Razors, drugs, dangers in your Halloween candy? More likely an urban legend

Many of us grew up with our parents carefully combing through our trick-or-treat candy looking for signs of razor blades in the chocolate bars or drugs laced into the goodies, but a lot of experts now say: not likely.

An ongoing study by University of Delaware Sociologist Joel Best is one of many finding that cases of so-called ‘Halloween Sadism,’ or intentionally tampering with Halloween candy, are almost always debunked as pranks or exaggerations. At this point, many are calling it an urban legend.

In more recent years, warnings from police about pot-laced edible candies showing up in Trick-or-Treat buckets have become the more common concern year-to-year. However, the high price of such edibles makes that too an unlikely scenario.

“It probably occurred sometime, but I’ve never seen it,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly of tampered Halloween treats.


(Portland Press Herald)

That’s not saying it’s impossible.

Cases of tampered Halloween candy, while rare, have been documented in the past. Even in recent days, a report from a New Jersey township warned of a bag of Heroin showing up in a Trick-or-Treat bag.

Staly urged parents Wednesday to check their kids’ candy still for signs of tampering or anything that looks off. Afterall, he said it’s not like people are giving out apples and homemade goodies anymore. Just pull out anything that looks strange.

However, he said there are much more pressing safety concerns for parents ahead of Thursday night’s festivities.

At the top of the list: safety on the streets.

RELATED: How to check for sex offenders in your neighborhood before going trick-or-treating

Staly’s deputies are getting ready to put out large lights in popular Trick-or-Treating neighborhoods this year to help prevent kids getting hit by cars or other traffic issues. His office is also increasing patrols that night.

The National Safety Council reports children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.

Staly also warns parents to know the locations of sex offenders in their community and make sure their kids avoid those homes for safety.

Essentially he says: keep an eye on your kids on Halloween.

RELATED: Halloween-like holiday, 'National Trick or Treat Day,' sparks debate about proposed new date

“Don’t just send your kids out and tell them to come back with a load full of candy,” he said, “go out with your kids to make sure they’re safe; they don’t get in trouble.”