Halloween Research

Nov 02 2013

Retailers are hoping that Halloween weekend will scare up some business….Thursday night was Halloween, but Americans have turned it into such an over-the-top celebration, parties will roll on through the weekend, and some haunted houses will still be open for business well into November. Retailers now think of Halloween as a stimulus program, and I don’t mean just from all the sugar. But it’ll take a pretty big lightning bolt to reanimate our zombie-like economy. The National Retail Federation surveyed Americans in September and found that a quarter planned to spend less this Halloween. But retailers are optimistic that as Halloween grew closer, people would get swept up in the celebration and forget their tight budgets. We’ll soon find out if that was true. Or if they couldn’t afford any treats after finding that nasty trick in their new health insurance bills.

If you’re a parent, there’s a good chance you spent Halloween night inspecting all the candy your kids brought home, and separating it out into two piles: safe to eat, and too suspect. Of course, “suspect” might mean you suspect it’s too tasty for the kids, so you plan to eat it yourself. If it will set your mind at ease, chances are the only damage any of that candy will do is to your waistline. Every year, we hear scare stories about the epidemic of sickos handing out tainted candy. But University of Delaware criminology professor Joel Best researched the subject going back over a quarter century and says it’s a myth. He couldn’t find one single instance of a stranger giving tainted candy to children at Halloween.

The tale apparently got started with a Dear Abby column back in 1983. But in all the time since, there’s been only one verified case of a child being poisoned with Halloween candy. That was in Houston, where a sick father poisoned his own son for the insurance. And he won’t be doing it again because he was executed 29 years ago.

Comments 1-3 of 3

  • lorrainepohl21@gmail.com

    12/14/2013 03:10 PM

    Dear Governor,
    I have to admit, I didn't support you in 2008, but I will in 2016. No one else can mend a fractured party and out-smart the arrogant democrats like you. This is what has convinced me that you are the right guy at the right time:
    “I really believe the key to a Republican victory is an ability to communicate a message that speaks across a broader spectrum,” he said. “I think that one of our failures is the ability to speak to African Americans, to speak to people who are Hispanic, to speak to working-class people — more than just speaking to the boardroom, speaking to the people who go in and clean up after the meeting.”

    You and Ben Carson would make a dynamic duo. The democrats wouldn't know what to do with you guys!
    Loved your radio show. You'll be missed but I'd rather see you measuring the drapes in for the white house. Lorraine

  • Brian Tozer

    11/02/2013 09:50 PM


    I'm one of those retailers. It's looking like people are tightening their wallets lately, so I'm very interested in seeing how this upcoming Christmas season turns out.

    I enjoy your commentaries, but wonder what you would do to turn this country around. I wish more things were made in the USA and that Americans insisted on buying American made products. I wish our leaders were guided by Biblical principles.

    What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  • Pete Vrettakos

    11/02/2013 09:04 PM

    I like your show and your philosophies and politics. You should know that dwarfs and parents of dwarfs are offended by Tim Conways Dorf character and bringing Tim C's Dorf character on your show really turned me off tonight. You must not know any dwarfs. That is your loss. His Dorf character was a direct laugh at the expense of achondroplasia dwarfs. As a parent of a wonderful achondroplasia daughter that really bothers me. Be more careful. Think about it.

    Pete Vrettakos father of Stephanie Vrettakos at Highpoint University

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