Sam (Trick 'r Treat)

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Trick 'r Treat character
Trick r treat.jpg
Sam on the promotional poster for Trick 'r Treat.
First appearance Season's Greetings
Last appearance Trick 'r Treat
Created by Michael Dougherty
Portrayed by Quinn Lord
Nickname(s) Sam
Species Demon
Gender Male

Sam is a fictional character created by Michael Dougherty, appearing first in Dougherty's 1996 short film, Season's Greetings, and then in the horror film Trick 'r Treat. He was played by child actor Quinn Lord in the film. Appearing as a seemingly innocent masked trick-or-treater, Sam is revealed to be a demonic pumpkin-like creature who acts as the enforcer for the rules and traditions of Halloween.


Sam's name originates from Samhain, the origins of Halloween itself. He is depicted as a child dressed in a Halloween costume, which consists of an orange set of pajamas, and a mask made of a burlap sack with buttons for eyes. Sam drags a dirty sack around with him throughout the film, but its contents are unknown, although as he walks down some steps early in the film, you can hear a cat making noise as sam's sack hits each step. Despite his childlike appearance, it is established that Sam is more demonic than he appears, hiding a pumpkin-shaped head resembling a skull. Dougherty described Sam's head as a cross "between an embryo and a pumpkin".[1] Quinn Lord, who plays Sam in the film, described his character as being a demon who was born in a pumpkin patch.

Behavior and purpose[edit]

Sam acts very much like a child, being mischievous and appearing to love chocolate. In a deleted scene in the film's DVD release, he appears flipping the bird to an obese boy.[2] Sam visits one town a year on Halloween to enforce the rules of the holiday and punish those who ignore and defy them. The rules include handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, wearing a costume, and never blowing out a jack o'lantern before midnight. As enforcer of the rules and rituals of Halloween, Sam takes it upon himself to punish those who break tradition. Sam is shown to be prone to violent or fatal punishments when it comes to rulebreakers, tormenting Brian Cox's character Mr. Kreeg, revealing his face in the process. Sam demonstrates supernatural abilities during his fight with Mr. Kreeg, such as immortality, an ability to scale walls, and being able to quickly paint a room's walls and ceilings with blood in mere moments. He spares Mr. Kreeg after the latter unintentionally offers him some chocolate. Afterwards, Sam is infuriated by another rulebreaker and ends up killing her and hanging her head up on display. Sam displays an ability to influence other supernatural events to occur. He also seems to never interfere with these supernatural activities, regardless of who dies, like Dylan Baker's character Steven Wilkins, a firm believer in the traditions of Halloween.


Michael Dougherty created Sam when he was at New York University taking animation classes, originally creating him as an alter ego for himself. Another reason behind Sam's creation was to give Halloween an iconic figure, other seasonal holidays having such iconic figures (e.g. Christmas has Santa Claus). He later used Sam as the main character or influential presence in Trick 'r Treat. Sam's pumpkin-like head was originally sketched by Dougherty in 2002, and he showed it to the film's concept artist to adapt into the film. Quinn Lord was picked to play Sam. Dougherty explained he wanted an actual child to play the character to make the performance look realistic. A stunt woman was used during the fight sequence with Brian Cox's character.


  1. ^ Trick 'r Treat: The Lore and Legends of Halloween documentary.
  2. ^ Trick 'r Treat DVD