We’ve all heard the scary stories.
And Halloween would be nothing without the tricks and, above all, wouldn’t be fun without a scare or two. That’s the allure of the terrifying tales that circulate around this beloved holiday and have taken on legendary status.
In any case, some of the 175 million Americans who celebrate this spooky holiday do take the Halloween pranks too far.
Here’s the truth behind some popular Halloween-based urban legends….
Really a lunatic has hidden razor blades in apples? 🍎😱
Probably you heard this story when you were a kid, and if you’re a parent now, you probably give the same warning to your own children: be careful what you eat on Halloween, because it might cut your mouth to shreds!
Thankfully, that’s very unlikely to happen.
And in fact, booby-trapped treats are largely an urban legend: the majority of those were actually pranks or fake news….
Is a real murderer behind that Ghostface mask?👻😰
First, there was Michael Myers. Then Jason. Then, nearly two decades later, Wes Craven’s horror smash Scream presented us with a new, instantly recognizable character: Ghostface.
And as result, of course, Halloween became a prime time to wear that mask (and for people to worry whether a real murderer was hiding behind one of them).
After all, if everyone is wearing one, how can you know who poses a threat to you?
Apparently, there were indeed a handful of murders after Scream came out that were inspired by the movie. In one, the killer wore a Ghostface mask while brutally stabbing his victim with kitchen knives.
The bottom line: you never know who is behind a mask, but thankfully, it’s usually just a harmless trick-or-treater….
Be careful! Your kid’s candy could be laced with drugs or poison… 🍬🧪
Maybe your crazy neighbor is tampering with children’s candy on Halloween.
This story really took hold in the 1980s, when someone put cyanide on store shelves.
Even though it was an unrelated incident, experts theorize that this Halloween-candy fear evolved as a way for parents to teach their children to be aware of stranger danger and to pay more attention to their surroundings.
In any case, in the very few cases when it actually happened (and yes, it actually happened), weird neighbors usually weren’t responsible. In one case, a child actually died of a congenital heart defect and, in another, a father poisoned his own son in order to collect on a life insurance policy. Still, it’s a good idea to make sure we only eat candy that comes in a sealed and unopened wrapper….
…and those temporary tattoos aren’t safe either! 😒
So…we aren’t supposed to indulge in Halloween candy, but neither assorted Halloween fun? Good grief!
According to this urban legend that’s been around since the 1970s, some drug dealers have put LSD into temporary tattoos. Why? Apparently, they’re trying to get new customers by tricking unsuspecting kids into trying the drug.
Another version of this tale added that the LSD is laced with the deadly poison strychnine. But it seems there has never been a verified case of this actually happening, even though some schools occasionally send out warnings when the rumors resurface….
And if apples you’re bobbing for have been poisoned? ☠️
Bobbing for apples is an old-school Halloween tradition and, originally, it was a kind of matchmaking game for young women.
Originally, there were several variations of the game in which a woman would supposedly learn the fate of her love life based on which apple she picked. But much like the poison-in-the-candy and razor-blade-in-the-apple myths, something went wrong…
And…you will summon Bloody Mary by saying her name three times? 🩸🤫
Say her name three times as you gaze directly into the mirror and…really, she will appear!
Admit it, you tried this at least once in your childhood, either on Halloween or on another night when you were having a sleepover with your schoolmates.
Thus, you waited for a creepy figure to show up to scare you but, of course, she never did. We probably don’t need to spell this out, but there is no Bloody Mary behind our mirror.
Historically, there was actually a real (and terrifying) Bloody Mary: Queen Mary I of England, who burned hundreds of Protestants at the stake, but she’s not at the root of this urban legend.
Be careful. Also killer clowns are on the loose… 🤡😅
Clowns have always been both a source of amusement (and fear).
Interestingly, did you know that the fear of clowns, or coulrophobia, is actually a common phobia also among adults?
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who was dubbed “the Killer Clown” because he sometimes dressed as a clown, is one reason that people may find clowns threatening. And Stephen King’s It certainly didn’t help their images either. But there’s more to it than that.
Experts believe the fear of clowns may be due to the uncanny effect in which people find things that “look human but aren’t quite there” extremely unsettling. To make things even scarier, in 2016, there was a strange outbreak of creepy clown sightings, from New York all the way to Florida. And this wasn’t an urban legend.
Yes. Clowns or kidnappers... 😓
The truth is that kids aren’t at a greater risk of being kidnapped on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year.
But this has happened, and those cases tend to get a lot (a lot, really a lot) of media attention.
And so, the fear of kidnappers on Halloween night has become so strong that it has inspired a new tradition: trunk-or-treat.
In Canada church groups were the first to start the activity, which limits trick-or-treating to a closed environment and subsequently makes the tradition safer for kids. Of course, more apprensive parents can also trick-or-treat with their children to make sure they stay safe.
Satanists sacrifice black cats on Halloween 👎🏼
In ancient and medieval times, some ritual sacrifices involved cats and other domestic animals.
And we all know that black cats have long been associated with bad luck and witchcraft. Luckily these days there’s no reports (and definitely no proof) that Satanic cults are roaming the streets, looking for black cats to sacrifice on Halloween or any other day.
However, animal experts say that you should worry more about the dangers that Halloween treats pose to your furry friends. Chocolate and candy can be toxic to them…
Images from web – Google Research