Trick or Truth?


Sadistic minds could have made this Halloween an actual scary evening.

America is full of fear as rumors resurfaced of poisoned, tainted, and even deadly Halloween candy being distributed every year.

There have been reports of candies that include sharp objects such as needles, razor blades, and broken glass hidden inside them.

Stories of “Halloween savagery” started in the 1970’s after a wave of Tylenol poisonings where acetaminophen spiked with cyanide was distributed to stores all over the US.
Most of the paranoia that lingers is due to the fact that this case remains unsolved.

America’s current fentanyl crisis is killing more people than ever; and due to rainbow fentanyl’s “candy-like appearance,” families are worried that it is made to look like a treat to young children.

Joel Best, a sociology and criminal justice professor at the University of Delaware who has spent decades studying the scare of tainted Halloween treats says he doesn’t expect this to happen.

“This is idiotic,” Best said. “Nobody’s going to give it away to small children.”

So the question is: Are these real-life issues or just paranoid parents?

Gerald T. Horiuchi, sociologist and criminal justice expert said that “many, if not most, reports of Halloween sadism are of questionable authenticity.”

Extensive research has concluded that not only is the threat greatly exaggerated, but it is loosely linked to Halloween itself.

Despite this information, fears of Halloween sadism continue to spark every year around the upcoming holiday.

One of the main sources of worry comes from a case of a father poisoning his own child’s Halloween candy and killing his son.

W. Scott Poole, a professor of history at the College of Charleston, said that “on Oct. 31, 1974, a child died in Houston…the death was a result of eating poisoned candy…The child’s father had murdered his own son by placing cyanide in a pixie stick.”

This is the only incident in America ever recorded of a child dying from poisoned candy.

In 1984, “O’Bryan was found guilty of capital murder and four counts of attempted murder. He was given a death sentence and was executed” Poole said.

Despite this not being related to Halloween itself, it took place on Halloween, resulting in parents frantically searching their children’s Halloween candy for anything suspicious.

Some families decided to discard their children’s Halloween candy entirely.

In 2019, Colerain Township police said that “two Ohioans said they found razor blades in the packaging of chocolate candy on Halloween…one of them received stitches after cutting themselves on the blade.”

However, the source of these hidden razor blades was never discovered.

The mystery surrounding these disturbances does little to relieve Americans’ concern for the safety of their children.

Hospitals advised X-raying Halloween candy to ensure there was nothing hidden in them; while some communities banned trick-or-treating altogether.

The most unsettling aspect of these incidents is that there is little to no proof to support them, which leads them to be dropped by all authorities.

“I have been unable to find any evidence that any child has been killed or seriously injured by a contaminated treat picked up in the course of trick-or-treating,” said Joel Best, a sociology and criminal justice professor at the University of Delaware.

Even while the rumors persist, many individuals have concluded that these occurrences are nothing more than an urban legend.