In this Food Non-Fiction podcast episode, we find out the truth behind Halloween candy poisonings. Our guest, Dr. Joel Best, is the world's leading expert on Halloween sadism (Halloween sadism is the term that describes poisoning Halloween candy). He became interested in the topic when he was in graduate school and spending his term reading about deviant behaviours. What he noticed was that criminals always have a motive. He didn't believe that strangers would poison candy because what would be the motive behind that? In fact, there has been no cases of random acts of Halloween candy poisoning in all the years that Dr. Best has been scouring the news for data (1958 onwards). The real danger is sending kids out into the dark with costumes that could limit visibility or cause them to trip.
Dr. Joel Best notes that "an urban legend is harder to kill than a werewolf" because people continue to believe that Halloween candy gets poisoned each year, even though the overwhelming evidence says otherwise.
Special Thanks to our guest, Dr. Joel Best.
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