Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

When is Halloween?

Posted September 27, 2010
Updated October 27, 2011

Many parents choose to take their kids to the mall to trick or treat.

It's not even October yet, but for the last two weeks I've been fielding questions from readers wondering when they should send their little Cinderellas and Batmans out the door for some candy? And the release of our Halloween and fall fun guide last week just boosted the number of emails that I'm getting.

Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday this year, which I think just adds to the confusion that seems to be out there. So I called around to some local town and city halls, police and sheriff's departments to get some answers.

Here's an updated list of what I've found:

  • Cumberland County Sheriff's Department recommends trick or treating there from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 30.
  • It also is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 in Roxboro and Person County where I'm told the sheriff's office and police department move it to Saturday when Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday.
  • Fayetteville is encouraging trick or treating on Oct. 30.
  • Pittsboro will observe Halloween on Oct. 30.
  • Siler City officials "strongly encourage" trick or treating on Oct. 30 when downtown Siler City merchants will be hosting a variety of activities during Halloween Hoopla.
  • Goldsboro: The mayor proclaimed that 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 would be trick-or-treating hours.
  • Wayne County: Trick-or-treating hours are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 29.
  • Mount Olive: Trick-or-treating hours are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 30.

Officials in every other town or city that I've checked either take no position on when Halloween is or say it is never any day other than Oct. 31. What does that mean? Check with your neighborhood association, because some may set some trick-or-treating guidelines as well. If they don't, send your kids out the door on Oct. 31.

And also check our guide for more information about Halloween and fall events across the region. Some fall on Oct. 31, but most happen weeks or days before the big day.

The word from the places I've checked so far:

  • Cary: The Town of Cary does not dictate when kids go trick or treating, says Susan Moran, the town's spokeswoman. Since Halloween is always on Oct. 31, that’s the day most families in Cary go door-to-door in costumes for candy and fun.
  • Chapel Hill: It's Oct. 31. "It is never any other day in Chapel Hill," says Catherine Lazorko, town spokeswoman. Chapel Hill already has to handle tens of thousands of partiers on Halloween night along Franklin Street. "We simply cannot manage two Halloweens on Saturday and Sunday. It's always on the day. And we leave the time for kids trick-or-treating up to parents. We don't announce specific times for it."
  • Clayton: Halloween is on Oct. 31.
  • Durham: The city does not take a position on when Halloween will be celebrated. It is left up to the discretion of Durham residents.
  • Fuquay-Varina: The town board does not take a position on when Halloween is. It's left up to the people to decide when it is celebrated.
  • Hillsborough: The town does not take a position on Halloween. It's left up to the people.
  • Holly Springs: It's on Oct. 31. Recommended trick-or-treating hours are from dusk to 8:30 p.m.
  • Knightdale: The town does not take a position on when Halloween is celebrated.
  • Morrisville: The town does not take a position on when Halloween is celebrated.
  • Raleigh: The city has nothing to do with when people trick or treat, says city spokeswoman Jayne Kirkpatrick.
  • Rocky Mount: Officials encourage trick-or-treating on Oct. 31.
  • Sanford: The city has never changed dates for Halloween.
  • Wake Forest: The Town of Wake Forest traditionally recognizes Oct. 31 as the official date for Halloween - regardless of the day of the week it happens to fall, according to a town release. The Wake Forest Police Department encourages all the little ghosts and goblins to trick or treat on Oct. 31, between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Wake County: The county is not guiding Halloween activities, says Marshall Parrish, a county spokeswoman.
  • Wilson: Oct. 31

I will update as I hear from and check in with more municipalities in the area.


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  • heatherking1258 Oct 31, 2010

    Oct 31 has always be Halloween and should remain Halloween, It shouldnt matter what day it falls on its for kids and not adults. Its not the gov, or higher ups, its these holy rollers that get on their soap box with nothing else better to do then start a big fuss over a kids night of fun. Let the kids have there fun no matter what day it falls on. If you don't wish to celebrate it then don't, but don't make it hell for those that do and confuse the parents of the children who want there kids to have fun.

  • militarychick72 Oct 30, 2010

    Well, I personally think that Sunday is the day to go to church, however I also think that church is in the morning and that it has nothing to do with children dressing up, getting candy, and having fun at night. Trick or treating is going to corrupt the children and send them to Hell.

  • stephenelowe Oct 30, 2010

    For those who want to move halloween to a sunday, if you want to see ghost and goblins on the lord's day, shame on you!! SUNDAY for many christians is a day to worship the lord, not a day for children to play dress up and get candy!!

  • thefensk Oct 29, 2010

    According to the Mebane newspaper, Mebane encourages trick or treats on Saturday October 30. We told the grandkids to come to our house on Sunday. It is All Hallow's Eve ... that only comes on the day before All Saint's Day. Sheesh

  • RaleighRob Oct 29, 2010

    October 31st. Always. Any stupid people show up to my house on October 30th will have the door slammed in their faces.

  • MuddyBrute Oct 29, 2010

    Just FYI, Raeford & Hoke County will celebrate Halloween on Sunday October 31, 6 to 8 p.m.

  • cindyjleedom2 Oct 28, 2010

    WOW we get to trick or treat 3 day in a row. This maybe the best news yet for these children. Happy Halloween OCT 31ST

  • shall6 Oct 28, 2010

    Thanks brant58! Indeed they are. I added it to the list.


  • maeveduir Oct 28, 2010

    For every Xtian out there that doesn't want to celebrate halloween on Sunday... are you afraid of your own holiday? We're not calling it Samhain anymore, but halloween... All Hallows Eve, the night before all saints day. It is your time to celebrate those lost to this earth, and joy should be a part of it. To say it doesn't mix with Sundays is actually wrong.

  • OGE Oct 27, 2010

    The Town of Wendell won't say it because they want to be PC with Church goers...Trick or Treating will be on know on the Holiday of Halloween! Woot Woot!