Urban legends about people tampering with Halloween candy have existed for decades, and even though they’re largely seen as scare tactics these legends still put enough fear in parents and kids that x-raying candy has become a Halloween tradition.
So what are the facts about candy tampering?
Surprisingly, the fear of tampered Halloween candy seems to stem from one case- in 1974 Timothy O'Bryan died from ingesting a cyanide laced Pixy Stix given to him by his father, who was trying to cash in on a massive life insurance policy he'd taken out on his kids.
In fact, most of the proven cases of tampering were traced back to a friend or relative who was trying to play a prank on the unwitting child by sticking sharp objects in treats. Way to fail at pranking folks!
Want to learn more about the roots of these urban legends? Read more about A Brief History Of Sick People Tampering With Halloween Candy over at mental_floss.