Halloween Costumes Banned on Beijing Subway by China Police

BEIJING — Zombies take note. Officials spooked Halloween revelers Friday by warning commuters they face arrest if they entered Beijing subway stations in costume. “In order to avoid mass panic, Beijing subway passengers will be prohibited from wearing fancy dress or wearing face makeup on the train,” according to the state-run Beijing News. The newspaper reported that costumed riders could "easily cause a crowd to gather and create trouble." Police put out a series of pictures of prohibited looks, including "Scream" and skull masks and zombie face paint. They declined to comment on the reason for the restrictions.

The ban quickly became a hot topic on social media where netizens were generally both amused and confused over the need for a costume ban. “This is just a holiday,” wrote one user on Twitter-like service Weibo. “It is just an opportunity for friends to have fun together.” Another mused whether it was related to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting to be held in Beijing next month. “APEC is coming, police are busy checking people’s ID and you come to the subway dressing like ghost?” the user added. “There is no doubt they will arrest you.”


- Ed Flanagan