Chesapeake, Virginia is one of many cities that announced plans to use teenage trick or treating laws to cut down on vandalism. Though falling short of saying it would use the laws arbitrarily and capriciously, the city did state that "a thirteen year old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues. That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will."
Wide Ranging Penalty for Teenage Trick or Treating
According to the Chesapeake ordinance, a teenager caught trick or treating, or anything substantially similar, "shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both." Six months in jail for a thirteen year old trying to get a mini Snickers candy bar seems a bit much, but perhaps there is a sliding scale regarding the severity of the trick or treating. Those darn teenagers never want to do a trick to get their treat!
Other Cities With Similar Laws
Chesapeake isn't the only city in Virginia that outlaws teenage trick or treating. So do nine other Virginia towns, as well as Meridian, Mississippi, Bishopville, South Carolina, and Boonsboro, Maryland, and Bellville, Missouri. Actually, Bellville makes the illegal age anyone that has passed the 8th grade, which is kind of funny if you think about it. In Bathtrust, Canada, our lovely neighbors to the north that often are the sound of reason, vilify trick-or-treating at age 16.
Most of these towns set a curfew for trick or treating at 8pm. but Chesapeake takes it a step further, authorizing trick or treating only within the hours of 6pm and 8pm. Evidently, as one of the earliest American colonies dating back to the late 1600's, some laws just stay in the dark ages. So beware trick or treaters in these towns - remember your Student ID cards!
Other Strange Trick or Treating Laws
There are a host of other strange Halloween laws out there. For instance, in Walnut Creek, California, masks or not allowed on public grounds without a permit. And in Rehoboth, Delaware, if Halloween falls on a Sunday, it must take place the day before, on Saturday, October 30th. In Alabama, it is illegal to dress up on Halloween as a priest, nun, or rabbi. If this is your true vocation, you may want to carry some ID that proves this. It's also illegal to wear any sort of mustache in church that would make people laugh. So if your costume is a mustached nun, definitely steer clear of Alabama! And finally, in Hollywood, it is illegal to spray Silly String on Halloween night. Perhaps Hollywood had to outlaw something, and there are way too many characters in that town to forbid any sort of costume, or lack thereof.
If you or your loved ones are going out this Halloween, have a safe and fun evening. And make sure to bone-up on the local Halloween ordinances in your neighborhood.