Halloween laws which could get you in trouble – from illegal costumes to dying
This weekend, Halloween returns to give us all a spooky night of treats and hijinks.
While this year’s celebrations may look a little different to usual, kids and adults are sure to have a fun time.
And, while the most we usually fear on Halloween is a ghoul or two, it turns out that there are some activities which could get you in trouble.
Legal experts have revealed the spooky laws which could land you in hot water.
What will you be dressing up as this Halloween? Let us know in the comments section…
Did you know that you can receive a custodial sentence for dressing up as a police officer, or for not disclosing paranormal activity before selling your home?
The University of Law has shared some of the most weird and wonderful laws that exist around the world today:
The vile-high club
In Swaziland, the Civil Aviation Authority dictates that it is illegal for witches to fly above 150 metres on their broomsticks.
Doing so could land them with a fine of 500,000 Rand (£35k).
This is no ancient law either, as the statute was made just seven years ago in 2013 to protect the country’s airspace, after a private investigator was caught flying a toy helicopter with a video camera on board.
Because of the people of Swaziland’s strong belief in the occult and black magic, this law applies to practicing witches.
A ban on dying
If you live in the French town of Sarpourenx, don’t expect to be buried unless you’ve already reserved a plot.
The mayor once issued a proclamation forbidding people from dying in the area unless they had purchased and reserved a burial plot in a local cemetery.
The mayor also added to this that those who do pass away without following this rule will be “severely punished” – though it is unclear how the mayor plans to punish the dead.
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Don’t dress up as a police officer or a soldier
If you’re planning on fancy dress this weekend, avoid police officers or military personnel.
According to the Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906, and the more recent Police Act 1996, dressing up as or impersonating police or armed forces is illegal and doing so could land you a sentence.
Dressing up as a paramedic on the other hand is totally fine – so if your party is emergency services themed, that’s a safe bet.
No witch hunting allowed
The Witchcraft Act 1735 was passed by Parliament making it a crime for any person to claim an individual has magical powers or practices witchcraft, effectively abolishing the hunting and execution of witches in Great Britain.
Bad news for Janet Horne, who was the last known person to be executed for witchcraft just a few years before the law passed, in 1727.
Try not to die in Parliament
Believe it or not, there are laws in place making it illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
The Coroners Act 1887 (DNA, Nov 7, 2007) states that this applies to “Anyone whose body is lying within the limits of any of the Queen's palaces; or within the limits of any other house where Her Majesty is then residing”.
Because Parliament is classed as a royal palace, the convention arises that no parliamentarian dies until they are in an ambulance – which should at least mean no ghosts haunting the hallways there.
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