As Halloween approaches, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be hearing one or more popular Halloween urban legends. These tales are meant to add the air of fear and mystery that Halloween tends to evoke. And though many are meant to do just that, some can incite fear on a larger scale, evoking paranoia and even hysteria. Unfortunately, in some cases, there appears to be some nuggets of truth however, in actuality, people have used some of the following Halloween myths to mask their crimes.
Halloween Myth: Drug-laced or poisoned Halloween candy
I’m willing to bet that everyone has heard a variation of this one at some point in their life. Like mine, your parents probably insisted on “checking” your candy before you ate it because it might have been tampered with in some way. In reality, there has never been a genuine case of drug-laced or poisoned Halloween candy. Unfortunately, there have been cases of poisonings by relatives that were made to look random by making it look like this Halloween myth had come true.
Halloween 1994: A three year old toddler in Connecticut was diagnosed with cocaine poisoning. The assumed culprit, his Halloween candy, but no drugs were found on the leftover piece of candy.
On Nov. 2, 1970, a 5 year old lapsed into a coma and died of a heroin overdose. Analysis of some of his Halloween candy showed it had been sprinkled with heroin. Detroit police concluded the boy had gotten into his uncle’s heroin stash, and his family sprinkled the heroin on the child’s candy afterward in order to protect the uncle.
Halloween Myth: Booby-trapped Candy
This is probably the most famous “dangerous Halloween candy” story of them all. Most parents warn their kids not to touch fresh fruit they get when trick-or-treating on Halloween. Halloween razor blade stories began to replace poisoned candy stories in the mid-1960s.
In 2000 James Joseph Smith of Minneapolis allegedly put needles in Snickers bars and gave them out to kids on Halloween. A 14-year-old boy was pricked when he bit into the candy, but no one needed medical care. Smith was charged with one count of adulterating a substance with intent to cause death, harm or illness.
In 1968, perhaps sparked by recent legislation regarding booby-trapping apples and other food items, people found 13 apples with razor blades in them. But about 75% were hoaxes, where the parents or the kids put the razors in themselves.
Halloween Myth: Blue Star Tattoo Hoax
This Halloween myth is what scary stuff is made of. Every Halloween, emails, fliers, and school letters start circulating about drug dealers targeting children on Halloween. As the story goes, they use children’s popular cartoon characters or blue stars as designs for temporary tattoos and lace them with LSD. So, when the tattoo is applied to the skin, the LSD is then absorbed into the bloodstream and causing the children to experience hallucinations. However, there have never been any reported cases of poisoning by temporary tattoos on Halloween, so this is yet another one that goes down in the books as simply a Halloween myth.
Halloween Myth: Terrorism Strikes the Mall
Starting back in October of 2001, emails began to circulate that warned of an impending terrorist attack on local malls on Halloween. As the story goes, a friend of a friend was dating a man who was not from this country. He suddenly disappears with all of his belongings but, after a few days, emails or calls the woman saying that he can’t tell her why he left and begging her to promise that she will not go to the mall on Halloween. This email often circulates near or on Halloween and implies that there is some sort of impending terrorist attack on local malls. This tale has been proved to be yet another Halloween myth.
Halloween Myth: Halloween Haunted House of Death
Haunted houses are a huge part of the Halloween tradition and people are more than willing to pay to be scared for a few minutes. The urban legend of the five-level haunted houses is a scary story many tell as Halloween approaches. Although just another Halloween myth, the story goes as follows: if you go into the house, make it through all five levels, and out of the exit you will get your money back. However, no one has ever made it out of the exit and many teenagers have never come back at all. This is another popular Halloween tale of horror that has been heard in many a town across the country yet no confirmed case has ever been made.
If you or someone you love is seeking help for substance abuse or addiction please call toll free 1-800-951-6135