Trick-or-Treat Age Limit in Some Cities (with Potential Jail Time!) Ignites Twitter Firestorm
In Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey, kids over a certain age can face some serious consequences for trick-or-treating on Halloween
It’s generally understood that the “trick” part of trick-or-treating is something rarely touched upon, but this year might be different if you live in certain cities.
In some parts of the country, kids are facing serious consequences for going door to door in search of candy past a certain age on Halloween — like in Chesapeake, Virginia, where they can face fines and even up to six months of jail time for trick-or-treating over age 13, according to ABC6 Action News.
Kids over age 12 or past seventh grade could be hit with misdemeanor charges in Newport News, Virginia, while many North Carolina towns enforce comparable cutoff age plus a curfew of 9 p.m., the outlet reports.
In southern New Jersey, ABC6 notes, this trick-or-treating curfew is even earlier — at 7 p.m. — with a legal age restriction of 12 in the Upper Deerfield Township area of the state.
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.
Predictably, a firestorm has been ignited online as parents and kids-at-heart alike have taken to social media to express their outrage over the laws and invite folks beyond the “age limit” to come on over.
“I don’t care how old you are; you got a costume? You get candy at my house!” one Twitter user quipped in response to the laws, while another remarked, “There shouldn’t ever be an age limit to Trick or Treat, it’s an ageless tradition!”
“I’m mad they’re putting an age limit and pressing charges for kids over 12 on trick or treating,” said a third. “I’d rather kids trick or treat than act crazy doing God knows what.”
One particularly generous woman wrote, “If you come to my house on trick or treat you get a treat -No Age Limit! Last year I tipped the pizza delivery lady with cold hard cash and a full size candy bar. 🍫🎃🕷🕸⚰️👻”
RELATED VIDEO: Neighbors Re-Create Halloween for 3-Year-Old Who Spent the Holiday in the Hospital
Other Twitter users made even more thought-provoking points about some trick-or-treaters who are a little bit older than most of the other kids.
“I don’t trick or treat anymore. But what about kids with special needs? And tbh I’d rather have older kids knocking on my door asking for candy than potentially getting into trouble with drugs, drinking, pranks that go too far, etc.,” one pointed out.
An Indianapolis woman who works as a caregiver for adults with special needs wrote, “There shouldn’t be a limit. I work with adults with special needs and so many of them get so excited for Halloween. Yes, they may be over 12, but mentally some of them are that age or younger and they should be allowed to trick or treat like anyone else.”