Dumb laws in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach and more

Flickr user The.Comedian

In every state of the union there are some rather odd and old laws that are still technically 'on the books.' South Carolina has quite a few that are just silly, and not all of them are from 100 years ago. 

I fondly remember the first time I got to vote in South Carolina, I was 18 and on the ballot was a measure to make it 'official' that caucasian people could marry non-caucasians in the state of South Carolina. It was technically illegal up until 1998

This morning while trying to find the current sexting laws in South Carolina for an earlier story, I came across a list of 'Dumb Laws in South Carolina' and dumb laws from cities in South Carolina. While there was no context to the laws, stating whether or not they were technically overturned, it is obvious we don't abide by many of them today. 

Dumb Laws in South Carolina:

  • By law, if a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, the marriage must take place.

"A male over the age of sixteen years who by means of deception and promise of marriage seduces an unmarried woman in this State is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined at the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than one year."

Basically, you can't say you'll marry a woman just to have your way with her and then not follow through with the proposal. Read the full law here

  • Fortune tellers are required to obtain a special permit from the state.

It shall be unlawful for any person to follow the business of fortunetelling in any of the counties of this State, by traveling from place to place, without first obtaining from the clerk of the court of the county in which he wishes to follow his trade, a license permitting him to so do.

Full law is here.

  • Dance halls may not operate on Sundays.

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep open or admit persons to any public dancing hall owned or operated by him or to allow any person to continue thereat between the hours of twelve o'clock, midnight, Saturday and twelve o'clock, midnight, Sunday, and all such places shall be and remain closed to the public between such hours.

Full text of the Sunday dance law here, however it is A-OK to buy light bulbs on Sunday.

  • When approaching a four way or blind intersection in a non-horse driven vehicle you must stop 100 ft from the intersection and discharge a firearm into the air to warn horse traffic.

We're pretty sure, but cannot confirm, that this law has been overturned....

  • Every adult male must bring a rifle to church on Sunday in order to ward off Indian attacks.

One can never be too safe these days....

Silly Myrtle Beach Laws:

  • It is illegal to urinate in the waters of any park.

Prohibited acts in parks and other public facilities. It shall be unlawful for any person using the public parks, recreation areas, grounds or facilities of the city (referred to in this article as parks), specifically to include Chapin Memorial Library, to either perform or allow the performances of any of the following actions or conduct, unless such action or conduct is authorized, permitted or supervised by the cultural and leisure services department director or his designee.

This one makes sense, but is a law really necessary? And why do they specifically mention Chapin Memorial Library? Also, it's nice to know that one can get a permit for such activities. Read the full law here

  • Persons may not change clothes in a gas station without permission of the owner.

Changing clothes in public lavatories, etc. It shall be unlawful for any person to undress or to put on a bathing suit, change from a bathing suit to normal clothes or change from normal clothes to a bathing suit in any public lavatory or toilet room in the city without obtaining permission or consent from the owner or proprietor. (Code 1980, § 7-10-13)

  • No one may sleep on the beach at night.

Sleeping on public beach after 9:00 p.m. prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to sleep on the beach within the city between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and sunrise. (Code 1980, § 7-10-4)

The city also and is currently attacking the 'day time' sleepers as well.

  • Dogs may not be on the beach during the summer months during the daytime or the owner may be arrested.

Dogs on beaches prohibited certain times; animalsrestricted on Ocean Boulevard. (a) It shall be unlawful to allow any dog to be on the public beaches or boardwalks of the municipality from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the period from May 15 through September 15 of each year, except for assistance animals and law enforcement dogs. Owners shall be subject to arrest and the dogs may be impounded. (b) It shall be unlawful for an owner or keeper of any animal to take or permit the animal onto the right of way of Ocean Boulevard between 21st Ave. North and 13th Ave. South during the period from March 1st to September 30th of each year, except for the purpose of direct and expeditious crossing of the right of way. Owners shall be subject to arrest and the animal may be impounded.

So for those who take their dog on a stroll in the summer months on the Boulevard or the Boardwalk, guess what? You might be facing jail time! Yea! 

City laws from around the state:


  • The Fire Department may blow up your house. This law was made so that the fire department could create a firebreak..
  • It is against the law to drive a motorized vehicle on King Street.


  • Lifeguards must be present at apartment complex pools, but only after 11:00 PM. - smart.

Fountain Inn

  • Horses are to wear pants at all times.


  • The drinking age on Furman University campus is 60 years old.

Lancaster County

  • It is illegal to dance in public in Lancaster - honestly, not surprising they're all Footloose up there 


  • Eating watermelons in the Magnolia Street cemetery is forbidden.  Zombie's love watermelon, this is smart on their part. 

Checkout more dumb, silly, and crazy state laws over at DumbLaws.com.  They have international laws listed too. 


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