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The Myths Of Tampered Halloween Candy

THC, razorblades and poison are not as common as many think
Photo: FamVeld | Shutterstock

Growing up it seemed normal to have parents check Halloween candy for dangerous items and substances. But where did the myth of drug-laced candy and razor-blade-filled chocolate come from?

Kids worldwide look forward to Halloween, and various cultures celebrate similar holidays this time of year. But for several decades parents have been cautious about fatal incidents related to the candy given out. Trick-or-treating is something that kids look forward to, but many parents worry about. Even though many of these incidents are mostly a myth, there has been a past with tampered candy. 

Houston’s “Candyman” became a scary story around Halloween. But the case of the poisonous pixie sticks wasn’t a campfire tale. In 1974, Ronald O’Bryan gave pixie sticks to five children, including two of his own children, that were laced with cyanide. But incidents like this aren’t as common as many think. 

“Many, if not most, reports of Halloween sadism are of questionable authenticity,” sociologists and criminal justice experts Joel Best and Gerald T. Horiuchi said. The Razor Blade in the Apple review by the experts explains that the threat has been over-exaggerated and has turned into an ongoing fear. Best and Horiuchi believe that the fear initially came from the 1980s when Tylenol laced with cyanide was placed on store shelves. From there, became legends and stories of candy poisoning during the Halloween season. 

Today, it is more common to see THC and fentanyl warnings across social media. While there have been some instances of marijuana products that look like candy, it is not common to be given out during trick-or-treating festivities. 

While it is important to be wary of dangers, especially with children, the idea of dangerous Halloween candy is not something to worry too strongly about. If you, as a parent or guardian, see anything suspicious in regards to candy given out throw it out or report it to local law enforcement. 

You are still on time to some trick-or-treat fun! Check Local Profile's trick-or-treat guide to Collin County.