Adam Ruins Halloween

Adam Ruins Halloween

In this episode, Adam goes trick-or-treating for the truth behind myths and misconceptions like candy poisoned by strangers, the legendary War of the Worlds radio broadcast and psychics who claimed to communicate with the dead. Here are his frighteningly factual sources.

Sources

"There has never been a single documented report found of a stranger seriously harming a child by poisoning their Halloween candy."

Joel Best. "Halloween Sadism: The Evidence." University of Delaware Library Institutional Repository, 2008.
 

"Only one percent of missing children in 2016 were abducted by a non-family member."

"Key Facts." National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2016.
 

"And the vast majority of offenders charged with crimes against children targeted a child they knew."

Lawrence A. Greenfeld. "Child Victimizers: Violent Offenders and Their Victims." Bureau of Justice Statistics, Mar 1996.
 

"In fact, the only documented report of a kid actually dying from poisoned Halloween candy was when it was given to him by his own father."

Dan Lewis. "Where Did the Fear of Poisoned Halloween Candy Come From?" Smithsonian, 6 Oct 2013.
 

"We know now that in the early years of the twentieth century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man's." — The War of the Worlds

"The War of the Worlds," Orson Welles and Mercury Theatre on the Air. Columbia Broadcasting System, 30 Oct 1938.
 

"Very few people even heard The War of the Worlds because it aired at the same time as one of the most popular radio shows in the country, ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's comedy hour."

Jefferson Pooley and Michael J. Socolow. "The Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic." Slate, 28 Oct 2013.
 

"In fact, a survey conducted that very night found that only two percent of Americans even heard The War of the Worlds."

Jefferson Pooley and Michael J. Socolow. "The Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic." Slate, 28 Oct 2013.
 

"Eyewitness accounts said that cities were actually calm that night."

Jefferson Pooley and Michael J. Socolow. "The Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic." Slate, 28 Oct 2013.
 

"And there were no followup reports of any deaths or serious injuries."

W. Joseph Campbell, Getting it Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. University of California Press, 2010.
 

"Newspapers seized on The War of the Worlds as an opportunity to discredit the radio. They published anecdotal accounts of the few people who were fooled, and published anti-radio editorials."

W. Joseph Campbell, Getting it Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. University of California Press, 2010.
 

"One hesitates to think what might have happened Sunday night had there been no newspapers to which horror-stricken persons could have turned for relief." — The Harrisburg Patriot, 1 Nov 1938

W. Joseph Campbell, Getting it Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. University of California Press, 2010.
 

"The radio simply must be cleansed of its evil sensationalism." — The Detroit Free Press, 1 Nov 1938

W. Joseph Campbell, Getting it Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism. University of California Press, 2010.
 

"The public bought this story so thoroughly that decades later, when Orson Welles was on the radio during the Pearl Harbor attack, people thought he was faking that, too."

Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, and Jonathan Rosenbaum. This Is Orson Welles. Da Capo Press, 1998.
 

"Séances first became popular in America during the 19th century, when three young ladies named the Fox sisters started charging admission to watch them communicate with the dead."

Karen Abbott. "The Fox Sisters and the Rap on Spiritualism." Smithsonian, 30 Oct 2012.
 

"But, later in life, Maggie Fox spilled the beans and revealed how they tricked the public, making knocking sounds using an apple on a string and writing secret messages with their feet."

Karen Abbott. "The Fox Sisters and the Rap on Spiritualism." Smithsonian, 30 Oct 2012.
 

"Remember that father who poisoned his own son's Halloween candy?" "Yes, why did he do it?" "For the insurance money."

Dan Lewis. "Where Did the Fear of Poisoned Halloween Candy Come From?" Smithsonian, 6 Oct 2013.

For More on This Topic

http://udspace.udel.edu/bitstream/handle/19716/726/DSpace.revised%20thru%2016.pdf?sequence=5

https://books.google.com/books/about/Getting_it_Wrong.html?id=SodvJ4EuTggC

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/history/2013/10/orson_welles_war_of_the_worlds_panic_myth_the_infamous_radio_broadcast_did.html

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-fox-sisters-and-the-rap-on-spiritualism-99663697/#CslAJEIj5DrocYIE.99

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/speaking-in-tongues/201201/tricks-the-psychic-trade