by Renée McFarland
Halloween is right around the corner, with spooky
celebrations from trick-or-treating to costume parties and scary home displays.
Americans spend around seven billion dollars on this holiday, second only to Christmas. This month’s Top 10 features some laws that relate to Halloween and some
laws that, when applied to Halloween, have interesting results. Happy Halloween!
5Everett prohibits a hyp- notist from displaying his or her mesmerized subject in a window or public place outside the hall or theater where the
hypnotism occurred. Conviction of this
crime carries a maximum fine of $500
and/or imprisonment up to six months. 5
Halloween hypnotists, beware!
6The City of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, allows trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 between 6 and 8 p.m. as long as the trick-or-treater is under
14 years of age. If Halloween falls on a
Sunday, trick-or-treating must occur in
the same time frame on Oct. 30. Luckily,
this year the 31st falls on a Saturday. 6
7The Inuit community of Arviat, in the Canadian ter- ritory of Nunavut, cancelled outdoor trick-or-treating last year. Diminishing shore ice along
the western edge of Hudson Bay brought
the polar bear migration too close to
town. October is the peak bear migration
month. The kids trick-or-treated at the
community center instead. 7
8If your idea of Halloween fun is dressing up as a pregnant nun or a priest, you could risk breaking the law in Alabama. It is illegal there
to fraudulently pretend to be a nun,
priest, rabbi, or any other member of the
9Hunting for zombies or other undead this Halloween? Hunting in cemeteries in Oregon is prohibited. 9
lives in Mount-
lake Terrace and
is a member of
the WSBA Edito-
can be reached
1. Los Angeles, CA., Municipal Code § 56.02
2. Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c C- 46, s 365.
3. Skamania County, WA., Ord. No. 1984-2
(1984). In 1992, the Whatcom County Council
approved a resolution declaring Whatcom
County to be a Sasquatch Protection and
5. Everett, WA. Municipal Code §§ 9. 24.010–
6. City of Rehoboth, DE., Ord. § 198-33 (1991).
8. ALA. CODE § 13A- 14-4 (1975).
9. OR. REV. STAT. § 166.645 (1973).
10. Walnut, CA. City Code, § 17-32 (1959).
1If you like to cocoon your friends and family in Silly String or just enjoy decorating with it around Halloween, you could run into trouble in Los Angeles.
Possession, use, or sale of the fun stuff
between 12 a.m. Oct. 31 and noon on Nov.
1 in L.A.’s Hollywood Division carries a
$1,000 fine. 1
2Halloween revelers in Canada might reconsider that witch, sorcerer, or psychic cos- tume. Up north, it is illegal to do any of the following fraudulently:
pretend to use “any kind of witchcraft,
sorcery, enchantment or conjuration”;
tell fortunes “for a consideration”; or to
pretend, based on “skill in or knowledge
of an occult or crafty science” that you
can discover where something stolen or
lost can be found. 2
3If you dust off your Big- foot costume every year at Halloween, know that you have xtra protection in Skamania County. The entire county is
a Sasquatch Refuge, and pursuant to
Ordinance No. 1984-2, “the premeditated
willful or wanton slaying of Sasquatch
shall be unlawful.” The ordinance further
details the applicable punishment for a
Sasquatch killer, depending on whether
the coroner determines the victim was
“humanoid” or “anthropoid.” 3
4Last Halloween, the mayor of the small French town of Vendargues decreed that no person over the age of 12 could wear a clown costume or clown
makeup. The decree was in response to
several incidents of teenagers dressed as
clowns terrorizing people. 4
10In Walnut, Califor- nia, wearing a mask or disguise on a public street requires a permit from the sheriff. 10 NWL