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Neighbor scares young trick-or-treater to 'gushing' tears, 'I try to be the spookiest house.' AITA?

Neighbor scares young trick-or-treater to 'gushing' tears, 'I try to be the spookiest house.' AITA?


"AITA for scaring a kid to the point of crying while he was trick-or-treating?"

Every year we hand out candy along with the neighbors for Halloween. We live in a cul-de-sac and sit in our driveway or yard with a table full of candy. I try to be the spookiest house but I don't normally wear something scary.

This year I bought a really nice movie-quality Jason mask and got some matching clothes at Goodwill to look like the Jason from part 3 and 4. So I had to wear it this year (I wore it for a party on Saturday).

I did not try and scare the little kids that looked under 10. However I got a few screams from kids that thought I was a fake Jason doll or something. All it took was for me to move my head or stand up and they freaked out.

However the kid that cried was a different story. He approached my wife and I for some candy but was really cautious walking towards us, and he was eyeballing me the entire time so I knew he was already spooked. Plus he was holding his candy bag really high like he was hiding behind it.

Once he got within 3 feet of the table I stood up and said "Happy Halloween" and he darted towards his parents screaming bloody murder. Poor guy was gushing with tears. I got yelled at....not by the parents but by my wife.

She made me go to the kid and apologize and hand out extra candy to the kid. The parents didn't seem to care much that he was frightened and thought it was a good gag. Plus the kid never watched any Friday the 13th movie so he had no idea who Jason was.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

WaywardMarauder said:

YTA. My husband and I dressed as Michael and Jason last night, and do you know what we did with the kids who looked visibly nervous? We took off our masks, smiled and talked to them, and showed that there was nothing to be scared of.

mybrainissickisitok said:

YTA. I always hated the houses that tried to scare the trick or treaters at Halloween. Dude, you’re dealing with kids, and don’t know what any of those kids might have gone through. Kids can be easily scared, and carry fear and trauma without having the proper tools to deal with it. Why do you need to be scary when you don’t know how they’ll react?

I never saw the movie and always thought the Jason costume was scary. Stop scaring kids, even the older ones, when they haven’t agreed to it. It’s one thing for kids to go to a haunted house and be scared. It’s another thing to scare kids who don’t expect it while they’re trying to trick or treat.

taisynn said:

YTA. You knew the kid was scared of you and you proceeded to scare him anyway. If he didn’t have nightmares about Jason before, he will have lifelong ones now. Kids remember this stuff. You are inconsiderate. The only people not aholes are your wife and the kid here.

Samael13 said:

YTA - You knew the kid was already freaked out, hiding behind his candy bag. You had him pegged as "already spooked." At that point, just let him come get his candy and go.

If you're an adult and you scare a kid so badly that he starts crying and runs away, you're the AH in that situation. Come on, man. It doesn't matter that he didn't know who Jason was. You knew he was already freaked out, and you deliberately scared him anyway.

hypothetical_zombie said:

NTA. "Safe" scares are good for kids. It helps them learn how to deal with frightening things that aren't physically harmful. Jump scares in movies, news reports, trips away from home, the dark - all scary but non-harmful. If you don't want your kid to scream or melt down when the lights are off, give them the emotional tools to investigate the darkness.

DujonMustard said:

If scaring people on halloween makes you an ahole then, well I guess I just don’t understand. It’s halloween. Do y’all understand what “trick or treat” means? It means that tricks are on the table. Some people really wish the world was just a soft padded room and it show. NTA

It looks like the opinions were slightly divided on this one, but most people didn't take OP's side. What's your advice?

Sources: Reddit
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