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Halloween: The Real Horrors of the Holiday

Updated on October 20, 2019
Gerry Glenn Jones profile image

I write a wide variety of genres about people, places, things, and animals. Some are factual and fictional articles. This is a true story.

Happy Halloween
Happy Halloween | Source

An Introduction to the Real Horrors of Halloween

Halloween should be a holiday when kids dress up in costumes and safely go door-to-door in search of Trick-or-Treat candy, while adults may also don their favorite outfit and attend costume balls and parties, but there have been some creepy and deadly events happen on "All Hallows' Eve."

Many of these crimes have been carried out by people who took advantage of the occasion to wear a costume and fool their victims for just long enough to kill them. Others involve people out trick-or-treating or returning from parties late at night. But as with most violent crime in general, crimes that happened on Halloween are usually committed either by someone known to the victim, or in a case of mistaken identity. In a few cases, the crime has never been solved, and years or decades have gone by with no closure for the loved ones of the victims.

Halloween Moon
Halloween Moon | Source

Harry Houdini Dies on Halloween

Harry Houdini was a master magician in the 1920s and was noted for his ability to escape death-traps. His skills were almost on the supernatural or occult scale, which wasn't far off from his passion to contact his dead mother through seances and other means.

Though Houdini seemed almost invincible, four blows to his stomach from a college student on October 22, 1926, evidently caused internal trauma and resulted in his death on "All Hallows' Eve," 1926. He had invited the student to punch him to show his resistance to pain. Well, after that Halloween, he never felt pain on Earth again.

Harry Houdini
Harry Houdini | Source

Pasadena Gang Shootings

Well, this didn't involve "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena," as the song goes. It did involve a gang of five Pasadena Blood gangsters. who on Halloween night in 1993, killed three people and wounded three others. They had mistaken the victims as members of a rival gang.

Masked man
Masked man | Source

Tutu-clad Marine Severely Assaults Disabled Veteran

Not all who wear Tutus are gentle sweet girls, for, on Halloween 2012, a U.S. Marine dressed in a Tutu for some reason, encountered a man in a wheelchair. The man had a military uniform on and the Marine thought he was making fun of disabled veterans, so he beat him unconscious. He later learned from the police that the man was actually a disabled veteran.

Tutu | Source

Holiday on Ice Turns Deadly

Even a gala can go wrong during the daytime during the Halloween season. On Halloween day in 1963, the Indiana State Fair was holding a “Holidays on Ice” skating exhibition at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, when a propane leak caused an explosion which killed 74 and injured over 400 more. There was no indication of foul play or trickery involved, just faulty equipment.

Be sure and check out the video below.


Trick-or-Treaters are not always what they seem, and this was certainly evident on Halloween night, 1982 in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Marvin Brandland, age 69 was giving out candy to Trick-or-Treaters, along with his wife, Ethel, when a man masked man came to the door. According to Ethel, the man said, “Trick-or-treat...give me your money or I’ll shoot.” They thought he was just an overgrown neighbor playing a trick on them, but when Marvin tried to pull his mask off, he pulled a gun and demanded money. When Marvin attempted to grab the gun the robber shot and killed him. The case is still unsolved.

Armed Robber
Armed Robber | Source

Timothy O'Bryan Poisoned

At a time of the year when ghosts, witches, zombies, and werewolves supposedly roam freely, there was indeed a demon on the loose in a small Texas town on March 31, 1984. The demon wasn't a stranger to the child it killed but was his very own father, Ronald O'Bryan.

Eight-year-old, Timothy was given a Pixie Stix laced with cyanide by his father, so he could claim insurance money on the dead child. After eating the candy, Timothy died an hour later, while having convulsions. The police found that the father was deeply in debt and had taken out large insurance policies on all his kids, but the others had not eaten their death-laced candy.

Trick-or-Treat Candy
Trick-or-Treat Candy | Source

Son of Sam's Halloween Adventure

Ronald Sisman and Elizabeth Platzman met their fate early on Halloween morning in 1981 in their apartment in New York. Both had been brutally beaten and then shot to death.

David Berkowitz (Son of Sam Killer) had told a fellow inmate that he was going to commit the crime before it occurred. Their apartment had also been ransacked.

Mug shot of David Berkowitz taken August 11, 1977
Mug shot of David Berkowitz taken August 11, 1977 | Source

USS Reuben James Sunk on October 31, 1941

The USS Reuben James was an American destroyer which met its fate on "All Hallows' Eve, when it was sunk by German submarine U-552 near Iceland on October 31, 1941. America didn't enter World War 2 until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Only 44 of the 144 crewmen aboard survived the attack.

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Reuben James (DD-245) on the Hudson River, New York (USA), on 29 April 1939.
The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Reuben James (DD-245) on the Hudson River, New York (USA), on 29 April 1939. | Source


  • Mental Floss -
  • Metro -
  • A People at War -
  • Refinery 29 -
  • Reader's Digest -


Don't let the things you have just read scare you away from "Halloween Happenings," but remember there are real demons out there, and most are in the bodies of human beings.

Please, be wary of your surroundings and have others with you on the night when zombies, witches, werewolves, and ghosts are afraid to leave their lair because of all the costumed creatures who make the night their own.

© 2019 Gerry Glenn Jones


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