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There Are Many Ways to Die on Halloween

Before you put on your costume and go trick-or-treating, take some time to learn about all of the horrible ways that people have died on the official holiday of silly disguises.

Hannah Murphy

Halloween is so much more than a holiday where kids buy $50 costumes to get ten dollars worth of candy, or where teenagers stimulate their worthless lives by vandalizing their neighborhood with eggs and toilet paper. There's a lot more to it than drunken, slutty, adult costume parties, too. Really, unless you’re one of the lucky few who scored some free weed wrapped up in their Snickers bar, Halloween is a holiday with very little pay-off. That said, there’s a long and storied history of weird and horrifying deaths that have gone down on Halloween night. After an extensive amount of research that forced me to accumulate an incriminatingly morbid search history on my computer, I took it upon myself to compile all of the most bizarre Halloween fatalities this world has ever seen for you, reader.

Tampered Candy

Remember when your mom told you that she had to check all your candy, just in case the old man down the street decided to poison every trick-or-treater they could get their evil hands on? After looking into this candy-phobia, it turns out that no one wants a bunch of strange kids they barely know ending up dead and poisoned. The candy-poisoners just want specific kids dead.

The only cases of kids dying from poisoned Halloween treats that I found were from parents killing their own kids, and citing this bullshit scary neighbor myth to get away with it. One dad from Texas laced his 8-year-old son’s Pixie Stix with cyanide for a $40,000 life insurance policy—and gave the same poison candy to his five year-old daughter and at least three other kids, just to make it look like a random Halloween killing. Another family tried to cover up the fact that their son got into his uncle’s heroin stash by sprinkling more of it on his Halloween candy, so much so that he died of an overdose.  If your five year-old niece can easily find and consume your heroin stash, you’re a reprehensible junkie who is terrible at hiding things.

That said, razor blades and needles are much more commonly found in candy than poison. These sharp little surprises won’t kill you, but you may end up with a touch of painful facial disfiguration.

Demonic Worship/Human Sacrifice

Everybody always talks about the occult and satanic worshippers around Halloween, but nobody is really afraid of it except, maybe, the Pope. However, Halloween is also known as the Druidic New Year, which can only be celebrated by having a human bonfire, also known as a “bone fire.” While most of the Druidic’s human sacrifices are the members of the occult, sometimes, just for kicks, they get a sacrifice from someone totally unaffiliated.

You might be thinking that these are cases from the 70s, back from a time when everyone was crazy (see: Ted Bundy, disco, facial hair trends), but there are dozens of these cases from the past decade alone, two of which occurred (or were attempted) on Halloween. In 2008, a guy in Florida was allegedly sleeping with a Satan worshipper’s wife. The supposedly cuckolded husband tried to hire a hit-man to decapitate the guy with a Brazilian machete, and deliver a jar full of his blood to use in a ritual. The plan was foiled before the hit-man could strike. The presumably tedious pawn shop hunt for a genuine Brazilian machete is probably part of the reason they ran out of time.

In 2005, a janitor from a church in Cape Town was killed on Halloween. His body was mutilated and stabbed to resemble the injuries of Jesus Christ on the cross. The killer wrote “Satun” [sic] in the victim’s blood. With all the time he took to intricately destroy this man’s body, you’d think he would take the time to spell-check the name of the evil demon overlord that he’s committing the crime for.

Spontaneous Combustion

While the odds of you being sacrificed this Halloween are pretty low, there is a good chance you’ll be set ablaze in your store-bought Batman costume. Costume companies may seem like they have everything all figured out, and that they care about you, but your costume’s “flame resistant” label only means that you’re going to burn slower if you get tagged by the stream of a flamethrower.

With all the fire flickering out of Jack-o'-Lanterns and novelty Halloween candles, it’s really easy for part of your costume to light up when you brush past an open flame, especially for the princesses and super heroes with polyester capes and gowns. The materials that costumes are made of burn quickly. It only takes a matter of seconds, from the moment when you graze some sort of flame, to being totally engulfed in fire. Even though only a single death has been reported from costume combustion, children get lit up all the time and suffer serious burns.

Vandalism Retaliation

You can’t kill someone by throwing an egg at them, but they can kill you with a gun. In 2008, a teenager was shot and killed after he threw an egg at someone and his target chased him down. Another man was shot in the head when he got out of his car to confront some teenagers who threw eggs at his vehicle. You know how it is, stock your car up with eggs, toilet paper, and your handgun for some rambunctious teenage fun! Eggings can escalate pretty quickly and, since 1984, there have been 24 cases of someone getting killed or seriously injured by shootings, stabbings, beatings, or accidents related to eggings. People really don’t like getting egged.

If the eggings don’t lead to violence, you can still literally scare a man to death by pelting him with eggs. Some kids gave a guy a heart attack by egging his car. Teenagers fucking suck.

Horrible Misunderstandings

You may think that your neighbor’s porch will either be very well decorated with their cotton ball cobwebs, wacky gravestones, and dead bodies... or it’ll be completely barren of Halloween spirit. Well, there’s a third possibility. One guy just happened to die on his porch right around Halloween and was mistaken for a Halloween decoration. You’d think that with all of the hints that nature gives us, like decomposition and the horribly pungent smell that comes with it, that we would be able to tell a dead body from a goddamn dummy. But, no, people mistake dead bodies for Halloween decorations all the fucking time.

What says Halloween better than a woman hanging from a tree branch? Then there was the guy who came home to his family and thought they were all pulling a fast one on him, when he saw them massacred on the floor. You're wrong, guy. They’re dead.

Halloween. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

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