Did you get trick or treaters at your door Thomas? Did your kids ever go out?
Yes to both.

Round here it tends to be a school-related activity. Usually a small group of kids with a couple of parents, and we all tend to know who lives where ... so we'd walk the streets round the school, trying to get the kids to save the stuff rather than scoff the lot straight away, and we'd keep going until we had to taser the little devils who by the end of the evening were strung out on sugar and all manner of additives!

As I say, never happened when I was a kid. I can't remember Halloween being a big deal in my teen years. It seemed to pop up suddenly during the 80s when my girls were at school.

Maybe it was films like ET ('82) and TV shows like Happy Days (70s-80s) that introduced American culture to the UK audience? I dunno.
Interesting.... most kids, unless they go out unsupervised, don't eat any of the candy until they get home.... I and parents that I know would then dump the lot on the floor or the table and sit around and pick through it...

the kids could pick 2-4 to have, and the rest would go into the candy jars to be doled out in lunches and for occasional snacks...the haul would last for a couple months or more...

I never thought of the movie influences on the world (in this regard)
I remember my former next-door neighbors never participated in Halloween (they are/were observant Baptists) and they were frequently pestered by kids/families ringing their doorbell on Halloween.) Heck, I used to tell anybody that went up their sidewalk intent on trick-or-treating that the family didn't have anything (insert year.)

It was especially difficult the year after one of the sons died (snowmobile accident/blunt force trauma.) The pseudo-adults and the teenagers were worse than the little kids concerning the d@mn trick-or-treating.

My personal "ritual" is to read both Edgar Allan Poe and Joseph Sheridan le Fanu by candlelight. I personally didn't have any kids come over (secured apartment complex) but some of the "kids" at school were arses in my not-so-humble opinion (I won't get into what they did if nobody minds. . .) Tovarish "represented" either Bast or one of Freya's cats (no costume required. :D)

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
A bad thing?

I doubt you'd find a Gael who'd agree with that.

'Halloween' (a contraction of the Old English 'All Hallows Eve') marks a liminal moment in nature, a threshold between two worlds, perhaps the last pagan celebration to be remembered in contemporary culture. So yes, in that respect, there's always an element of reverence and protection.

The idea of the liminal is universal to humanity and finds its outlet in all traditional cultures (notably not modernity). It underpins all rites and ritual actions.

The celestial festivals (solstice and equinox) are all festivals celebrating the liminal.

The idea of the 'sacred space' and 'sacred time' manifest the idea of the liminal, the esoterism of sacred architecture being an extension of those places which, in nature, were perceived as 'threshold' places, such as in the progression from cave to grotto to crypt.

Ancient circles, spirals, mazes and labyrinths are all liminal ... prayer is liminal ... meditation is liminal ... parables, koans ... sacred signs ... symbols ... it goes on ... it's all in the realm of symbol.

A bad thing? No. To be respected? Yes.

But modern Halloween? It's just a sweet-feast for the kids, and an excuse for a party.