Town Threatens To Lock Up Teenage Trick-Or-Treaters

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Town Threatens To Lock Up Teenage Trick-Or-Treaters

Rawpixel / Scott Davidson - Flickr

The classic character from A Christmas Carol gave us the name "Scrooge" for anyone who says "bah humbug" to Christmas cheer.

Now we may have a new name for anyone trying to ruin the fun of Halloween night: a Chesapeake.

That's because the town of Chesapeake, Virginia has gone to extreme lengths to scare away teenage trick-or-treaters.

The Trick's On You, Teens!

A little-known piece of city ordinance from 1970 has been the subject of a lot of discussion as Halloween approaches.

As HR Scene revealed, trick-or-treaters over the age of 12 in Chesapeake, Virginia could face a fine, or even jail time.

Along with the age limit, Chesapeake has a witching hour too, as a Halloween curfew is in place.

A teenager caught begging for candy after 8 p.m. on Chesapeake's streets could face a $100 fine and six months in jail, if the judge chose to throw the book at them.

While the Halloween laws have been on the books for decades, Chesapeake's website makes it clear the ban is rarely enforced.

"Chesapeake Police staff will focus on making sure the evening is safe for everyone," it reads, "not actively seeking out violations of the time or age limits. For example, a thirteen-year-old safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues."

But Chesapeake is not the only city hostile to trick-or-treaters. In Virginia alone, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News also have curfews, and offer fines or punishments for teenage trick-or-treating.

"When I was a kid my father said to me, 'You're too damn big to be going trick-or-treating.'"

One city north of the border has its own controversial Halloween laws.

In Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, there's a strict 8 p.m. curfew and trick-or-treating is banned for anyone over 16, under penalty of a $200 fine.

Those rules are actually more relaxed than Bathurst's earlier laws, which originally set the curfew at 7 p.m. and the age limit at 14.

And mayor Mark Eckert didn't mince words about teenage trick-or-treaters when the laws first passed in 2008.

"When I was a kid my father said to me, 'You're too damn big to be going trick-or-treating. You're done,'" he explained.

"When that doesn't happen, then that's reason for the city governments to intervene."

Still, police say these laws are also meant to promote good behavior, not act as a blanket ban.

"If we see them, say, stealing candy from other kids or something like that, that's the situation where obviously this isn't alright," said Bathurst police officer Jeff Chiasson.

While laws this strict or specific are few and far between, Mental Floss points out that laws in 18 state already ban adults from wearing masks or hoods, and could be used to crack down on delinquent trick-or-treaters if need be.

"Would you rather them be out drinking and driving putting not only their life in danger but possibly you and/or your child's life in danger?"

Many people actually welcome tough rules against teenagers on Halloween. Some also argue teenagers should "buy their own candy."

But at least one viral Facebook post has stood up for teenagers squeezing in one last night of costumed fun.

🎃 For those passing out candy this year, can you please take into consideration giving candy to teenagers and not...

Posted by Budget101 on Monday, October 23, 2017

Last year, budgeting website Budget 101 offered a heartfelt defense for older children - which is what teenagers are, children - going out on Halloween night.

"Just take a second to think," the post read, "would you rather them be out drinking and driving putting not only their life in danger but possibly you and/or your child's life in danger?"

"Or would you rather them be knocking on your door getting candy?"

The post also reminded readers that "size doesn't always determine mental age or special needs. You may see a teenager, but they may still relate as a younger child!"

As the post says, it's hard to be mad at teenagers for enjoying "safe, legal fun" on Halloween, while they still can.

What do you think of teenagers trick-or-treating on Halloween?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.