City Cast

Weird Pennsylvania Laws Still on the Books

Francesca Dabecco
Francesca Dabecco
Posted on October 31
In one Western Pa. town, this horse would be breaking the law. (Photo by NCJ/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

In one Western Pa. town, this horse would be breaking the law. (Photo by NCJ/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

If a few of our state laws feel like they were written for another time, that’s because many of them were. While many aren’t enforced, they’re still technically the law because repealing them can be time consuming and expensive. Reporter Harrison Cann at City & State PA joined City Cast Philly and City Cast Pittsburgh to break down some of the weirdest rules still on the books.

Fortune Telling for Profit

Reading cards and crystal balls, casting spells, and making potions — it’s all illegal to do for personal gain in Pennsylvania.

Hunting Swimming Critters

Whether it’s big or small, you can’t hunt and kill animals who are treading water. You’re not allowed to send your dog after one either.

Hooking Fish for Bait

Anglers can’t use goldfish, comets, koi, or common carp as bait. It’s also illegal to fish with your bare hands.

A Hike to the Bathroom

Your bedroom can’t be more than 200 feet from your bathtub, shower, or toilet. Bad for cohabitating couples, good for preventing “accidents.”

Tying Your Horse to a Pole

In the Western Pennsylvania town of Tarentum, it’s illegal to tie a horse to a parking meter or streetlight pole. Weirdly, it’s not illegal to tie a dog.

Fun on Sundays

Sure, we have separation of church and state, but old laws were often made with Christian religions in mind. State blue laws or “Sunday Laws” stopped activities on the holy day. Laws prohibiting sports, musical, and theater performances before 1 p.m. on Sundays didn’t hold up. Can you imagine?? In Philly???

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