Bad Candy

Warnings of randomly poisoned or corrupted sweets is the stuff of scarelore...mostly.

10 Articles
  • Published 9 October 2019
10 Articles

Latent fears of deranged psychopaths tampering with kids’ Halloween treats have lingered among us for decades. Almost every year some news report highlights another variation and the legends go around again, leaving sweet trick-or-treating traditions with a sour aftertaste.

And not necessarily without good reason.

Although random candy poisonings are so far urban legends, many actual cases of corrupted confections involving pins, needles, or razor blades have been documented. As have cases of candy tainted with illegal substances (though it’s unclear if the candy was intended for children or just being used as a cover). Then there are the rumors that the manufacturers may be making the candies with unwanted ingredients in the first place.

While true incidents of harm done by candy are few and far between, our fear tends to grow out of proportion. Best way to wash it away? A generous helping of facts. And a good tooth-brushing at night’s end.

Pins and Needles in Halloween Candy

Pins, needles and razor blades been occasionally been found in trick-or-treaters' loot over the years.

Did Police Find Heroin Disguised as SweeTarts?

The Halloween holiday may have revived interest in an outdated and unsubstantiated warning.

Ecstasy in Halloween Candy?

Despite Facebook warnings, there's little reason to expect drug-laced Gummi bears and Ecstasy tablets will be found in kids' trick-or-treat bags this Halloween.

Mostly False
Poisoned Halloween Candy

Police have never documented actual cases of people randomly distributing poisoned goodies to children on Halloween.

Are Drug-Laced Suckers Being Handed Out to Children?

It appears a valid report about drugs confiscated by the police fell into the hands of someone with an active imagination.

Is Spray Candy Dangerous?

The drinking of any liquid can provoke a laryngospasm if the imbiber is trying to breathe at the same time.

Did Pop Rocks and Soda Kill ‘Little Mikey’?

A longtime rumor is still bubbling up.

Was a Tapeworm Found in Welch’s Fruit Snacks?

A viral Facebook claim about the supposed discovery of a parasite in a piece of Welch's Fruit Snack has not been verified.

Are Gummi Bears Made with Car Wax?

Carnauba wax is used to add an attractive sheen to everything from cars to candy -- including fruit-flavored snacks such as Gummi Bears.