I came across this article from the Huffington Post:


Is this article really true? For example, is it actually illegal to kill a housefly within 160 feet of a church without a license? Or, are such "laws" urban myths? I've searched trying to find confirmation/disconfirmation for such but only come up with articles saying such is true. However, none cite the specific statute(s) in question.

  • Sounds like a case of hearsay nested in hearsay
    – kisspuska
    Oct 10, 2021 at 19:37
  • Note that there are in fact many obsolete laws which remain on the books and technically in force, but which no one enforces and which would not stand up if a case arose and the laws were challenged. Indeed many laws which have been specifically overturned as being unconstitutional =have not been repealed and remain on the books. So even if any of these are actual laws, it does not mean that there is any meaningful prospect of anyone being jailed for violating them. Oct 10, 2021 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


This was attributed to Dumblaws.com, which is now mercifully nonexistent. It is false, as is the supposed law against fishing for whales on Sunday (seriously? Whales in Ohio?). If someone makes such a claim and gives a specific citation like "ORC 1533.02", you can look that law up. Otherwise, you can go to the state's repository of laws, which is searchable (not all states are as enlightened). No laws mention "whale" or "housefly", and only 23 address "fly", only referring to insects in a couple of cases where e.g. bakery showcases must keep out dust and flies. You might take on this collection, hosted by a law firm. I haven't bothered to check if "It is illegal to drive a camel on the highway" in Nevada – that a least verifiably refers to a law that did exist.

  • According to the Internet archive version only 2 of 20 alleged "laws" on the page for City laws in Massachusetts give links to the text of the law, and those prove to be not so dumb. None give actual citations. Oct 10, 2021 at 20:55
  • “Mercifully” lmao 😂 👏👏
    – kisspuska
    Oct 11, 2021 at 3:43
  • @user6726 fine, bitter, sardonic humor, refreshing as a cold glass of tonic water with ice.
    – kisspuska
    Oct 11, 2021 at 3:59

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