Massachusetts has weird laws that are so unbelievable that most of them are only urban legends.

Sara B

Like most other states, Massachusetts has some bizarre, forgotten laws. At one point in history, these laws were put in place and were relevant, or maybe they were made up as a joke. They seem either fake or outdated, but at least they are entertaining. Some are even urban myths when investigated further. See which ones are true and which ones are merely a myth below.

Duels can be carried out to death on Sundays, but as long as the governor is present. If it is not a Sunday and the governor is not there, having a duel to the death is illegal. The law states:

A person subject to this code who fights or promotes, or is concerned in or connives at fighting a duel, or who, having knowledge of a challenge sent or about to be sent, fails to report the fact promptly to the proper authority shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

If you own a pet lion, having it accompany you to the movies is illegal. So you have to Netflix and chill instead of going to the Cinema. I found nothing that led this law to be true. So I deem it an urban legend.

If you attend a wake, you cannot eat more than three sandwiches. I imagine making sure the rest of the mourners can also enjoy the food. Nothing states this bizarre law in the laws on the site, deeming it too as a myth.

If you have a relative in the hospital, it is illegal to give beer to patients. So no celebrating discharge or a clean bill of health. If you violate this law, you could be fined up to $50 and possibly spend two months in jail. Again, legit law and can be found here.

A goatee is illegal unless you pay a special license fee to wear it publicly. No law found I deem a myth.

All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday. But do not plan on hunting after church, as that is illegal. There is no law stating you must bring a gun to church. However, Mass does have a long list of rules regarding firearms.

It is illegal for a gorilla to be in the backseat of any car. However, they said nothing about your big friend riding in the front seat. Unfortunately, this is only a myth. The Massachusetts law articles state that there is no gorilla law, and they claim to have no idea how the ¨law¨ started, yet it is false.

If you are a fiddle player, sorry, playing the fiddle in Boston is illegal. However, I deem it a myth; this law is not listed on the website.

If you live in Marlborough, you cannot detonate a nuclear device. It sounds like a good law in all cities, not just one. A law prohibiting nuclear weapons exists throughout the US, not just in Marlborough.

If you do not like tomatoes, you will like this subsequent law. Unfortunately, tomatoes are not permitted to be used to make clam chowder. This may have something to do with the Boston/NYC rivalry. This law was only a draft. However, it was never passed.

Snoring with the windows open is illegal. If you plan on snoring, you must close and lock your windows before bed. No such law was found on the website.

It is illegal to swear inside city limits. The only law I found about swearing is the following:

Sporting events; penalty for abuse of participants and officials. Section 36A. Whoever, having arrived at the age of sixteen years, directs any profane, obscene or impure language or slanderous statement at a participant or an official in a sporting event shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.

You could be fined up to $10 if you deface a milk carton. No law was found, except on other blogs.

Many of these are urban myths, or maybe at one point they existed; however, most cannot be found on the site leading me to believe they either no longer exist or were just urban myths.

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I share legends, myths, and bizarre history, sometimes news.

Pasadena, CA

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