Laws regulating Halloween are pretty wild

Michael Castaneda, Reporter

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Halloween is always a controversial subject — how old is too old to trick or treat? Should we make the day after a school holiday? Well, some American cities have actually passed some unusual laws regulating Halloween.

For example, a Virginia city has a law stating, “if any person over the age of 14 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as ‘trick or treat’ or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.” This law was passed in 1970 because there were acts of  harassment from older teenagers against younger kids. In the article “The Big Kids Are Alright. Here’s the Real Deal With the Town That Went Viral for a Trick-or-Treat Age Limit Mix-up” by RACHEL E. GREENSPAN, she talks about how the current mayor did not even know about the law until last year when it viral on the internet, and now the mayor is doing everything in his power to remove it. This law may be set and still active but mayor Richard West confirmed that he is absolutely against the law. West wants all teenagers and adults to go out and have fun on Halloween. According to the article, he said, “My message is, have a good time, be safe.” 

This news story made other cities check their laws for any obscure laws.

There are many weird laws passed because of issues like those that happened in Virginia. In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for example, if Halloween falls on a Sunday there would be no Halloween, you must trick-or-treat the night before. In the state of Alabama if you’re pretending to be a nun, minister, priest, or a rabbi you will charged with a level 1 misdemeanor that carries a fine of $500 and a possible jail sentence for a year. No porch light? No candy! In the state of Illinois there is a law stating that if you don’t have a porch light then you can not give out candy, and breaking this law you will be fined with a $750 fine. In Walnut, California, if you don’t have a permit to wear a mask, then you will be fined and may face jail time.

Recently, it has been reported in various media outlets that it is illegal to leave pumpkins on your porch because it attracts wildlife. According to Game and Fish though, you’ll only be cited if you’re purposely leaving food, pumpkins or other items, out to feed wildlife. If you just display your jack-o-lantern for a few hours, you’re not breaking any law. 

These Halloween laws are all in place and still active currently; although these laws were made for people’s safety, overall, they’re pretty ridiculous.   

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