You can go to jail in this Virginia town for trick-or-treating at the wrong age.
Photo by Martin Bernetti/Getty Images

It ain't easy being 13 in Virginia. Halloween is so scary in 9 of the state's towns and cities that you could get arrested just for trick-or-treating.

What’s the right age to make that transition away from trick-or-treating each Halloween? For most people, there’s no clear answer.

Some of us continue to dress up and attend Halloween parties our entire lives and that’s perfectly OK. LeBron James, one of the most successful people on the planet, practically demands that his teammates and friends take part in his extravegant Halloween costume parties each year.


But one town in Virginia is making headlines for a city ordinance that literally makes it illegal for anyone over the age of 12 to go trick or treating.

And violating the law could earn you a fine up to $100 or … literally SIX MONTHS IN JAIL. You know, halfway toward the next Halloween. Gulp.

A copy of the Cheasapeake, Virginia city ordinance (established in 1970) recently went viral on Facebook and reads like this:

“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 the “fun” doesn’t end there.

Photo by Eric Miller/Getty Images.

There’s also a Halloween curfew of 8pm, again threatening jail time (this time “only” up to 30 days) for anyone who fails to comply.

Though before we place all the blame on little ole’ Cheasapeake, it turns out there are 9 cities in Virginia alone with their own bizarre Halloween laws, which you can read here.

But all 9 cities have the same stunning law in common of banning trick or treating by anyone over the age of 12.

We have a feeling some long-forgotten state politician was once seriously traumatized by a 13-year-old bully who showed up to their house dressed as Justin Bieber and demanding a Family Size Snickers, or else.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.