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Online: Just how likely are you to find a razor blade in your candy?

by Shannon Reagan - The Stylus
Tue, Oct 24th 2017 11:00 am
Photo taken from Nick Klein's Flickr
Many parents worry about people sneaking razor blades into their kids' candy.
Photo taken from Nick Klein's Flickr Many parents worry about people sneaking razor blades into their kids' candy.

Halloween is just around the corner and many are excited about the festivities that come along with the holiday from dressing up to the free candy from strangers. However, strangers can mean danger and we’re taught at a young age to never accept candy from strangers. There are many Halloween safety tips that are repeated year after year. One of the tips that is reiterated time and time again  is checking candy over to make sure it has not been tampered with. The rumor involves sharp objects added into the candy, to trick the recipient instead of treat them.

According to Mental Floss, there have been about 80 reports of this happening to food in general. Many of the reports however, ended up being false hoaxes that would become a part of an urban legend. While many reports are now considered to be just that  there are also some real cases, but most of them have a catch of some kind. The majority of the instances which ended up being true were done by someone close such as a relative or friend that thought it would be a fantastic prank to pull.

While the prank is dangerous, it will likely result in stitches rather than death. In fact, there has never been a fatal outcome from these cases. It is still not an ideal situation, and is reason enough for parents to take a look over the candy their children bring home.

These rumors have been taking place since around the late 50s and have been in circulation since. According to Snopes, these concerns of tampering have become slightly sensationalized over the years.

“Halloween of 1982 was the year it all went crazy. That year saw a number of tragic and random non-Halloween poisonings of both foodstuffs and medicines, including the Tylenol poisonings that killed seven people,” according to Snopes’ article.

The Tylenol incidents were so relevant at the time, that the concern that there may be razor blades amongst the Starbursts, Jolly Ranchers and sugar sticks was much greater. The paranoia in some families was so great that they just stopped trick-or-treating altogether. Senior, Benjamin Miles stopped after hearing about the cases in the news and from friends. However, this was not the case for everyone. Senior Maeve McClusky remembers something a little different.

“Sometimes I have heard there will be needles in candies when you go trick-or-treating, but whenever I have gone I never had any needles or anything in my candy. It was never a massive concern of me or my parents really,” McClusky said.

In the end many tampering incidents have involved someone that is close to the child. According to Mental Floss, a young boy died from consuming heroin which was believed to have been mixed in with his candy. This did not end up being the case. The family of the boy, not some stranger, mixed the drug into his Halloween candy to try to trick law enforcement.

While it is not impossible that candy will be tampered with this Halloween, it is very unlikely someone out of the blue will do so just to torture children. It is still a smart idea to take precautions and check Halloween night’s haul over, but in reality the chances of there being anything dangerous mixed in with the tasty treats is very low and the legend of razor blades in your candy will stay just that: an urban legend.

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