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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (CBS) — Halloween can get spooky for children in Virginia towns for a totally different reason. In one town, children who are older than 12 who go trick-or-treating can be jailed and fined.

WSET-TV reports Chesapeake’s town code states that anyone 13 and older can face up to six months in jail and fines ranging from $25 to $100 for trick-or-treating after 8 p.m.

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“If any person over the age of 12 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 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,” Chesapeake’s city code reads, according to HRScene.com.

The code continues, “If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as ‘trick or treat’ or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than 30 days or both.”

Chesapeake’s code states that trick-or-treat hours for Halloween on Oct. 13 for children 12 and under is 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

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Chesapeake isn’t the only Virginia town with a strict trick-or-treating ordinance. WSET reports that other communities, like Newport News and Norfolk, also prohibits children over 12 from trick-or-treating.

“If any person beyond the seventh grade of school or over twelve (12) years of age shall engage in the activity commonly known as ‘trick or treat’ or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any parent, guardian or other responsible person having lawfully in his custody a child twelve (12) years old or younger, from accompanying such child who is playing ‘trick or treat’ for the purpose of caring for, looking after or protecting such child. However, no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type,” Newport News’ code reads.

In Philadelphia, there’s no age limit to trick-or-treating but Philadelphia Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew says everyone should be aware of the city’s curfew laws for those under 18.

“If you’re 16 and older, you can be out until 10. Fourteen to fifteen you can be out until 9 p.m. and 13 and under you have to be in by 8p.m.,” said Kinebrew,

We found similar rules in many South Jersey and Northern Delaware cities as well.

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year.

Comments (3)
  1. David Echegoyen says:

    This is an argument for getting rid of “state’s rights” when they can so arbitrarily criminalize non criminal behavior. What’s next, a decade in jail for sneezing in public?

  2. This is stupid let them be kids as long as they can and dress up and get candy. Putting someone in jail especially a child for trick or treating over 12 is somwrong

  3. Kristina McKune Tornetta Maersch says:

    If the child is still in school and not doing anything wrong I do not see a problem with them trick or treating. My son is in 8th grade 13 years old you better believe where I live he will be out there. I think it is a stupid rule.

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