The history of Halloween has evolved. The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. The most significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the “trick” element. In continental Europe, where the commerce-driven importation of Halloween is seen with more skepticism, numerous destructive or illegal “tricks” and police warnings have further raised suspicion about this game and Halloween in general.
In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the night designated for Trick-or-treating is often referred to as Beggars Night.
Part of the history of Halloween is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of “souling,” when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas.”
Yet there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in America, and trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary Halloween history documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in Ireland, the UK, or America before 1900. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising (see below) on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe’en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter “Hallowe’en in America.” It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term “trick or treat” appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought almost a million immigrants in 1845-1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.
然而，並沒有證據顯示在美國有實行過慰靈，而不給糖就搗蛋很可能是美國從愛爾蘭和英國中獨立發展的。早在西元1900年前，就有一些在愛爾蘭、英國和美國萬聖節面具以及戲服的基本歷史紀載。最早在萬聖節以英文討糖的儀式是在1911年的北美，報紙指出在京斯敦、安大略還有紐約上城邊界，小朋友在萬聖節傍晚6、7點到街上裝扮，到店家或者鄰居家背誦歌謠而被贈予糖果餅乾是很平常的事。還有一個獨立運作的參考是在1915年不知名的地點，以及第三個代表是1920年在芝加哥。數千張印有孩童圖像的萬聖節明信片於20世紀和1920年代被量產，卻不見”不給糖就搗蛋”這句話。露絲 艾德納 凱莉在她1919年的節慶歷史- 萬聖節之書上，於美國萬聖節一章，並沒有提及這樣的習俗。直到1930年代，這都不像是一個普及的風俗，在1934年，”不給糖就搗蛋”這句話最早以”trick or treat”的形式於書面印刷出，而第一個在國際刊物上看到這句話則是在1939年。因此，即使25萬的蘇格蘭-愛爾蘭裔在1717年-1770年移民美國， 1845-1849年發生愛爾蘭大饑荒，帶進了近百萬的移民，而英國和愛爾蘭移民更於1880年達到高峰，在美國萬聖節的乞討儀式差不多到了近代才較為人知。
Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.
Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children’s magazines Jack and Jill and Children’s Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show, and UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trick-or-treating.
早期國際對於不給糖就搗蛋的注目，是在1947年10月發行的傑克與潔兒和兒童活動的兒童雜誌上，以及1946年網路電台節目The Baby Snooks Show萬聖節片段，和1948年The Jack Benny Show與奥兹和哈里特的冒险等節目中開始。變裝於1952年，當華特迪士尼於卡通-不給糖就搗蛋中描繪，開始深植成為普遍的文化。奥兹和哈里特在其電視戲劇中有一集被不給糖就搗蛋整慘，而UNICEF是開始以不給糖就搗蛋作號召，為兒童發起國際運動來招募慈善基金的始祖。