The Rise of Disruptive Behavior During Halloween

By Srishti Sharma

Lone Tree, Colorado

A “trick or treat” pumpkin carving (history.com)

Although Halloween is an exciting and fun day for people—especially children—it is also a time where more questionable acts occur due to the anonymity of those involved. Often, people are more likely to be subject to ‘deindividuation’, causing them to behave irrationally in certain environments, in comparison to their behaviors when they are alone. This is especially prevalent in groups that consist of three or more people.


This year, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred alongside a rise in crimes like assault and property crimes during Halloween, especially on university campuses when COVID-19 restrictions were enforced.


According to The Daily Evergreen, “There’s always increased activity. It almost lasts an entire week. It’s not always intentional. It’s just poor choices.” These so-called poor choices are often influenced by external factors such as peer pressure, and if a person can remain anonymous by concealing their face, then they will be less likely to get caught because no one will immediately recognize them. People will also look to others who are making similarly bad decisions to feel that they are doing the right thing.


People are influenced by others’ actions not only during Halloween, but during other large events such as music concerts, marathons, fundraising events, and protests. In order to be safe and keep others well when going around neighborhoods on Halloween, common sense, rational decision-making, and self-awareness remain necessary. Don’t feel tempted to join in with the chaos, because in the end, going with the flow in precarious situations might be something you will later regret.