+quot;Although it remains a good idea for children not to eat any unwrapped or unsealed ca

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"Although it remains a good idea for children not to eat any unwrapped or unsealed candies, parents should know that a new study shows that reports of children dying after eating drug- laced candy and having their mouths slashed after biting into razor blades slipped into apples have all proved to be untrue. // The study by a sociologist at Fresno State University found that in more than two decades there has not been a single death or a severe injury caused by Halloween sadists. // Reported incidents of tampering with Halloween treats more often than not are the results of tricks played by the 'victims' themselves, the study said. // Writing in the November issue of Psychology Today, Joel Best, chairman of Fresno State's sociology department, said, 'Children who go trick-or-treating know about Halloween sadism -- they have been warned by their parents, teachers and friends. A child who 'discovers' an adulterated treat stands to be rewarded with the concerned attention of parents and, perhaps, police officers and reporters." --- San Francisco Chronicle, 31 October 1985 "With Halloween creeping up, the demons that bedeviled the Smurl home in West Pittston [Pennsylvania] and turned the lives of their hosts into a nightmare apparently have fled to other haunts, the family said yesterday. // Jack and Janet Smurl and their four daughters credited prayer with ridding them of the demonic force that had transformed their modest Chase Street home into a duplex of the damned. /.../ The Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton will stay in touch with the family but plans no other action, said the Rev. Gerald Mullally, diocesan chancellor. // The diocese had been investigating to determine whether an exorcism was necessary. A priest spent several nights in the Smurl home, but Mullally would not say whether any supernatural activity was observed." --- San Francisco Chronicle, 28 October 1986 (UPI) "In Little Rock, Ark., John Wesley Hall Jr., devil's advocate, has asked the federal court to dismiss a lawsuit against Satan. The suit was brought on October 30 by Ralph Forbes, who was running for the Senate. (He lost.) // Forbes, claiming that he was filing on behalf of himself, Jesus Christ and minor children, tried to have the court bar public schools from observing Halloween, which he called the 'rites of Satan.' He named Satan, the Russellville (Ark.) School District, various government departments and a state education official as defendants. // Attorney Hall has asked the court to drop Satan from the case on grounds that there is no proof he has transacted business, owned property or committed any torts in Arkansas." --- Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 November 1986 "Children and folks of the non-Celtic world will not realize that, on October 31, when they are celebrating Halloween they will be observing Samhain, a Celtic feast day marking the Celtic New Year's Eve. // Because for Celts the world over, the date is not just Halloween it is the beginning of their New Year -- November 1 to October 31. // In Celtic lore, the feast day of Samhain marked the time when the barriers between human kind and the supernatural were lowered, a time when the powerful forces of the 'otherworld' were let loose and became visible. // The basis of the Celtic 'out with the old and in with the new' belief was that darkness comes before sunlight, night gives birth to day, summer grows out of winter. So the year begins with winter. This ancient feast has passed into modern times as Halloween. /.../ The six Celtic nations are: Ireland (Eire); Scotland (Alba); Isle of Man (Mannin); Wales (Cymru): Cornwall (Kernow) and Brittany (Breizh)." --- Editorial, Irish Herald (San Francisco), October 1988 "Halloween is one of the sweetest seasons for U.S. candymakers, second only to Christmas in overall sales. // The manufacturers, who tend to be privately owned, rarely release figures, but industry experts estimate Halloween generates as much as $1 billion, or about 8 percent, of the $12 billion in annual retail candy sales. /.../ The seasonal favorites remain candy corn, Indian corn and other variations on the soft, sugary concoction manufacturers call 'mellow cream.' (One source said the term was 'butter creams' until it became widely known the candies contain no butter.) /.../ Door-to-door candy canvassing was the industry's idea in the first place. According to candy historian Ray Broekel, there were many more tricks than treats until the 1920s, when an enterprising Chicago candymaker named Otto Schnering began promoting treats to boost sales of his Baby Ruth bars and other confections. // Now, 'one of the main things about Halloween is candy,' observed Samuel Simone, regional vice president for sales at California Peanut." --- San Francisco Chronicle, 29 October 1988

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