Is It Illegal To Dress As A Priest Or Nun For Halloween In Minnesota?
Halloween is upon and one of the most entertaining things about the season, besides seeing just how much candy you'll eat, is seeing all the different costumes people wear trick or treating and out at parties.
Every year there are costumes that dominate depending on what's happening in pop culture. For example, one would assume that Barbie and Ken will be well represented, as well as Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
Of course, some costumes from the past continue to stand the test of time like witches, monsters, scary killers from popular movies, etc. Other costumes you see are a priest or nun costume.
I was talking to a friend recently about costumes while trying to figure out what to dress up as for a Halloween party this year. I told him I'd feel uncomfortable dressing up in anything that had a religious theme. He surprised me when he said it's probably for the better because it could be illegal anyway.
Apparently, his wife has friends in Alabama and he said if you dress as a priest in that state, you could end up in jail. What? A prison sentence just because of a Halloween costume? In America??
I remember that within the past decade, scary clowns oddly became a phenomenon and when Halloween season arrived, people in some communities were advised against dressing as a clown. So perhaps an illegal costume wasn't that far-fetched.
I decided to do a little digging and sure enough, what he said about Alabama was true. There is even mention of this in the Alabama code:
According to Section 13A-14-4 of the Alabama Code, “Whoever, being in a public place, fraudulently pretends by garb or outward array to be a minister of any religion, or nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Breaking the law could earn you a $500 fine and up to a year in jail.
So, make a mental note of that if you ever find yourself in Alabama on Halloween, but what about other states?
No need to panic if you plan to dress up as a priest or nun or something similarly-themed in Minnesota or Wisconsin. There are no laws dictating what you can wear on Halloween. Of course, your actions while wearing your costume could get you into legal trouble.
For example, it's legal to dress up as a police officer on Halloween, but you can't use that costume to mislead others into believing you are a real law enforcement officer. That behavior is considered impersonating a police officer, which is a misdemeanor.
Alabama appears to be the only state in America that makes wearing a type of costume an actual crime and dressing in a religious-themed costume isn't the only thing Alabama forbids.
Also in Alabama, you can’t wear a mustache when you are attending church on Halloween if it’s funny enough to make people laugh. This law prohibits fake facial hair. If you love Halloween, perhaps it's best to steer clear of Alabama altogether.