No, Your Neighbors are NOT Going to Give Your Trick or Treater Ecstasy

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I’ve been wanting to stick a stake through this latest HUM (Halloween Urban Myth) for a week now, but darned if Janelle at RenegadeMothering didn’t go and do a fantastic job of same, which some of you sent me. (Thanks!) Her post, “Dear Internet, Nobody’s Going to Put Ecstasy in Your Kids’ Candy” begins:

Okay, Internet. We have to talk. Again.

You must knock it right the fuck off with your timely and earnest warnings to “moms and dads” to BE ON THE LOOKOUT for Ecstasy pills that “look like candy” and may be put into their kids’ trick-or-treat bags.

What the hell is wrong with you?

Have you never done Ecstasy?

WHERE WERE YOU IN THE 90s?

Okay. Clearly we have different histories. No worries. I’m willing to share. Take a moment to follow me here.

Nobody is going to put Ecstasy in your kids’ fucking Halloween candy.

First, that’s a waste of Ecstasy. Ecstasy is expensive. Nobody gets it so they can dose children. WHERE’S THE FUN IN THAT? The whole point of Ecstasy is to relax in a cuddle puddle of 3-12 dear friends smoking cigarettes drinking vodka redbull and expressing deep adoration while stroking each other’s forearms.

NOT THAT I’VE EVER DONE IT.

No but seriously. Please. Pull it together.

They are also not going to accidentally give it to your kid. Why? Because people with drugs know what they look like. Very, very well. Ever get a Valium prescription? Yeah. That shit’s nice, right?

Would you ever confuse your Valium pills with Sweet Tarts and hand them to a tiny lion on your doorstep?

No. Of course you wouldn’t.

BECAUSE THAT IS NOT A THING.

What IS a thing is warning parents about non-existent dangers, including poisoned candy AND the idea that sex offenders choose this day to pounce on pint-sized goblins. Please remember that when actual researchers looked into this HUM, the information they gleaned led them to consider calling their paper, “Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year.”

So grab some Ecstasy candy corn and chill! – L

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If you think people are giving out Ecstasy to kids you must be high.

Anyone who thinks people are giving Ecstasy to trick or treaters must be high. (And P.S. This does not even look like normal candy!)

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80 Responses to No, Your Neighbors are NOT Going to Give Your Trick or Treater Ecstasy

  1. Caiti October 26, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    I truly can’t understand how people still believe this. Anyone who thinks that there was EVER an outbreak of people handing out drugs (or apples stuffed with razor blades) has to have been living under a rock for the past 30 years. I graduated high school at the end of the last century and this was something MY parents worried about, in fact I believe that’s when this myth got started because as a very small child we used to donate half our candy to kids in the hospital. And the hospital would give it to the kids, no problem, until one year when it was suddenly banned and considered dangerous.

  2. Sneeje October 26, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Blech. I think between Ecstasy and candy corn I might have to choose the Ecstasy.

  3. Donna October 26, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Even if you were to believe that people hand out drugs to kids for kicks why the heck would they choose to do it on Halloween? There are only two reasons to hand out free drugs to kids: (1) you get a perverse pleasure in watching kids wig out on drugs (like the people who give their dogs alcohol) or (2) you hope to addict the kids on the drugs to create customers. Neither of these goals are achieved by giving out drugs as Halloween candy.

    Kids do not consume each piece of candy on the giver’s porch, hence the trick or treat bags they all carry around. Halloween is pretty much grab-and-go so you can get the next house and collect the most amount of loot possible. As such, the kid will consume the candy after they leave your house, maybe even days or weeks later. You will not get to watch the kid react to the drug for your own pleasure. You will never even know if the kid ate the drugs, sold them to their dentist, sent them to soldiers overseas or threw them away. Creating new customers requires that the kids know what they are taking and where they got it, both of which are completely defeated by the nature of Halloween. And considering everyone is in costume, it may be a tad difficult to identify Superman a week later to ask if he liked the ecstasy and wants some more.

  4. clothespin October 26, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    KXAN news in Austin TX posted this “warning” on their Facebook feed this morning!!!

    I wrote a comment suggesting that it is not real news and that fear mongering posts should be removed. So far, it’s still there.

    As if anyone would ever confuse this with a Snickers.

  5. Neil M October 26, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Who gives out their drugs for free, anyway?

  6. Kris October 26, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    Wouldn’t drugs as candy be without a wrapper? Aren’t most drugs sold/given out without a wrapper? Don’t most parents (and kids) throw away the candy without wrappers? I mean, I don’t know much about drugs (a couple times trying pot back in the mid-90s, not my thing, avoided all drugs, even the Rx vicoden given to me after C-sections) but jeez, this bulls*** has got to stop!

  7. James Pollock October 26, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    “Who gives out their drugs for free, anyway?”

    Dealers, both legal and illegal, who hope to create future customers.
    Go talk to anyone who works in a medical office about the stuff the (legal) drug dealers give away.

  8. Emily October 26, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    I agree with the article, and with everyone’s comments, and also, I can’t imagine that ecstasy tastes very good. I mean, most drugs (of any variety) aren’t made to be palatable, so even if a child did mistake an ecstasy tablet for a Sweet-Tart, I’d think their most likely reaction would be “Eww, this tastes yucky,” and then they’d spit it out. So, leaving out the fact that ecstasy is illegal, prohibitively expensive to give away on Halloween, and most people don’t even want to harm children, why waste ecstasy on people who won’t like it?

  9. lollipoplover October 26, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    “The whole point of Ecstasy is to relax in a cuddle puddle of 3-12 dear friends smoking cigarettes drinking vodka redbull and expressing deep adoration while stroking each other’s forearms.”

    This is the best.

    My kids favorite part of Halloween is the trading of the candy after with all of their friends. Candy negotiations start when they line up all of their loot across the dining room table and trading for their favorites and casting off the gross candy and toothbrushes or crappy toys. They want Snickers bars. They like Skittles. No one eats loose candy. The want full size bars and fun size. Not Molly.

    If it’s not the Halloween sex offender maps of your local town circulating in social media, it’s scaring them to believe your neighbors want to poison our children. Or put out a teal pumpkin because that candy kills and just take the toy. (Though we do give out Skittles-nut and gluten free- for the allergic kids in our neighborhood).
    What other ways can we dangerize the distribution of candy to children on one night?

  10. Kathy Havins October 26, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    EVERY time I see this “warning” on Facebook I make a comment about expensive trick or treat candy. They tend to reply since it was reported on by the media so it “has to be true”.

    How stupid are people to think this is true?

  11. Sarah October 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    I decided a few years ago that I would risk wasting my time by making homemade cookies for Halloween treats, and I’m so glad I did. I took the one precaution of putting my address labels on the baggies in case anyone was concerned and wanted to check me out. But I’m thinking that this year I’ll save that step, too. Everyone who gets treats at my door gets so excited for the traditional Toll House recipe – they seem truly happy to have some variety in their bags. Most of my neighbors know me by now, and those who don’t are missing out on some awesome cookies if they feel they have to ditch them. I get to have the fun of making the cookies…

  12. Warren October 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

    To heck with this. We are planning on handing out bottles of Jack Daniels and cases of Molson Canadian. Teach the kids now, that you can’t shoot Jack without a good beer chaser. Figure Halloween should cost around 2 grand in handouts this year, but what the heck, it’s all about the kids. And if the kids don’t know what to do with it, we will hold a hands on tutorial later in the night.

  13. MichaelF October 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    I hope someone in my area is giving this away, I could use the amusement.

  14. LaMom October 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

    I’ve seen this crap in my facebook feed at least 3 or 4 times. I can’t believe people believe this BS.

  15. lollipoplover October 26, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    If it’s not Ecstasy, it’s pot. Apparently it’s hit billboards in Colorado, despite the lack of evidence it actually ever happened.

    http://www.thecannabist.co/2014/10/22/billboard-marijuana-halloween-edibles-colorado/21749/

    So you’re more likely to catch Ebola than get laced candy on Halloween. Where’s the panic over Ebola???

  16. James Pollock October 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    “Where’s the panic over Ebola???”

    Were you not paying attention during the great Ebola panic?

  17. Neil M October 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    James, if you’re right, then drug dealers give out free drugs to children they don’t know and who probably lack the money to buy more drugs. In addition, these children would presumably not know who had given them the drugs (they are mixed with candy, after all, and not clearly marked) and thus would not have the ability to find the dealer even after they’ve become maniac dope fiends.

    So this scheme involves giving free drugs to customers who can’t afford to buy more and who couldn’t find you even if they could. That’s one subtle marketing strategy, yes sir.

  18. Lois M October 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Sad to say, there is an actual danger to trick or treat ghosts and goblins. It is CARS! I wish that more news articles would center on this facet of trick-or-treating, and fewer on the non-existent dangers from people on the sex offender registry or candy that has razor blades or poison or drugs in it.
    The costumes which are brightly colored is preferred for visibility so that drivers will be able to see the child; and children need to be reminded that streets are still streets and children must not dart into them without watching for cars. It would help if police would patrol looking for unsafe drivers instead of making sure that registrants are not giving out candy.

  19. Emily Morris October 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    But, but, but Lois! Cars are important! We need cars! Don’t judge those poor cars that parents need to keep their children from being molested or drugged up on Halloween!

    Seriously, I witnessed an extremely close call last Halloween in front of my house where a kid was almost hit.

  20. Dolores October 26, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Sorry, but the language used would make me hesitate to take any advice from this writing. What are you approving of with this, it is not a language any of my friends or kids use, sorry, this completely turns me off.

  21. M. October 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Um, even if this did happen, which it most certainly would not because it defies all reason and logic, ecstacy tastes absolutely disgusting (I uh, heard). If a kid did put it in their mouth I guarantee it would be spat out ridiculously fast. This myth is so ridiculous for so many reasons I find it absolutely dumbfounding that anyone would believe it’s true.

  22. Warren October 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    The whole danger from cars has been made worse by the overall paranoia of parents these days. Parents are constantly sending their kids out earlier, putting them out on the streets at the same time as a lot of people returning home from work.

    We use to have dinner, then go out trick or treating. Now I see more and more kids out while people are not even home or just barely getting home from work.

  23. Jill October 26, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    Mercy sakes alive! The nice ladies in my knitting group who use Ecstacy all agree that they’d never give any to the little ones who come around on Halloween. That would be plain silly, gosh darn it!
    Halloween is a family fun time, time to teach children to worship Satan and listen to “heavy metal” music most of which is recorded by Satan, not for giving kids drugs!

  24. lollipoplover October 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    @Warren- I actually agree with Lois M.
    While Halloween is an especially safe night for the majority, there ARE a lot more cars on the road during trick-or-treat hours, which is at dark when kids are super excited and have varying degrees of *street sense*.
    Drivers beware.
    I absolutely loath the slow creeper cars of parents shadowing their kids and *watching* them from the car and driving them between developments. It’s kind of the only thing I truly worry about on Halloween- and watch out for the drunks! But my kids know the sidewalks and crosswalks better than most adults from commuting to school each day. It’s the added volume of festive Halloweeners that gives me the creepers. But it’s just something to give your kids the heads up on before you send them out.

    None of the parents I know of kids we trick-or-treat drive on Halloween night as it’s *custom* to let the big kids take the littles who never last that long. Most of the parents are back at the block party having cider by the bonfire. One or two dads will pull wagon with beer in the underseat cooler (brilliant) and then shuttle the tired kids back to the party by wagon (4 year-olds start out strong but oh do they fizzle fast). Our development is spread out and these kids can cover over 70 houses. They travel in such a big group on well-lit sidewalks so I
    honestly can’t see someone driving into that beehive of kids unless they were blotto.

    This should be a drinking game…drink every time this drug-laced candy HUM is posted as a warning on social media. I could do 3 tequila shots in the past two days! And drink to the human remains in hot dogs posting. That give your cancer. Hot dogs should be new poison food for Halloween. But those crescent mummy dogs are oh so cute.

    Warn the parents about keeping cars off the road. Now THAT will save lives. Or plan a local party if you want to drink to keep the drunk drivers off the road.

  25. Coasterfreak October 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    Our local paper – a little, tiny, 12 page affair because I live in a little, tiny town – has not warned of this specific threat this year, although I’ve seen it plenty of other places. What they did do, was advertise heavily against regular Trick Or Treating, and heavily for the city-sponsored Trunk Or Treat. Now, I have no problem with Trunk Or Treat for reasons not related to being terrified of your neighbors (for instance, when we set up a Trunk Or Treat a week ago for my kid’s HS marching band as part of their annual Halloween party because they have an out of town marching competition on Halloween), but of course, the article in the paper, which was long enough to take up nearly two full pages, presented it as a great way to teach our kids about Stranger Danger and keep them safe. It actually used those words. As if allowing your kid to Trick Or Treat was akin to allowing them to play russian roulette with five bullets in the chamber. You should have seen the long list of “nevers” and “don’ts” that accompanied the article. I wanted to tear the paper apart.

    I don’t understand why people so steadfastly refuse to believe that their neighbors aren’t just waiting for Halloween night to poison or otherwise harm their children when so far as I can tell there has not ever been an incident of such.

  26. MomOf8 October 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    The crap in the chocolate is probably worse for them than ecstasy. I mean, how many people hand out anything remotely natural? Gross.

  27. James Pollock October 26, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    “James, if you’re right”
    There’s no “if”. I’m always right.

    “then drug dealers give out free drugs to children they don’t know and who probably lack the money to buy more drugs.”
    Most drug users don’t have enough money to buy all the drugs they want. However, you seem to have my claim confused with someone else’s. I said “Go talk to anyone who works in a medical office about the stuff the (legal) drug dealers give away.” Very few children are employed in medical offices.

  28. Warren October 26, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    MomOf8,

    Remotely natural? It is HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Screw the apples, the granola bars and anything that could even remotely be confused for healthy. It is about candy and the junk food.

  29. Jim Collins October 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

    Warren,
    Where do you live? I’ll be the tall guy in the Darth Vader costume. My brother in law will be the stormtrooper. He’ll take the Jack and I’ll take the Molsen.

  30. Cheryl October 26, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Though there won’t be ecstasy in Halloween candy, there is ALWAYS the threat of poisoned, tampered with Halloween candy. It has actually happened at times over the yesrs. Do we need to be paranoid, no, but aware, cautious, always. It’s every parents responsibilty, in every situation.

  31. Warren October 26, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    lollipop,
    On Halloween, sunset is at 5:58pm. People start sending their kids out at least half and hour before that. Think about it, most people are just getting home between 5:30 and 6:30, making for more vehicles on the road. Kids should be heading out around 7 pm, avoiding the home commute. Less vehicles, less chances of pedestrians getting hit.

    As for the slow creepers, call the cops. Using their vehicles in such a manner is dangerous and they can be ticketed.

    I have had words with those creeper drivers, the same as I have had words with those sitting in their cars watching the Santa Claus Parade, and running the car so they can stay warm.

  32. Warren October 26, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    Cheryl,

    Quote your sources for those case of poisoned and tampered with candy, please. Lenore has educated us well on this in the past, and would love for you to prove your point.

  33. lollipoplover October 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

    “It’s every parents responsibilty, in every situation.”

    What about food-borne poisoning, tainted spinach and deadly caramel apples? Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Are the parents responsible for these kids getting sick on regular food too? Does every morsel of food or candy need to undergo meticulous inspection and deemed non-poisoning to meet your impossible parenting expectations?

    Here’s my parenting advise:
    Pick the chocolate! Get mom some Butterfingers and Twix bars for me to *inspect*. Eat the freshly made cotton candy at the house where the lady dresses up like a witch every year for the past 15 years and thank her loudly for doing this tradition every year. Have fun and get lots of candy to share with your parents.

  34. Rook October 26, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    I would have assumed crack would be the drug of choice to blame. All that sugar getting into those kiddies’ systems is bound to look like crack after a while! 😀

  35. lollipoplover October 26, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    I need to get off social media. Someone just posted a sign that’s at a local grocery store:

    “Due to safety concerns,
    we are not allowing the purchase of Eggs By Minors
    10/24/15-11/01/15
    Thank you,
    Management”

  36. Doug October 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Cheryl,

    As the kids say, “pics or it didn’t happen.”

  37. Tim October 26, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    When I was a child it was common knowledge that the meanest man in the world lived in the very next town, and he put razor blades in apples. This was about forty years ago, but he might still be there.

  38. Tim October 26, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    @Dolores, Agreed. We don’t need to be vulgar on a website that is ostensibly for civilized people and promotes family values.

  39. Yocheved October 26, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    I never understood the point of giving drugs to a stranger’s kid. I mean it’s not like you get the joy of watching the little darlings trip their asses off.

    If you’re going to get kids wasted, give it to your children, and have them pass it on to their friends during a play date. Pour a glass of mommy wine, and let the good times roll!

  40. Emily Morris October 26, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    I did a little bit of digging on this myth and the perceived risk.

    Yes, there do seem to be new tablets of ecstasy on the market that look rather candy-like.

    I’m not the least bit sure how this made the jump from “Save the Trick-or-Treaters from Drug Overdoses!”

    One article quoted an emergency room doctor who said the greater Halloween ecstasy danger was not to the costumed kiddos but to the teens and adults attending Halloween parties.

  41. James Pollock October 26, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

    The biggest danger is teenagers taking other people’s prescription medication like it’s candy. (Look what I found in the medicine chest!)

    Statistically speaking.

  42. olympia October 26, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    This is the updated version of the LSD-laced Mickey Mouse stamp we were warned about as kids. Anyone remember that? Apparently evil teenagers were going to entice us to lick it, before leaving us to our sordid, third grade acid trip. I was properly disgusted to find out none of this was true- although come to think of it, this is when I started questioning authority, which is certainly something.

  43. sigh October 26, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Oh, how I wish I could go to enough houses on Halloween and get someone to accidentally or willfully put their benzodiazepines in my bag instead of Sweet Tarts.

  44. Betsy in Michigan October 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    Cheryl – ” there is ALWAYS the threat of poisoned, tampered with Halloween candy. It has actually happened at times over the yesrs.” Nope – urban legends. Snopes covers it pretty well: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp

  45. James Pollock October 26, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    “there is ALWAYS the threat of poisoned, tampered with Halloween candy. It has actually happened at times over the yesrs.” Nope – urban legends.”

    The threat is always present, even if the actuality isn’t. As they say in all the investment ads, past performance is not a guarantee of future events.

    For several decades, the threat of nuclear war hung over the United States… even though the only nuclear war we were ever involved in, we did all the nuking. The threat of being involved in a car accident is always there, even for the most cautious of drivers.

    That’s not saying it’s something to spend a lot of time worrying over. It’s not. But the threat of tampered pain-relievers never occurred to anyone… until it did.

  46. Brooke October 26, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    People are so stupid and gullible. The irony here is that “street drugs” like ecstasy and marijuana, even LSD are less addictive and dangerous then pharmaceuticals like oxycotin which is fueling the heroin epidemic. Yet now it’s OK to prescribe it to 11 years olds now? Kids are much more likely to take a dangerous drug out of their parents or grandparents medicine cabinet.

  47. sexhysteria October 27, 2015 at 3:37 am #

    Years ago it was “razor blades in apples,” a false rumor that some sick journalist spread and successfully terrorized parents for 30 years before a researcher analyzed the crime reports for all 50 states and found no such thing ever happened in real life.

  48. pentamom October 27, 2015 at 9:04 am #

    I wonder if this isn’t more concern theater. Consider it rationally: it people were *really* afraid that their neighbors were going to poison their kids, they would only let their kids trick or treat at the houses of the neighbors they actually knew, and they’d have pretty lousy relationships with the ones they did know if they went around generally fearing that any of them might actually poison their kids.

    Given that people actually aren’t afraid to send their kids out trick or treating (for the most part), and realizing that even “trunk or treat” or other arrangements where the treats are provided by anyone other than themselves is not logically immune to people poisoning their kids if they really wanted to, it seems like the only answer is that people aren’t actually *really* afraid of their kids being poisoned, it just makes them feel responsible to worry about it and share warnings.

  49. pentamom October 27, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    It’s not entirely true that there has never been any reported tampering at all.

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/12914/brief-history-sick-people-tampering-halloween-candy

    That’s just to set the record straight, though. This should no more be a conscious fear that motivates behavior, than people should be afraid of going to homecoming parades because of the horrible incident last week.

  50. Emily October 27, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    I’m going to call shenanigans on the whole “razor blades in apples” thing. Even 40 years ago, when razor blades were easier to find (now it’s all plastic Bic razors and whatnot), I think it’d be awfully hard to shove a razor blade in an apple without cutting oneself, and also make it so that the apple doesn’t look obviously mangled, and repeat this process for however many apples you put out for Halloween. Gloves might protect the hands while inserting the razor blades, but they’d be a hindrance to this delicate task. So, I’m thinking that, in most cases, an apple in a child’s Halloween bag is just an apple, and perfectly fine to eat. Cut it into slices if you’re so scared.

  51. James Pollock October 27, 2015 at 9:23 am #

    “Given that people actually aren’t afraid to send their kids out trick or treating (for the most part)”

    Don’t know that it’s because the parents are afraid, but there are a LOT fewer trick-or-treaters out there than there used to be.

  52. pentamom October 27, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    There are a lot fewer kids than there used to be, and as I noted, there are those other alternatives like trunk or treat or supervised parties. But as I said, if parents were both rational and genuinely fearful that their kids were in real danger, the alternatives would come under suspicion as well. One way or the other, though, relatively few parents entirely forbid their kids from taking candy from sources other than their own parents at Halloween time.

  53. Barry Lederman October 27, 2015 at 10:33 am #

    I’ve been hearing on the radio here in San Diego, something about requiring or wanting to require Registered Sex Offenders to post a sign on their front doors on Halloween that a RSO lives there. Has anybody heard about this?

  54. Xena_Rulz October 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    hahahahahahahahaha, how right you are! Nobody is gonna give away that Valium!

  55. Xena_Rulz October 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    And last year in Colorado was the first year pot was legal at Halloween time, and there were no, count ’em no, reported incidents of kids being given pot-laced treats.

  56. James Pollock October 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    “And last year in Colorado was the first year pot was legal at Halloween time, and there were no, count ’em no, reported incidents of kids being given pot-laced treats.”

    Well, if it didn’t happen in one state in the first year, obviously it can never happen in any states at any time.

    (My local non-daily paper offered up a warning about how much Advil looks like an M&M (which it does not). With a photo, to show you how much they look alike (they do not).

    I feel sorry for the kid who gets an Advil and thinks he’s getting something “cool”.

  57. Emily October 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Pentamom, I think the trunk or treat scares parents less than regular trick or treat, because it’s light out, and it’s a shorter event, so it’s easier to see and remember that, say, the Skittles were from Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the red Ford, the youth pastor gave out potato chips, and Dr. Jones gave out toothbrushes, because he’s a dentist. So, people would presumably be less likely to try to pull something nefarious there, so they see it as the safer option, even though it makes Halloween much less fun. Supervised parties for the elementary school set are usually either going to be at a public venue (school, church, YMCA, whatever), or you’ll know the host parents. Most parents aren’t paranoid enough to think that the principal, their kid’s friend’s mom, or Brenda the Brownie leader are slipping ecstasy into the cupcakes at the Halloween party, so they happily send their kids. Of course, most people don’t tamper with the treats they put out for regular trick-or-treat either, so sending kids door-to-door would likely have the same effect as taking them to trunk or treat or a party, except they’d burn some calories and gain some confidence in the process.

  58. Emily October 27, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    P.S., I never understood dentists giving out toothbrushes on Halloween. If they had any business sense, they’d give out peanut brittle, Laffy Taffy, Mackintosh’s toffee, and business cards. If giving out lollipops after checkups doesn’t violate the Hippocratic Oath, this surely wouldn’t either.

  59. James Pollock October 27, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    “I never understood dentists giving out toothbrushes on Halloween. If they had any business sense, they’d give out peanut brittle, Laffy Taffy, Mackintosh’s toffee, and business cards.”

    Are you kidding, they have a perfect set up. Everyone else gives the kids the candy, the dentist can be the one who’s trying to help. They get the toothbrushes either free or heavily subsidized (they’ve got cases of them on hand). And they’ve got parents bringing in their kids every six months whether they think anything’s wrong or not.

    If gyms catered to kids, they’d be in on the racket, too… giving out free 1-day passes. As parents let their kids go outside and exercise less and less, I think that’s in the future… if trick-or-treating doesn’t die out entirely first.

  60. Janet October 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    Cheryl had mentioned that there have been cases of Halloween candy being tampered with, and I thought that was a well known fact. Someone asked Cheryl for evidence, so I looked it up. Snopes goes into great detail. Of course we should be cautious when complete strangers give candy to kids. We don’t have to be paranoid, but a normal amount of caution makes sense.Here is the Snopes link: http://www.snopes.com/horrors/mayhem/needles.asp

  61. Donna October 27, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    “Of course we should be cautious when complete strangers give candy to kids. We don’t have to be paranoid, but a normal amount of caution makes sense.”

    What is the “normal” amount of caution for complete strangers giving candy to kids on Halloween?

    While I could possibly see some slight caution being called for if a complete stranger was randomly handing your child candy, other people, generally adults, giving children, most often children they don’t know, candy is actually the main festivity of Halloween. There is really no other point to Halloween. Yes, adults have co-opted the day for some of their own fun, but at the main focus is still kids going door-to-door asking complete strangers for candy and those strangers giving it to them. I am not sure why any caution should be considered normal when adults are simply fulfilling their end of the Halloween contract by giving your child the candy he asks for and is anticipating when he rings the doorbell.

  62. Emily October 27, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Actually, James, I’m pretty sure some family gyms do offer things like gym-and-swim passes for kids at Halloween for trick-or-treat, and at Christmas for stocking stuffers. It’s a good idea in theory, but our YMCA now requires kids to be accompanied in the pool by an adult until they’re sixteen (not sure of the exact rules, but I do know that swimming ability isn’t a factor :-\). So, a swim pass would be useless to a child whose parent was unable or unwilling to swim too, and a gym pass would probably at least require the parent to drive the child there, depending on their proximity to the Y. So, if you’re going to go the non-candy route, at least pick something the child can use independently, like crayons, Silly Putty, bouncy balls, jacks, marbles, playing cards, hair accessories (for girls), plastic vampire fangs (for either), or maybe glow sticks. Kids think they’re fun, and adults like them because they increase visibility.

  63. Emily October 27, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, I think the minimum age to be unsupervised in the YMCA proper is either 10 or 12, so, most kids who trick-or-treat are younger than that. So, it’s not like a child could just go and enjoy their day of YMCA fun without an adult, whether they planned to swim or not. The day pass fee for a non-member adult is nine dollars, which would, of course, defeat the purpose of a “free” YMCA pass for a child.

  64. Jessica October 28, 2015 at 1:32 am #

    Cracked had a photoplasty contest a whole back that explored the ridiculous amount of prep/effort/time it would really take characters in the movies to actually set certain scenes. It’s a lot like what we’re doing here. Who gives drugs to kids on Halloween? Isn’t that awfully expensive with a low rate of return? How does one actually get razor blades into apples? Are trunk or treats safer, or does it simply means my kids get double candy and I get double the fight trying to hide it?Does keeping sex offenders from participating in Halloween make anyone safer, or does it just make the street a little darker and serve to further isolate them from the community, increasing their chances of recidivism?

    As an aside, it just occurred to me that I never went to a church Halloween party as a kid and the only day I wore my costume was Halloween itself. This year, my kids could potentially wear their costumes three times.

  65. Momica October 28, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    Wayne you forgot to leave your address so we can be sure to stop by your house. Jack with a beer chaser would be perfect on a cold Halloween night!

    I think in most places there are curfews on Halloween. These days malls and community businesses, along with college campuses are inviting kids to come for trick or treating. I live on a side street and the kids are out as early as 3:30, but most of them just go to the main street because the fire dept has cider and donuts and all the businesses have candy for them. It’s not the same Halloween as it was 30 or 40 years ago when some of the teenagers were roaming around causing trouble.

  66. lollipoplover October 28, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    I had to share this most awesome video about candy trading on Halloween. Oral fixation candies like candy buttons as gateway drugs like ecstasy in college. Love it.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewgauthier/the-definitive-guide-to-trading-halloween-candy#.nt79k6zw7

  67. pentamom October 28, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Emily, that’s true, we can think up ways in which Trunk or Treat et al might be safer, but if you really, really thought there were people out there motivated to injure/poison your kid with candy, you’d be able to come up with ways in which people could get around that in the context of Trunk or Treat as well.

    Which is why my conclusion is that people don’t *really* believe that anyone wants to poison their kids, they just want to consider themselves aware and concerned enough to worry about it.

  68. James Pollock October 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    “if you really, really thought there were people out there motivated to injure/poison your kid with candy, you’d be able to come up with ways in which people could get around that in the context of Trunk or Treat as well.”

    You don’t have to think they want to do it on purpose. I don’t think restaurant-owners want to poison me, but I’m not going to the one who failed their inspection.

    If someone really, really wanted to harm random strangers, the tampered Tylenol scare from 80’s shows that you can’t necessarily trust sealed, store-bought candy, either.

    On the other hand, if someone really wanted to harm children on Halloween, there’s a much easier way to do it. Several, actually.

  69. Emily October 28, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Okay, I was wrong; it’s just under-tens who need to be supervised in the pool by someone aged 16 or older at our Y. There’s a smaller supervision ratio for under-sixes, and kids aged ten and up can swim unsupervised according to their ability, but the fact remains that a lot of trick-or-treaters are under ten, and most parents wouldn’t let their ten-year-olds walk to the YMCA unsupervised anyway (I would, if it was within walking distance), so the fact remains that a gym and swim pass isn’t a great Halloween treat or stocking stuffer to give a child, because there’s no guarantee that they’ll ever get to use it.

  70. Warren October 28, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    Wow, the people of the US love their rules, regulations, laws and control. Curfew on Halloween? That is insane.

  71. Kate October 30, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    Not always s myth… My niece had prescription meds found in her candy last year!

  72. Kristin M October 30, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

    I just found this site tonight (all hallow’s eve eve), after looking up the definition of “trunk or treat” (what a waste of childhood). I am a FRP and my SO is a helicopter. Ugh. Our daughter is my second and his first. This article (and most of the others I’ve read so far) made me laugh my ass off. Thanks for a new community I can come to to laugh, learn, and remember I’m not the crazy one in this relationship.

  73. Kimberly October 30, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

    Best video ever in regards to the idea that Halloween candy is dangerous.

    https://www.facebook.com/HuffingtonPost/videos/10153446862446130/?fref=nf

  74. Tali October 31, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    This comes from something that happened in the 70s. Some adults had a party and they had lsd laced candy bars and someone mixed up the party candy with the Halloween candy. This could still happen, but that’s why people throw away any candy that looks like it was opened. That being said, nobody gives out drugs to kids on purpose, even the one time it happened was clearly an accident. The razorblade apples came from an 80’s movie, Night Of the Demons, and I don’t know who thought that was real…

  75. CrazyCatLady November 1, 2015 at 12:03 am #

    Halloween #14 with kids, and at least 14 more when I was a kid….still no drugs in the candy. Or razor blades, needles or pins.

  76. Emilia November 1, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    I suppose this is why only three or four kids turned up yesterday evening, despite me decorating the porch and buying a shedload of the best candy to give out. I was disappointed, as I like seeing them in their cute outfits and most of them are polite. It’s sad. I won’t be bothering again. It makes me upset to think anyone would even imagine I’d hand out drugged/poisoned candy.
    So these idiots have ruined Halloween now.

  77. Rachel November 2, 2015 at 6:46 am #

    Chocolate and sugar candies are expensive! And now the fear-mongers what me to think that some millionaire is running around getting scripts for meds to put in a child’s Halloween bag!
    I wanna know what these chicken little’s are smoking!

  78. BBC November 2, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    You may not believe this, but every Butterfinger item my daughter brought home Saturday night had to be removed as a potential hazard. My husband declared all of the Snickers bars a danger as well and disposed of those. The gross Milk Duds looked pretty safe.

  79. LaMom November 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    And no ones sticking needles in candy!! I called BS on this when I first heard it.
    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/563ce124e4b0411d3070c7ab?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000025&section=weird-news