Halloween is a kid’s holiday nowadays. Oh sure, some of us more obsessive adults (especially myself) may still enjoy the festivities of dressing up, visiting haunted houses, having horror marathons, summoning the dead…but really, it’s marketed as a day for children. They put on their cute little outfits, grab their buckets and pillowcases, then terrorize local adults by demanding candy or promising pranks if candy is not delivered. It’s a magical time.
It’s also pretty dangerous. But, is it as dangerous as certain stories will have you believe? Do some adults really poison pixie sticks, stick razor blades in their apples, and round up local black cats for mass slaughter? Let’s consider these myths/stories and others, and consider the benefits of these tales.
Legend Number One: Your Kids’ Candy Might be Poisoned/Don’t Trust Strange Fruit
Look, there aren’t really any cases of this actually happening. There are movies, there are yearly articles in the local paper, and there are TV advisories. It’s believable though, because it’s possible. People always like to ‘debunk’ the candy myth, because the evidence is so scarce. There was a guy in ’74 who poisoned his own child with pixie sticks to collect the insurance, and he did indeed try to poison other kids too in order to make it look like there was a local madman doing the deed, but that’s one case…and it wasn’t even from a stranger. The rule of the myth is that it has to be random, not pre-meditated.
That doesn’t mean people don’t stick stuff in fruit, though. But when you consider it, any adult handing out nutritious things or pennies on Halloween is pretty sick. I wouldn’t put it past them to have something sneaky up their dastardly health-conscious sleeves.
The fact of the matter is this: check your kid’s candy. Not because of this myth being true or confirmed (which it statistically hasn’t been), but because someone will eventually decide to do it, and you can never be too careful when it comes from letting your kids eat things random strangers hand out to them. Don’t confiscate it if it’s safe, because that makes you a dick. Just be smart about it. As far as pennies go, don’t let your kids eat those…and the fruit? Wash it, cut it up, check it. That is, if your kid even wants to bother with the bruised apple that was probably sitting in some lazy guy’s pantry for the last 3 weeks.
Legend Number Two: Felix the Splat
If you’ve ever followed your local news, there are probably weekly issues with cats being beaten to death or maimed. Whether teenagers, kids, adults, whatever…some people are just sick. A lot of animal shelters refuse to adopt out black cats in October, just to be on the safe side. Now, online sources I’ve looked into say there isn’t enough evidence to support this…however, I’ve lived in neighborhoods where the black cat tradition proved true. I’ve gone to animal shelters where the people who worked there have seen it first-hand. So it’s either just a problem in the Central Texas area, or it is in some way true in other places as well.
The fact of the matter is this: If you have a black cat, there’s nothing wrong with keeping them indoors on October to be on the safe side. If you don’t like letting him or her inside, keep a kitty carrier, or maybe consider not getting a black cat next time you adopt. Frankly, no matter what the color, indoor cats statistically tend to live longer than outdoor cats anyway.
Legend Number Three: Bloody Mary
Don’t be stupid.
The fact of the matter is this: She doesn’t exist. Period. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Legend Number Four: Often, They Come Back
It’s not ectoplasm…it’s just a really bad ear infection.
Samhain/Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos/Hungry Ghost Festival, there’s a common theme that the veil between the living and the dead grows thinner. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of scientific studies that confirm this. There actually aren’t really any at all, otherwise it would be a world news sort of thing, and it wouldn’t be relegated to the land of legend and ‘I heard it from a friend who knew a guy who had a cousin’.
The fact of the matter is this: There are exorcists out there. There are mentally unsound people who pretty much believe they’re possessed. There’s no physical evidence of the dead being able to visit you this time of year, but is the risk of becoming a plaything of Satan/nutcase really worth it? That’s really your choice.