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Teens Could Actually Go to Jail for Trick-or-Treating in This Virginia Town

Any teen caught spending their Halloween in the most wholesome way imaginable could face six months behind bars.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
October 11, 2018, 4:00pm
Still via HBO / IMDB

Halloween is nearly upon us, which means it's about time for a bunch of tiny vampires and princesses and Donald Trumps to go trick-or-treating, and for you to go to some shitty party or something. Maybe a handful of Gen Z-ers are still planning on dressing up and going door-to-door for candy—they are, after all, pretty lame—but in one Virginia town, making the responsible, wholesome choice to go trick-or-treating could wind up landing them in the slammer.


In Chesapeake, anyone 13 and older who commits the grave, felonious offense of overage trick-or-treating could face up to six months in jail, HRScene reports. If they try, they're liable to get slapped with a misdemeanor. Chesapeake's city code—section 46-8, "trick-or-treat activities"—makes putting on a costume and stuffing a bunch of candy in a pillowcase basically sound like a cardinal sin:

"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."

And not just in Chesapeake. Eight other Virginia towns have made it illegal to trick-or-treat if you're over 12, along with a handful of cities across the county. To be fair, it sounds like the cops in most of these places aren't going to be prowling for kids who look like they've already graduated middle school and checking their IDs, HRScene reports. They're more concerned about teens egging houses and smashing pumpkins or whatever—though they should know the art of the Halloween prank has evolved far beyond that by now.

Sure, it kind of sucks when teens show up at your house without a costume and try to bilk you out of candy, and yes, they're probably too old for that shit anyways. But maybe it's a teensy bit of an overreaction to, you know, throw them in jail for six months for doing it. Probably better to just let the neighborhood curmudgeons publicly shame them?

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