I keep hearing how parents should check their kids’ haul after trick-or-treating, but are there really any reported cases of poisoned candy or somesuch? Or is it something that just was blown out of proportion?
Yeah but seriously, you’d probably find the odds of being struck and killed by lightening about 1,000 times more likely. Where I live? About a bajillion times more likely.
I went to high school with a guy who would cut photos out of porn magazines, unwrap the candy and wrap it in the picture, then wrap the original wrapper over that, so I’m going to check my daughter’s candy.
Not that I’m worried much about it, I just want the porn.
We had items inserted in apples a couple of times over roughly 20 years. Since obody gives out apples anymore it becomes obvious who gives them out.
Back in the Bronze Age when I was a kid, it was very common for homemade cookies and candy and things like fresh apples and oranges to be given out as treats. No one gave it a second thought, and frankly, the homemade stuff was better.
When my kids started trick-or-treating, in the mid 80’s, it was right about the same time as the Tylenol tamperings and there were lots of stories and UL’s floating around about how a FOAF had discovered razor blades in apples or some other malicious prank.
From then on, it became an unwritten rule that you could only give out candy in the original factory wrapper. Anything else would be seized and destroyed by the parents.
[shity eyes] Yeah, DESTROYED. Straight into the garbage. Never eat any of it, especially the popcorn balls. (Mmmmmm, popcorn balls!) And those Snickers look mighty suspicious, too. [/shifty eyes]
When my wife was an xray tech back in the 80s the clinic manager thought it would be a good PR stunt to fluoroscope kids’ Halloween candy. Wife disagreed, pointing out that she was willing to risk exposure to death rays to help people’s health, but she drew the line at anything so frivolous.
We were always warned in the 70’s never to accept candy that wasn’t wrapped. Out trick or treating, I got an unwrapped lollipop at a house down the road. In my typical fashion, I ignored parental warnings and ate it. I got sick, though whether this was due to a stomach virus or an orgy of Halloween sugar overdosage rather than a poisoned sucker is unclear. But I still have nightmares about that house.
Flash forward a few years: News reports hit that in Lexington KY (where I lived at the time) some kids out trick or treating came home with pills in their bags (and not aspirin, we’re talking the kind the local dealer doles out). The parents, upon discovering the pills, flipped and said they were never sending their kids out again on Halloween.
This blows my mind. What was the point of it?
I remember being told as a kid (late 60s and 70s) to never accept any homemade stuff. I also dimly remember a service where a local hospital would Xray your candy. We never availed ourselves of that.
I hated the popcorn balls, though. I do remember (and not with fondness) a house where they gave you a “trick” instead of a treat. For 6 year old me–shy and scared of my own shadow, being jumped at by a very tall man (actually a male teenager who was a jerk) with a bloody mask on, screaming bloody murder was 1. not funny and 2. even more not funny when that was just phase one. As I turned to leave, another monster appeared and grabbed me. None of the other kids I was with thought this was funny. It’d be one thing if we had known these older boys, but we only knew them by sight–usually beating on their much smaller brothers. A good friend of these boys tried to drown me once in a neighbor’s swimming pool. Long story–not pretty. They were bullies and I sincerely hope they came to bad ends.
I didn’t T or T there after that.
I miss those days. There was a family just down the street who always made a huge production of Halloween treats. Every kid was invited inside and given a choice of hot cider or hot chocolate. You would then sit at big trestle table with the other couple dozen kids while you waited for your especially ordered homemade doughnut to come out of fryer. By the time you had finished your hot fresh doughnut you would be warm and refreshed, ready to go back out into the cold. It was the high point of every Halloween. And I can’t imagine that they do it anymore.
As a 10 year old I would have told you it was definately worth a few deaths a year so I could get my hot fresh doughnut.
But the link says that those kids who were given razor bladed stuff were either given them by people who knew them, or that they were specifically targeted and the “weird stuff in candy” was just a cover up. So it technically has happened, but is so overblown that it’s not a real threat, right?
We were warned about pins, needles and LSD-laced candy in the late 60’s early 70’s. Mom would inspect things, but let us have most of it. I think she’d cut open apples to look. Not much to be done about LSD. Man, that would have been cool!
You can still do something similar. When I was a kid, there was one neighbor we never saw. Never kept his yard up, didn’t seem to really leave the house, never did the neighborhood potlucks. But, Halloween was his night. On the driveway, he’d set out several buckets of factory wrapped candy, and a big trough filled with icy cold sodas (this was in Arizona, so cold drinks were awesome even in October at night). He’d have a TV playing a horror movie and would be chatting with everyone who came up.
It’s all about the attitude.
How could you possibly unwrap candy, wrap it in porn, then rewrap it so that it wasn’t blantantly obvious that it was tampered with?
As for pills, in the bag, that could’ve been a joke. No one would give out pills, 'cause the kids would certainly know. We used to know which people gave us crappy things, like a toothbrush or something. We’d remember someone thowing in pills. Unless they somehow hid it with a bunch of loose candy.
Even then it’s more likely the kid put the pills in their himself or his friends stuck them in there as a joke
I’m not in anyway discounting werido and things, but I’d wonder how many are just pranks
Yes, it’s a myth, or so close to one (single-digit number of occurrances) as makes no difference.
Joel Best, who actually studied it and could find NO instances of strangers tampering: http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/halloween/ss/halloween_7.htm
Same thing from yahoo news: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081031/sc_livescience/top5halloweenmythsdebunked
Many small town papers will have front-page articles on it each year, in which high schoolers (oddly, never younger children) find tampered candy…and the retraction a few days later when they admit to having put it there themselves will be on page 86.
This is second only to Satanic Ritual Child Abuse and Crop Circles as the great hoaxes that have entered the public consciousness and been believed – to the point that people alter their children’s behavior to avoid a non-existent danger.
Three Musketeers or Snickers were the most likely to be tampered with. So I made sure to eat them all to save my kid from potential harm. I hope he appreciates the sacrifice I made for him.
This is a sad commentary on a culture of people who have isolated themselves from their neighbors and learned to be suspicious of all “others.”
My wife and I set up a table in our front yard and hand out hot cider and doughnuts to parents and kids. It’s a great way to meet the folks in the neighborhood. The people who see us and scamper away because their first thought of such a sight is “Danger! Those People Want To Kill My Kids!”… I don’t need to meet them.
I know too many people who live in suburban neighborhoods and don’t know any of their neighbors.
What’s sad is people don’t know their neighbors before Halloween, and that people take their kids through neighborhoods where they don’t know anyone. There are parents who organize these van trips where they haul the kids miles away to the best “loot” areas, and that’s sad.