Police in the Columbus, Ohio suburbs issued a warning to all parents last night: remember to check your children's candy for razor blades.
No, this isn't based on the old urban legend. It actually happened: Someone apparently put a razor blade in a Snickers bar.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, an unidentified child was trick-or-treating in the suburban town of Reynoldsburg, but Lt. Shane Mauger said they did not know from which house the candy originated and the police had "no reason to believe the situation was a hoax." The child's parent "noticed something in the candy" while the children were looking through their haul after returning home.
"The child went to bite into the Snicker's and it didn't feel right, so they stopped and noticed an object in it, which appeared to be a disposable razor blade," Mauger told USA TODAY Network.
Mauger said he believed the situation was isolated. "This is the first time in 19 years that I've handled anything like this," he said.
Finding a razor blade in your candy is thought to be an urban legend, but it's not, at least according to Snopes. Almost all cases of a needle or razor blade ending up in candy are the result of a prank—either to "freak out" a sibling or parents, or a community. The only actual case that led to a conviction seems to be one from Minneapolis in 2000 where no one was hurt. Coincidentally, that case also involved a Snickers bar.
In 1974, a child in Houston was killed by poison candy, consuming cyanide-laced Pixi Stix. Sadly, it was the boy's father, not a random boogeyman, who was responsible.
You may also be wondering: Why did a child almost consume tampered with Halloween candy two days before Halloween? Ohio is one of several states that celebrates Halloween trick-or-treating, or Beggar's Night, on the Thursday before Halloween. In the 1950s, a Halloween night party in downtown Columbus grew so rowdy that a different night was needed for candy collection. After switching back to Oct. 31 for a while in the 2000s, the state observed October 31 until Halloween fell on a Friday in 2008, upsetting people who had to pick between candy and high school football. So, finally:
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission came back to the matter the next year, passing a resolution that trick-or-treating should take place on Oct. 31, unless the date fell on a Friday or weekend. In that case, it would be held on the preceding Thursday.
Anyway: Parents are unlikely to find anything in their kid's Halloween candy, but they should just check to make sure. It could hurt not to.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org