A sociology professor says all those images that pop up on social media showing Halloween candy with razor blades and drugs aren't really a legitimate concern.
Joel Best at the University of Delaware has been looking into these reported incidents since the ‘80s. That was the decade when so many of these reports started getting attention.
Best says since then, there have been zero cases of children dying from eating contaminated treats from Halloween.
His report, “Halloween Sadism,” goes through each incident where a child allegedly died.
Best did find out that in some of these cases, children happened to die from natural causes right around Halloween.
In one case, a father used the hysteria about tainted treats to hide his son's death.
Medical articles have also disputed some of these claims.
Best says these “legends” come up every year because they're the perfect Halloween story.
“Halloween's a night when you send your children, who you love, out into the world, and they're going to encounter strangers and that's a little bit scary,” Best says. “And, of course, the theme of Halloween is that it's supposed to be scary. We've stopped worrying about goblins so much. But we believe in criminals, so we worry that criminals are going to attack our children.”
Something else that makes it a good legend is people can actually do something about it. Parents can choose to inspect their children's treats or just not let them go out on Halloween.
This isn't to say Halloween is totally safe. There are still hazards out there, but they likely don't come from treats. Rather, Best says, it's sending children out into the street in the dark that poses a danger.