The article is updated on the website every year around Halloween with a list of trick-or-treating times, laws and guidelines for each city in the Hampton Roads region for citizens to use a guide.
The city ordinances regarding trick-or-treating do not change regularly. However, some of the punishments listed for trick-or-treating over a certain age in cities like Chesapeake, Newport News and Norfolk have people fired up.
Teal pumpkins indicate that you have safe, allergy-free goodies to give trick-or-treaters
While we can't pinpoint exactly how it started, it appears that a few personal blogs came across the list of city laws on hrScene and became outraged. Local television stations across the country, including some of our sister stations, began to post about the laws, attributing hrScene.com.
Kids over 12 can now be jailed for trick-or-treating in parts of Virginia. pic.twitter.com/hJGw734DvN
Now, some local law enforcement agencies are responding to the nationwide scrutiny of their trick-or-treating laws.
Trick-or-treat times for October 2018 around East Central Indiana
The Norfolk Police Department tweeted about the viral stories Wednesday night. Their tweet says "#NorfolkPD has been made aware of some media outlets implying that officers will arrest children who are Trick-or-Treating. This scary story is based on an old law."
#NorfolkPD has been made aware of some media outlets implying that officers will arrest children who are Trick-or-Treating. This scary story is based on an old law. We will not haunt teens who are Trick-or-Treating. As always, our priority will be everyone’s safety 👮♀️😃👮♂️☺️👻 pic.twitter.com/Yr3d9klZ6s
On Thursday, the City of Chesapeake released a statement regarding the old ordinance's new interest:
The City of Chesapeake’s Ordinance related to trick or treating on Halloween is more than 45 years old. In that time, no one has been arrested or charged with any crime under this Ordinance. Chesapeake Police officers will not impede persons who are clearly over the age of 12 from trick or treating, provided that they are doing so in an otherwise lawful, safe, and secure manner. For example, a teenager trick or treating with siblings or friends will be fine. If that same teenager were found to be stealing pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street, that would be a different matter and action would be taken. The Ordinance, which mirrors that of the other Hampton Roads cities and many communities around the country, was and is intended to promote a safe, secure, fun experience for all.
Halloween 2018: Central Indiana trick-or-treat times
An online petition with a goal of 10,000 supporters was started on Care2 Petitions, calling on the City of Chesapeake to change the trick-or-treating ordinance.
Practically speaking, how will such a law be enforced? I doubt homeowners will start asking for ID at the door. How does one define “engaging” in trick-or-treating? Teenage siblings are often sent out to accompany younger children, and sometimes a parent is still a teenager, accepting candy on behalf of their tired toddler. Would they get charged, punished indirectly for having had a child at 16 or 17? And do homeowners really care whos ringing their doorbell during one night of the year? Its common knowledge that if someone doesnt want to hand out candy, theyll turn off their porch light; no ones being forced to do it.
10 On Your Side has reached to other cities that are mentioned in the viral stories regarding their individual trick-or-treating laws. Stay on WAVY.com for the latest.
Halloween-Hating Cities Threaten Teen Trick-or-Treaters With Fines And Jail Time
Halloween is nearly upon us, which means its 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, theyre liable to get slapped with a misdemeanor. Chesapeakes 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 youre over 12, along with a handful of cities across the county. To be fair, it sounds like the cops in most of these places arent going to be prowling for kids who look like theyve already graduated middle school and checking their IDs, HRScene reports. Theyre 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, theyre probably too old for that shit anyways. But maybe its 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?