with all of that said, the number one rule of Halloween in Neopia is to have some spooky fun. So pay heed to the advice and don't make this Halloween an evening to regret.
Oh, and don't dress up as a paint brush. Or any rare item for that matter. The Pant Devil will steal you.