What kind of weirdo tampers with Halloween candy? Since the 1960s, the American media has deluged us every year with tales of terror from Halloween night. Check your damn candy for cyanide and razor blades and rabid marmots, because there's a high likelihood your neighbors are all extremely lazy, opportunistic killers who strike but once a year.
News of the dreaded Halloween scourge this year comes from Wisconsin, where children are being poisoned with methamphetamine! Or more accurately, one kid found a small bag of meth in his haul of candy after a Halloween event, and panic took over the story from there. It wasn't hidden in a Snickers or anything; it was a literal bag of meth. And it was one kid. So maybe some meth head is trying to kill a single kid in Wisconsin, or just as likely, some meth head lost his meth because he was all hopped up on meth and surrounded by three-foot-tall goblins begging for candy.
The bizarre fact of Halloween is that no one has ever been poisoned by Halloween candy from a stranger -- or at least no one took the time to tell law enforcement. Most of the panic stems from one very sad case in 1974, in which a father poisoned his own son with cyanide and then laced some other candy as a way to try to cover up his crime. That was it. One shitty dad killing his own child sparked an nationwide panic.
When it comes to actual tampered candy, there's a single legit instance that's ever been proven in our history, and it comes from the year 2000. A 49-year-old man hid needles in some chocolate bars, and one teen bit into one and got stabbed but didn't require any medical attention. The man was charged with "adulterating a substance with intent to cause death, harm or illness," and sentenced to have his ass kicked by Jack Skellington.
Any other stories you've heard of are, by and large, hoaxes. Often, like the tragic case from 1974, it's friends and family doing it to people as some kind of a prank. You know how you like to prank children by making them eat things that will slice them open? That old chestnut. Goddamn classic.
Despite the fact it's a generally debunked story, you can see literally every year the constant news items about the need to check your kid's candy and to warn your kids never to eat anything unpackaged or homemade, despite the fact that the only times this ever happens, even when it's a hoax, are with packaged, name-brand candies. You think those popcorn balls are gross, but they may be the safest damn thing you could ever get on Halloween. No old lady is going to all the trouble of making you a homemade snack just to load it with brad nails in the hopes you chip a tooth.
Is it going to hurt to actually look at the food you shove in your face before you eat it to make sure there isn't a band saw blade hanging out of it? Probably not. But don't get your kids all panicky and terrified for no legit reason based on one guy from 17 years ago who caused a minor inconvenience to someone because he was an asshole. Also, don't let them eat those popcorn balls. Super gross.
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