The Myth of Poisoned Candy and Where it’s From

Jon Gerena, Staff


It’s a well known fact that any piece of candy in someone’s bag could be laced with ricin or razorblades. Or at least that’s what your parents told you growing up. And while it’s probably still not a good idea to eat open candy, it’s more because of bacteria then poison.

Most fears about poisoned candy stem from one case in particular wherein a man named Ronald O’Brian gave cyanide laced pixie sticks to five children. However disproves this in this quote, The most infamous Halloween poisoning took place on October 31, 1974. That’s when a Texas man named Ronald O’Bryan gave cyanide-laced pixie sticks to five children, including his son. The other children never ate the candy, but his eight-year-old son, Timothy, did—and died soon after.

Though nobody saw O’Bryan put the cyanide in the candy, investigators learned that O’Bryan had recently taken life insurance policies out on his children. He was convicted of murder and executed via lethal injection in 1984”. As you can see, the murder of his son was not induced by some weird sadism, it was simple insurance fraud to escape debt. 

In conclusion, no, your friends or cousin’s candy won’t be poisoned, and while it is good to practice safety, fear mongering over nothing like this is a big problem in America today and leads to people living in fear for no reason, and if any future parents are reading, please don’t spend an hour picking through your child’s candy.