Looking for Halloween treats? Watch out for these tricky regulations

Even when a genie grants Disney's Aladdin three wishes for recovering a magic lamp, he warns that the magic carries some caveats. A few provisos. Some rules and regulations.

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Much like the federal, state and local laws that loom over this Halloween, in which the genie costume from the Disney film is making a comeback thanks to a summer live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic.

Genies, of course, won't be the only ones affected. Over the years, ghosts, zombies, vampires and witches alike have become subject to limitations on costume and prop choices. In at least one case, a law was passed setting age limits on costumed visitors gallivanting the streets with their friends.

If the regulations are broken, there can be a hefty price to pay. For example, it's considered a federal crime to dress up as a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier unless the person doing so is an “actor or actress in a theatrical, television, or motion-picture production.” Violators can face a fine and six months in prison.

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Silly string, the plastic string propelled as a stream of liquid from an aerosol can, has long been used as a prop for the late October festivities, but Hollywood no longer allows it on Halloween.

Anyone caught possessing, using, selling or distributing Silly String in Hollywood will have their products confiscated and may face a fine of $1,000 and/or six months in jail, according to local law.

The “no-tolerance” ban goes into effect at 12 a.m. on Oct. 31 and lasts until noon on Nov. 1.

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In Alabama, dressing up as a minister, nun, priest, rabbi or other member of the clergy is illegal. Penance for violators ranges from a $500 fine to jail time.

Belleville, Illinois has different concerns -- and takes a different tack. Anyone older than 12 years old is prohibited from participating in trick-or-treating.

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“It’s unfortunate, but in today’s world we live in, sometimes government has to make tough decisions like this,” Mayor Mark Eckert told Slate.

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