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Some cities ban trick-or-treating past a certain age, here's why

Ordinances enacted in certain U.S. towns actually put an age limit on who can participate in the famous Halloween tradition.
Some cities ban trick-or-treating past a certain age, here's why
Posted at 7:56 PM, Oct 31, 2023

It was always a known rule: If a home doesn't want trick-or-treaters knocking at their door asking for Halloween candy, they simply turn off their porch light. Well now, multiple towns have enacted ordinances that would also bar people past a certain age from participating in the traditional pastime. 

One town has even been known to threaten jail time for people past a certain age caught asking for candy along with the kids. The punishment in Chesapeake, Virginia could put someone behind bars for up to six months, multiple reports pointed out. That punishment was put in place when the ordinance was established in the 1970s, but has since been loosened somewhat. 

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In Belleville, Illinois, lawmakers call it their "Halloween Solicitation" rule, saying anyone above the eighth grade is not allowed to knock on a door asking for candy in costume, while others who are younger are allowed to. That city also requires anyone over 12 years old to ask for permission from the mayor or the chief of police if they want to even wear a disguise or a mask on a day other than Halloween.   

Cities in New Jersey, Georgia and other states have their own Halloween laws: some strict and sometimes shocking, and others that touch on possibly trying to prevent problems and preserve the tradition for young kids and the parents that chaperone them. 

Many argue that the laws punish adults for wanting to cling to some fun aspect of childhood. 

Some of the laws were created after criminal incidents, and police argue that they give them the ability to act on any incidents of violence or disorder. 


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