Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Horrors: Razor Blade found in Candy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio (My Town)

Since I was little, back in the 70s (and for a long time before), there have been stories about tainted Halloween treats. Well-meaning neighbors would make caramel apples, popcorn balls and other homemade treats, only to have parents chuck them in the garbage, in the unlikely event that they contained needles, poisons, razor blades or other potentially  lethal items.

Everyone heard stories, but no one believed them. Parents would rifle through our candy sacks (usually a pillowcase), in the name of finding tears or needle pricks in the wrappers, but really just to steal the best chocolate. The rare occasions when there would be an actual case of tainted goodies would invariably turn out to be a hoax or a prank, either by a kid or a parent looking to scare people or garner attention. If you check out, they back me up on this.

But, especially after the Tylenol scare in the early 1980s, communities started changing Halloween. They'd have X-ray machines to run candy through, they'd hold mass indoor events instead of allowing trick-or-treating, they'd hold "trunk or treat" events, where kids got candy out of the backs of people's cars (and my, my, folks, doesn't that sound like a perfectly idiotic idea to teach kids?). A lot of over-the-top "safety" over a handful of mostly urban legends and hoaxes.

Well, last night it happened not only in the state of Ohio--where I recently returned after 20 years in Las Vegas--but right down the street from me. Seriously, we walk the area almost daily. It's a legit case, insofar as the Reynoldsburg police are treating it seriously, and there are actual photos of the Snickers bar with what looks like the razor blade from a disposable safety razor inside. But, I smell a rat. There was one piece of tainted candy found, period. That doesn't sound like a crazed lunatic trying to hurt people to me. It sounds like almost every other case like this, like a hoax or a prank gone too far. I'd lay money on it.

For the record: yes, central Ohio has "Beggars Nights," on various dates ahead of Halloween, a tradition dating back to the 1950s (with several origin theories). And no, I didn't pass out Snickers bars from my house, only Kit-Kats and Twix. Honest!


Reynoldsburg police: Razor blade found in Halloween candy

Reynoldsburg police are asking parents of children who trick-or-treated in the suburb to check all candy tonight, after a razor blade was found in a candy bar. Lt. Shane Mauger said police have no reason to believe the situation was a hoax. He said that the razor blade was in a Snickers bar. . .

Read more at: Columbus Dispatch

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