Everyone knows the story of Halloween: the holiday originated in the misty days of pre-Roman Ireland, with the year-ending festival of Samhain. That final day of the Celtic calendar was a "thin time" when spirits walked the Earth and costumed junior Druids traveled from home to home with lighted turnips, begging for food. The festival was appropriated by the Catholic Church as All Hallow's Eve as a fair or foul attempt to convert the Pagans, and evolved over time into the holiday we know today.
If only any of that were true!
When Walt Disney released the animated short Trick or Treat in 1952, the practice for which it was named was only about 30 years old. In fact, the very first published reference to "trick or treat" was in a Canadian newspaper in 1927. A letter of complaint written to the Washington Post in 1948 stated that "I have lived in some 20 other towns and cities and I never saw nor heard of the begging practice until about 1936... The sooner it becomes obsolete here the better. I don't mind the tiny children who want to show off their costumes, but I resent the impudence of the older children." So not only was it still relatively new when Donald Duck ran afoul of his nephews and Witch Hazel, but it was still a quite controversial thing for Walt to be giving the seal of approval to!