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Horrifying Facts of Halloween Past

Horrifying Facts of Halloween Past

Halloween is a time where a lot of people allow themselves to feel secure, no matter what they are presented with, because tis the season to play out fantasies. For some, it’s time to throw off the cardigan and turn the most serious or mundane career outfits into a sexy view, like the naughty nurse, hot teacher, or insatiable housekeeper. For others, they get to celebrate the very things that make others take pause on any other day of the year. It could be as simple as wearing black lipstick or an incredible costume with complex zombie make up, which allows some of us to act outside our norm – or rather what we let everyone see – as our everyday norm.

Halloween also unleashes the inner beast that many of us hide the other 364 days of the week. Where you can be as hauntingly scary as you want, set up deliciously evil plans to scare the hell out of any and every one, and you get a free pass, because it’s HALLOWEEN!

Unfortunately, there have been times when the cover of Halloween has been a time for truly terrible things to happen. For those involved, or close to these terrible tragedies, Halloween has probably never been the same.

Check Your Candy!

In 1974, 8-year-old Timmy O’Bryan ate a pixie stick, and told his dad, Ronald, it tasted weird. Timmy was dead within the hour and trick or treating was cancelled for the surrounding areas in Pasadena, Texas. It turns out the pixie sticks were laced with cyanide, and luckily only 5 were given out. What makes this tale especially terrifying is that this was done by Timmy’s own father, who also gave one to his other son! Investigators later found out that Ronald O’Bryan had taken out insurance policies on his sons just a short time before the murder. He was executed by the state of Texas in 1984.


Don’t Eat My Candy

In 2011, 55-year-old Ledell Peoples lost his bag of Halloween candy. We are not sure if he was given the bag, bought it, or actually went trick or treating. However, we do know that he lost control of his tempter when accusing his friend Maria of taking the sweet treats. An argument ensued and escalated quickly, ending with Peoples stabbing Maria numerous times. Sadly, she later succumbed to her injuries and died. Ledell was arrested and charged with her murder.

Nothing Stops the Mailman

The morning after Halloween 2012, a busy mailman walked over a corpse decoration on the porch steps in order to deliver the mail. It was later discovered that what was thought to be an excellent decoration, was actually the deceased owner of the house, who died on his steps Halloween night.

The Decoration Looks So Real

In 2005, a Delaware woman lost her life to an apparent suicide. She hung herself from a tree that was alongside a popular road. Her body was suspended just 15 feet above the ground and was easy to see by passerby, who thought it was one of many Halloween decorations in the area. It wasn’t until after the morning rush hour had ended when state police identified that the hanging body was in fact a person and not a decoration. Local residents were shaken to learn that they had seen an actual body on their morning commute.

When You Get More Than You Paid For

An Oregon woman bought a graveyard kit at her local Kmart in 2012. Inside the kit she found a chilling note written by a Chinese factory worker that stated he and his co-workers were tortured and enslaved in a forced camp that made the kits and other toys. He also claimed he worked 15 hours a day with no pay or time off, and pleaded for the letter to be forwarded to the World Human Rights Organization. The woman did so, and the Chinese worker was freed months later, and the camp was exposed.


Holy Hell on Halloween

On Halloween night 1981, nuns in a Texas convent noticed a broken window in the community room and called authorities immediately. Police found the nude body of Sister Tadea Benz, who’d been stabbed, strangled, and raped. 9 days later, Johnny Frank Garrett, who happened to live across the street from the convent, was arrested for the brutal crime. Garrett was convicted and sentenced to death, which was carried out in 1992. His last words were “I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. The rest of the world can kiss my ass.”

Searching for the Beast

David Stone was a well liked, successful stock market analyst, who lead a normal life, until a few days before Halloween in 1998. Stone was at a party where he got into an argument with another party guest, which turned violent, and he left the party. Friends say this behavior was completely out of character.

Witnesses say they saw Stone later that night, sitting next to his car on Highway 80, before heading into the desert on foot. A farmer saw him on his property and confronted him, noting that he was not dressed for the cold weather and although most of what Stone said was unintelligible, the farmer did hear him state he was ‘in search of the beast’. That was the last reported sighting of David Stone.

A search was formed, bloodhounds tracked Stone’s scent 13 miles north of his car, still parked on Highway 80, and the scent went cold from there. Searchers were puzzled by two pyramids formed by rocks and surrounded by a triangle with David’s Rolex watch lying next to one of them. Several miles further north they found a number pattern commonly used in stock analysis (David’s profession) etched into the soil. The last piece of strange evidence was a note found in his vehicle that read “They think the WORD is in the safe. Six knives in Rob’s room. Yous buys your tea and take your chances Halloween”. No other evidence or word from David was found again, until 2 hikers found his remains in the desert 4 years later in 1992. There was no evidence of foul play.

For the most part, Halloween is great fun. From sweet tots in adorable costumes, to your worst nightmare jumping out to scare you at a local haunt, it’s a great day and night of tricks and treats. This is the time of year to let your inner freak fly and just have fun, so get to it! The majority of people that are out there eliciting your screams of terror for haunting fun, are doing only that and nothing more. Just be sure to triple check the candy loot, stay aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the creativity of everyone on Halloween. After all, they don’t mean you any harm – or do they?

Posted by Andrea Lenora in BRUTAL REALITY, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
WiHM: Dana Scully

WiHM: Dana Scully

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this next woman’s contribution to the horror/sci-fi genre. Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Dana Scully simply has to be honored or else I have to turn in my license to practice horror.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

If you see Ripley as the mother of the strong female character in horror/sci-fi film (as I do) then it follows that Scully is the continuation and growth of that same standard. The X-Files was already groundbreaking television but Dana Scully kicked the shit out of the way we view women in the law enforcement field.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-FilesThe pilot episode of The X-Files aired in September of 1993. I was 11 years old and still remember a young fresh-faced Dana Scully arriving at the FBI. An immediate difference that I noticed as a kid was the amount of respect she commanded from her peers and even superiors. She was a highly intelligent, well-educated doctor and undergraduate of physics – a no-nonsense scientist that wasn’t a second banana or a sidekick to a male lead. Scully always held her own and in many ways was made to look superior to Mulder (David Duchovny). She was sent to essentially babysit him and disprove his work. Although she was never fully convinced and was always the female Spock of logic, she handled the situation with grace. She respected Mulder and acknowledged his intelligence and ideas even though they were counter to her own beliefs. She didn’t scoff or belittle and even grew to have affection for him.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-FilesI believe in some ways that Chris Carter the creator of the show went out of his way to make Scully’s importance stand out. At times I almost feel it was reverse sexism and Mulder was made to seem a bit of a mimbo (male bimbo). I’m not complaining because it was successful in shattering previous notions of “the boys club” and that women could only be secretaries and were too delicate to be out in the field. Scully excelled in the field and never shied away from getting her hands dirty – not to mention she was a great shot. Both roles did an excellent job of highlighting a healthy partnership. Mulder was always able to give Scully credit and admit when she was right, and Scully would do the same even if she couldn’t always get on board with his crazy. The other thing I felt was so important to the purity of the Scully character was the fact that she and Mulder refrained from “extracurricular activities” if you know what I’m saying. In case you don’t I mean, they kept it professional instead of getting to sexy time by the end of season one as a lot of other shows did. It created a new formula that is still popular on television today, the “will they won’t they” phenomenon. It makes every touch and every subtle glance all the more exciting for the viewer.

If you loved Scully and can’t get enough Gillian Anderson then I highly recommend checking out some of her other work. Some of my favorites were Bleak House, The Fall, and American Gods. Gillian Anderson is also an accomplished writer having written a trilogy: A Vision of Fire, A Dream of Ice, and The Sound of the Seas. Most recently she co-wrote We: A Manifesto for Modern Women and co-starred in Season 11 of The X-Files.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

Posted by Candace Stone in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments