August 12, 2008
Razor blades in apples
This is probably the most famous "dangerous Halloween candy" story of them all. Most parents warn their kids not to touch fresh fruit they get trick-o-treating. Halloween razor blade stories began to replace poisoned candy stories in the mid-1960s.
Jack Santino, author of "Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life," wrote that in 1968 the New Jersey legislature passed a law mandating prison terms for people who boobytrapped apples. That year people found 13 apples with razor blades in them.
But Santino said the cases where more details are available indicate that about 75 percent were hoaxes, where the parents or the kids put the razors in themselves.
And another study tracked 80 cases of sharp objects in food since 1959 and almost all were hoaxes. Only 10 caused even a minor injury and the worst was a few stitches.