Town Makes an Actual Law Banning Kids Over 16 From Trick-or-Treating


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For many kids, trick-or-treating on Halloween every year is a childhood rite of passage. Dressing up in costume and going door to door to score as many chocolate bars as you can before bedtime is all in good fun, but one Canadian town says once you're older than 16, your days of trick-or-treating are officially over, even if you've been planning your costume for weeks.

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As of October 3, the province of New Brunswick will enact a law that states children who are over 16 are not allowed to go trick-or-treating. In addition to the ban against kids over age 16, all kids are subject to an 8 p.m. curfew on Halloween night. And according to CBC News, anyone caught out on Halloween night in violation of the ban will be fined $200. Is it just me, or does this sound like the plot to the worst after-school special ever?

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Teens older than 16 don't have to be actively knocking on doors looking for candy in order to get busted with the fine. Being outside with a mask on is enough to get your parents fined (because let's be honest, what 16-year-old has $200 lying around?).

The new law is actually an update on a 2005 Halloween ban that set a 7 p.m. curfew and said kids older than 14 weren't allowed to go trick-or-treating. However, that law has never been enforced.

Kim Chamberlain, deputy mayor of the city of Bathurst, is against this law, saying it's an overstep by the government. She also brings up practical concerns on enforcing a ban with kids that are too young to have driver's licenses. "Some kids are tall," she told CBC. "My cousin's son is 5'4" and 15 years old. What are we going to do, go up to him and ask him, 'How old are you?' and 'Show me your ID?' That doesn't make sense."

Those in favor of the new rules say it's not just about wanting to keep the leftover peanut butter cups for themselves (don't lie, you've done it too). They say it's an issue of keeping things safe for the littlest trick-or-treaters and preventing property damage. 


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But others think the rules aren't fair for kids who have parents that work late (and therefore get a late start to trick-or-treating), or for older teens who have developmental delays and still enjoy the holiday as younger kids do.

And while no one wants to wake up to a yard full of toilet paper or a driveway that's drenched in shaving cream, some feel this ban is too harsh for the teens who really do just want to have some innocent fun on Halloween.


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While some people seem to think that teens should be allowed to stay kids as long as possible, it's clear not everyone feels this way. Even in areas where there isn't an outright ban against teens' trick-or-treating, perhaps it's a good idea to have a spare bag of candy handy when they get home on Halloween night, in case your teens find themselves tricked instead of treated.

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