Town Bans Trick-Or-Treating And Threatens Jail Time For Kids Over 12-Years-Old

While this may sound like something out of a Footloose-esque children's film, it is sadly straight out of real life, as one city has garnered quite considerable attention for banning trick-or-treating.

The law is specifically aimed at kids aged 13 and over.

Instagram | themeparks.pictur3rs

There is nothing quite like being a kid at halloween, dressing up and getting sweets for very little effort! It's a wonderful time of year when people are overly enthusiastic about almost everything for very little reason.

However, now there will be a note of misery in the air for one city.

The city in question is Chesapeake, Virginia.

Facebook | City of Chesapeake Government

The city of Chesapeake came under heavy fire following the reveal of its law banning teenagers from trick-or-treating.

What particularly drew scrutiny was the fact that anyone caught breaking this rule could be sentenced to up to six months in jail, as well as facing fines of up to $100!

Angered parents quickly took to social media to share their displeasure.

Twitter | julie warren

One resident wrote, "lemme get this straight, a group of municipal law makers affirmatively banded together in agreement over the decision to jail 13 year olds up to 6 mos for over-age trick-or-treating?" — julie warren

Another passionate Halloween advocate wrote, "For the life of me, I will never understand this. When I moved into a nicer cul-de-sac neighborhood I was super excited for Halloween. The more the merrier. If I can make some kid's Halloween a bit better that's awesome. I don't care who they are or where they're from." — Moira

However, it turns out this law is far from new!

Instagram |

It turns out that this law has been in place for 45 years in the town, and had only made its way into the forefront of people's minds once it became something of a viral sensation across social media.

The city was quick to respond to the media firestorm.

City of Chesapeake Government took to social media to calm the masses of complaints.

Facebook | City of Chesapeake Government

The government's statement on Facebook explained that no teenager had ever actually been arrested, and that the measures "only existed to give Police an option, should things get out of hand on Halloween. In fact, it was created following a particularly violent Halloween in a neighboring City."

They also assured people that "we do NOT arrest teens for trick-or-treating and never have".

The Chesapeake City Council also voted to amend the ordinance.

Unsplash | Haley Phelps

The council removed the penalty of jail time, and increased the age restriction from 12 to 14.

However, if they're so desperate to convince people that they will definitely not be arresting teenagers, then it does make you wonder why they need an age restriction at all.

There were a lot of people still unhappy with the age restriction.

Flickr | BKHagar Kim

Teenagers are still young, and should be able to enjoy the joys of halloween just as much as younger kids. Comments appeared on the City of Chesapeake Government's Facebook post including the likes of:

"Should be no age limit... I know 17 year olds who would love to go back out again. They are all still kids even though 'big kids'."

"Guess trick or treating isn't a family thing no more? Another thing ruined by our lovely political world!"

"Why is their an age limit on Halloween anyways, I'd rather my kids not grow up so fast and enjoy this holiday without the bs of adults ruining all the fun for them. Give me a break."

Teenagers shouldn't be pressured into growing up too fast.

Instagram | hholidaycookie

Teenagers are under a lot of pressure nowadays anyway due to the problems that social media can cause in the lives of youths.

What with a constant pressure to present a perfect front online, as well as real world pressures such as exam stress and getting into the right college, shouldn't teenagers be allowed to be young for a night? Once you grow up, you grow up, and the real world isn't exactly full of opportunities for you to capture that sense of wonder and enthusiasm we have as kids, so surely it can't be a bad thing to let teenagers cling onto that for a little longer.

Some parents were also concerned about what this means for people with mental disabilities.

Flickr | pirate johnny

Some people with developmental disorders enjoy trick-or-treating until much later life than others, and this prompted some parents to ask how this ordinance accommodates them:

"Outright discriminatory against individuals with special needs who enjoy trick or treating well beyond the age of 14."

"We've learned so much about childhood development, Autism, ADD, ADHD and other issues. How about we address these issues compassionately instead of with the heavy hand of government, police force, and fines?"

Hopefully, this ordinance will not discourage those who want to go trick-or-treating from doing so.

Instagram | kellyandtallieadventures

While the local government is passionately trying to assure people that they will not be implementing the law, that does beg the question, why is it necessary?

They claim it is so that police can stop unruly teenagers committing acts of vandalism; however, vandalism, public disorder, and stealing are all things that the police can arrest you for anyway, so why do they need this law in place?

I am curious though, would this stop you from taking your kids over 14 out if they wanted to go? Or would you take them anyway, and take your chances?

h/t: USA Today