If you’re a kid over the age of 12, don’t even think about trick or treating in Chesapeake, Virginia. If you do, you could be hit with a Class 4 misdemeanor and charged up to $250. For that amount of money, you could buy an aisle of candy at your local 7-11.
Chesapeake, a city of about 245,000 people, was named one of the best places to live by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011. It’s hard to believe it made the list, considering it majorly poo-poos Halloween by banning older kids from the annual custom of going door-to-door to accumulate sweets.
If you think Chesapeake is no fun, 1) you might be right, and 2) believe it or not, the law used to be worse. According to the New York Post, the former law used to be that kids over 14 caught trick or treating could face a six-month prison sentence.
Prison! For knocking on a door and accepting a delicious treat from a willing participant.
“The idea that we would put teenagers that age in jail was just a horrible thought, obviously, and it angered a lot of people,” Chesapeake Mayor Rick West told 13NewsNow.
The Post says the law was loosened after a “long and contentious battle for the city.” In 2018, a media frenzy over the law caused city officials to rethink their no-fun attitude.
Why did Chesapeake put the law on the books in the first place? They were concerned teenagers would get up to some mischief on Halloween night. Because apparently kids don’t get up to any mischief when you bar them from trick-or-treating and make them bored.
Chesapeake isn’t alone, though. The Associated Press reports that several other US cities have trick-or-treating laws, including Belleville, Illinois, Meridian, Mississippi, Bishopville, South Carolina, and Boonsboro, Maryland.