No Tricks, Just Treats: How to Have a Safe Halloween

Weird Halloween restrictions throughout the US

From age limits to silly string, some US cities and states get strict on Oct. 31

Halloween can end up being more trick than treat for those running afoul of holiday-specific laws and ordinances. 

On the last day of October throughout the United States, children and adults will put on costumes, ask strangers for candy and attend parties.

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To ensure your holiday isn’t a costly one, you should know these laws:

Silly string

If you’ll be in Hollywood for Halloween, you cannot buy, sell or use Silly String. According to the ordinance, Silly String and the can it comes in cause a hazard to pedestrians and to police on horseback or motorcycles because it can cause them to slip and fall. These products also “are discarded in large quantities onto the street, clog the storm drains and ultimately travel to the ocean,” the ordinance states. If you’re citing for breaking this law, you could be fined $1,000.

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Clergy costumes

In Alabama, it’s illegal to dress up as “a minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy.” If found guilty of violating this misdemeanor, you could be fined up to $500 or sentenced to a year in jail — or both.

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Trick-or-treating

In 2008, Belleville, Indiana, put an age cap on who could go trick-or-treating. The ordinance  states that, on Halloween, no one over age 12 can seek or obtain “gifts, food, candy or contributions of money, as is customarily and commonly known as ‘trick or treat.’ ” 

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» Some towns ban teens from trick-or-treating

In Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, trick-or-treaters are limited by age and time. Kids younger than 14 have only two hours, 6-8 p.m., on Halloween to go door to door and ask for treats. If Halloween falls on a Sunday, Halloween must be observed the day before. The same rules apply.

Masks

The official code of Georgia says a person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he wears a mask, hood or device that conceals his identity, even if it covers just part of the face. There are exceptions, however, including “wearing a traditional holiday costume on the occasion of the holiday.”

The city code of Walnut, California, states: “No person shall wear a mask or disguise on a public street without a permit from the sheriff.” Walnut lists no exceptions.

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