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TAINTED TREATS MORE FICTIONAL THAN FACTUAL

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Scary tales of Halloween sadists who spike apples with needles and razors, poison the candy and otherwise menace trusting tick-or-treaters are mostly just that - scary tales - according to legend debunker Jan Harold Brunvand.

Brunvand, a Deseret News columnist and author of four books on American folklore, said studies have revealed that there is little truth to stories of lethal ingredients being added to Halloween treats. The stories persist, he said, because of rumors, publicized X-ray screening of treats, and mostly because fright and horror are the themes of the holiday.Parents should take reasonable precautions to guard against tampered goodies, but they shouldn't get hysterical about it, Brunvand said. "Although it is regarded as common knowledge that Halloween sadists are doing these terrible things, they are actually uncommon in real life."