Halloween is a holiday that gives a permit to kids and adults to get crazy and bizarre. But in some states and countries, the law prevents you from going too far with your Halloween costumes. From a prohibition on Silly String to outlawing trick-or-treating on Sundays, here are some laws aimed at protecting the public from the potential human-made horrors of Halloween. From age limits to restrictions on costumes, to time limits to what you can where to church, (yes, really, what you can were to church) these are just some of bizarre laws throughout the United States. Unfortunately, they do put a damper on the holiday spirit.
The following are some of the more humorous or interesting laws that can be found governing the holiday:
TOP TEN WEIRD HALLOWEEN LAWS
1) Illinois —No masks for the grownups in Illinois. The small town of Belleville, Illinois has many regulations regarding trick-or-treating including a ban on masks for any person over the age of 12. They also have laws limiting trick-or-treating to children in the eighth grade and under. Sadly, that would’ve put a real damper on our teenage fun. Which, by the way, teenagers are still considered children under the law. They also have a law that trick-or-treating can only go on between 5:00 PM and 8:30 PM. In addition, they actually have a legal definition for trick-or-treating which states “Halloween solicitation shall mean seeking or obtaining gifts, food, candy or contributions of money, as is customarily and commonly known as trick or treat in the celebration of Halloween day.“ Interesting that the state legislature actually sat and wrote down laws and voted on them for Halloween. Maybe they did not have educational issues, economic woes, environmental hazards, or criminal regulations to address that year.
2) Alabama— It is prohibited to wear a mustache that may cause people to laugh in church. This law is intended for fake facial hair and is currently not enforced, but its origins are unknown. If you do happen to be attending church on Halloween in a mustachioed costume, make sure you won’t get in trouble for it, especially if it’s amusing.
3) Alabama –No nuns allowed in. And Alabama makes the list twice. Yes that is real. They have an ordinance in Alabama that states it is illegal to dress up as a “minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy.” This law is effective on Halloween or any other day. Seems like an infringement on your first amendment rights, however, apparently the law has not been challenged at this time. It is actually a criminal statute which is punished with a fine of up to $500 and/or a stint in the county jail for up to a year. It appears they have very little sense of Halloween spirit in Alabama.
4) Georgia—In Dublin, Georgia It is unlawful for any person over 16 to be in a public place on Halloween wearing a mask, sunglasses, hood, or any other type of accessory that covers the face. Other states have laws similar to this. Laws like this where put in place to reduce the amount of mischief and possible crime that can happen on Halloween aka All Hallows’ Eve. Although the intent is reasonable, it might make it less fun for parents who want to dress to take their children to different houses. However, if you are just handing out candy at home, you are allowed to wear a mask.
5) International — No Halloween at all! Some countries have extreme rules regarding Halloween. In Jordan, all public celebrations are banned for Halloween as of 2014. In fact the United States Embassy actually advises any United States citizens living in Jordan to “expect police reaction, including arrests at any public Halloween themed event. “ The United States Embassy went on to advice US citizens traveling from their home to a Halloween party to cover their costumes while in public or even in the car. They are serious about not allowing Halloween in Jordan.
6) California — No silly string! In Hollywood. That’s right! In the land that one would consider the most entertainment and festival focused city, the city of Hollywood, California says it is against the law to “possess, use, sell or distribute silly string“in public from 12:01 AM on October 31 to noon on November 1. Violating this law can cost you $1000. They are serious about silly string in Hollywood. http://www.lapdonline.org/october_2004/news_view/20641
7) Virginia — No Teen Trick or Treating. Some jurisdictions really dampen the fun for the older kids. In Newport News, Virginia trick-or-treating but anyone but those over the age of 12 is sadly prohibited. And even if you are the legal age to trick-or-treat you cannot do so after 8 PM. There is a fine of up to $250 and punishment of a class four misdemeanor for violating these ordinances. Talk about party poopers. This is one of the harshest statutes I came across. Gone are the days of endless trick-or-treating for the teens after the little kids have gone to bed in Newport News, Virginia
8) Delaware –No Go on Sunday! Perhaps one of the saddest statutes is in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where trick-or-treating is prohibited on Sundays. Sadly, if trick or treat night falls on a Sunday, Halloween is moved to October 30 for trick-or-treating between 6 and 8 PM. Many children will miss out on Sunday Halloween’s in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Hopefully it is a small town and kids can go to their friend’s house outside the city to trick-or-treat on the traditional day.
9) Canada —Not too late! On a happy Halloween note, Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada recently enacted a law allowing children to trick-or-treat up to the age of 16 and extending the curfew to 8 PM. However, violating the curfew could cost you about $200 in fines.
10) Missouri —Women are not permitted to wear corsets in Merryville, Missouri. This law is not related to Halloween, but it’s a good thing to remember when planning out your costume. It is not likely such a law would be enforced. However, it is interesting to note that many such dated and unusual laws are still on the books all over the United States.
Fortunately in Nevada, no such crazy laws exist to prohibit trick-or-treating. Please watch for our upcoming blog for safety tips to stay safe and have a great time this Halloween. As your family heads out for a fun Halloween of trick or treating, The Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt wishes you a safe and fun holiday. Please keep your children safe by staying with them and watching for traffic. If you must be out on the roadway, please drive with extreme caution and watch for children, parents and pets out on the streets taking part in traditional Halloween fun. This is all our community here in Henderson, Nevada and we would like to see a safe and fun Holiday for everyone.
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