Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does your town try to control Halloween?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42452points) October 31st, 2014

One of Rick’s cousins actually did their trick or treating LAST night, due to some city council mandate. Don’t know why.

That just seems crazy to me. Does your town or city mandate Halloween?

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25 Answers

anniereborn's avatar

We have trick or treat “hours” here. From 6–8PM.
Geez as kids, we started right after school and stayed out till 9 or 10.

Buttonstc's avatar

So what would happen if someone chose to ignore the mandate?

They surely can’t arrest or fine someone for celebrating a holiday, can they?

Last I checked, this is still the good ol’ US of A, with constitutionally protected freedom to pursue happiness.

Why not ask Rick’s cousin what would happen to anyone who chose to completely ignore this mandate? I’d be curious to know how far they would go with their enforcement methods.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, what happens if….yeah. What @Buttonstc said.

I’ll go ask.

Dutchess_III's avatar

She said their reasoning was ”... I think the original thoughts years ago was that the big kids go out on Halloween night & tear things up & cause mischief. So the little ones went the night before.”

syz's avatar

Chapel Hill, NC has been making regulations about Halloween because it got crazy out of control. An estimated 80,000 people would pack into a 12 block area of Franklin Street (in a town of about 50,000) and the drinking, assaults, and vandalism got out of control. They now now have set hours, no longer allow busing in, and have limited available parking to try to keep the celebration to locals.

janbb's avatar

Curfew at 8 p.m.

gailcalled's avatar

We have a party for the little ones on the Village Green from 5:00 to 7:00 this evening.

Buttonstc's avatar


Ok. So it sounds like more of a tradition rather than a mandate, and if some parents work schedule or something else interfered and they took their kids out on Halloween rather than the night before, they’re basically taking their own chances, knowing that it’s primarily for adults.

I know that in Detroit (about an hour away) they have really beefed up police patrols as well as neighborhood watch volunteers because of the rash of arsons each year due to the so-called “Devil’s Night” tradition of vandalism. And they may even have a curfew. I’m not sure since it’s not really my neighborhood.

Out here in the Boondocks there aren’t really any kind of regulations afaik.

But, clearly, vandalism and arson are major criminal activities, so whatever they can do to curtail that is certainly understandable and it’s not just harmless trick or treating by little kids.

And the arson has gotten really bad due to all of the abandoned homes from foreclosures so whatever measures the authorities take to forestall the destruction is just fine by me.

But that’s a whole different scenario from what your relative was describing regarding little kids. I just didn’t see why they would regulate THAT so heavily.

But the explanation sort of makes sense since it’s more along the lines of a voluntary tradition.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is what she said, regarding if they ignored it. ” I don’t know. Hardly anyone goes to the council meetings, so there’s not going to be anyone there to dispute it. And I don’t think anyone really cares one way or the other. It’s been this way for years & years.”

Buttonstc's avatar

Yeah, that makes sense.

At least there won’t be any police putting handcuffs on 10 year olds and carting them off to jail for trick or treating on the wrong night :) :)

chyna's avatar

Here they won’t allow Halloween on Friday or Saturday nights if that is the date it falls on. We had to celebrate last night. They publish in the paper what time each town will allow trick or treating and that’s it.
I have no idea why it’s that way unless they are afraid the hooligans will be up to shenanigans on weekends only.

Buttonstc's avatar


So, it looks like that is mainly fueled by college kids.

I’m glad I don’t live there.

It also reminds me of the New Year’s Day Mummers parade in Philly. It’s an all day long event and for awhile it was starting to get really out of hand with drunk people all over the place and barfing in the streets.

You would think that the usually frigid temps would sort of put a damper on things but that’s not the case.

I went one year and decided to watch it on TV ever after. Plus you get a much better (aerial) view of the various groups routines and dancing. And no drunks throwing up on you :D

LuckyGuy's avatar

No official rules here. Nobody comes after about 8. It is too dark and cold.
Adults will visit until 9.

syz's avatar

My first trick-or-treaters were a few minutes ago at 6:15. They’ll continue until about 10:00.

JLeslie's avatar

Not that I know of, but I might be out of the loop. In FL a lot of kids trick or treat at the mall. Also in FL many of the subdivisions have a clubhouse and the community does a Halloween party and the kids get candy there. Many kids do still go door to door though. It depends on the neighborhood.

In TN the kids went through the neighborhood and I never heard about any rules.

There have been a couple years here and there that because if bad weather they changed the day.

Some people think Halloween should be moved to a day rather than a date. Either a Friday night or Saturday. Friday makes sense. The kids can dress in their costumes for school and trick or treat that night. Or, maybe getting two days out of the costume is better?

Aethelwine's avatar

Every year our town has trick-or-treating from 6–8pm on the 30th and 31st. I don’t know why we get two nights, but this Halloween lover is not complaining.

jca's avatar

Not around here.

One of the Connecticut towns was criticized recently because they are not allowing Halloween parties at school because they don’t want to offend some religions. They’re calling it “Costume Day.” To me, sometimes the political correctness goes too far.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I’ve heard about that for years now. Do the kids not allowed to celebrate Halloween get to dress up under the other name?

jca's avatar

@JLeslie: I think they can all dress up, just not calling it “Halloween.” I think it’s stupid, honestly, and my impression from what local radio DJ’s say is that they think it’s stupid, too.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca I need to ask my girlfriend who was raised Jehovah’s Witness if she could dress in a costume for school as long as it wasn’t called Halloween. Now I’m curious.

I guess it can be construed as as a separation of church and state issue since Halloween began as a religious day. Same as calling a Christmas party a holiday party.

Buttonstc's avatar

@jca and @JLeslie

I’m really curious as to which people or groups(s) find it offensive on religious grounds so if you find that out, please let me know.

Yes, it did have it’s start being TANGENTIALLY related to Christianity but in this day and age, I’ve found that objecting to Halloween is more the purview of Fundy Christians who feel that it’s blasphemous both because it’s so gory and commercial and also because it’s origins were really not specifically Christian ENOUGH, but rather a compromise with ancient Pagan celebrations (similar to Christmas). That is what the JWs, among others, object to.

Nowadays especially, if you were just picking random people off the street to survey, I don’t know that you could find even 1 in 10 who would be able to name All Saints Day as the specific Christian celebration that Halloween is supposedly connected to.

Yes, Halloween (or hallowed evening) is the night before All Saints Day on the Liturgical calender, but apart from Roman Catholics and some high church Episcopalians and a smidgen of Lutherans, it’s just not THAT widely known. And, historically, it was always Nov. 1st itself which was celebrated by Christians, NOT the night before.

If you ask most other Christians which celebration is on Nov. 1, they’ll say it’s Reformation Sunday (when Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the door of the local church, thus beginning the Protestant Reformation.)

In the Ancient Church calendar, it was All Saints Day (Nov. 1st) which was the major big deal (special Mass etc etc ) NOT the night preceeding it. That’s where the compromise started.

So, since some really strict groups Christian groups are viewing Halloween negatively as such a perversion of Christianity, I find it mildly amusing that there are those who object to it because it’s TOO religiously Christian in origin.

In reality it’s too pagan in origin to suit most Christians.

For me, it’s just one big “meh” either way. But it did give me a chuckle when reading that there are those who object to it because of it’s religious associations.

I’m just really curious as to who they are because it’s a head scratcher for me :)

JLeslie's avatar

@Buttonstc The only group I know of is Jehovah Witness as I mentioned above. There probably are some other small sects of Christianity that have a problem with celebrating Halloween. I agree that a lot of people on the street would have no idea about any religious history regarding the holiday. Probably people from Latin America would be most likely to know.

Most Christian holidays are intertwined with pagan ones.

I have some understanding of wanting to change it to costume day so all kids can participate if it indeed does allow all kids to participate. People tell me, Christians tell me, I can have a Christmas tree because it isn’t really Christian. Yeah but, at this point and time it is one of the symbols of the Christian holiday Christmas. So, it’s a little weird for me to have a Christmas tree being Jewish. As I get older I am less strict about the idea, but it’s still odd for me. So, like the Christians who tell me a tree is secular, I don’t think we should tell someone else Halloween is secular if they don’t see it that way.

At the same time it doesn’t drive me crazy to call a party a Christmas party or for schools to have an Easter break.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Seems to me there is a WHOLE LOT of imaginary offensing going on.

chyna's avatar

I’m a baptist. My minister stands on the church steps and gives out candy. He loves to see the kids dressed up and if it gives someone another reason to visit the church, he is all for it.

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