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9 Scary Things That Actually Happened on Halloween

For some of us, October 31st is the most fun day of the year. For others, it’s the spookiest, weirdest and most tragic.

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scary things that happened in real life - Creepy forest Photo: Shutterstock

This freakish Halloween decoration was real

If there were a prize for most morbid Halloween decoration in Frederica, Delaware, in 2005, it would have gone to the body hanging from a tree. It would have beaten out the fake witches, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns dotting the neighbourhood. For hours, people passed by admiring it. Of course, it had an edge over the other decorations: This was a real body. Police believe it was that of a woman who had committed suicide the night before. Read on for more scary things that happened in real life–all on Halloween.

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Men in tutus shouldn’t criticize

Note to self: Not everyone’s wearing a costume on Halloween. When a tutu-clad Marine spotted a uniform-clad man in a wheelchair, he thought the man’s costume was a weak attempt at mocking the military. So he attacked him. As the Marine learned upon his arrest, the man’s wardrobe was not a comment on American servicemen and women: He was, in fact, a disabled veteran.

Don’t miss these other outrageous news stories from around the globe.

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scary things that happened in real life - Halloween candyPhoto: Shutterstock

There really are monsters

It’s every parent’s nightmare: Your child comes home from a night of trick-or-treating with spiked candy. One event that helped propel this fear was the murder of Timothy O’Brien in 1974. The eight-year-old from Deer Park, Texas, died Halloween night after ingesting poisoned candy. Making this crime more horrific is the fact that the perpetrator was not a neighbour, but the boy’s own father, who sought to cash in on his son’s life insurance.

Warning: these true crime books are so chilling, you shouldn’t read them at night.

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The note

The most frightening thing about the graveyard kit bought at Kmart was the note an Oregon woman found inside. It was written by a Chinese factory worker who claimed he and others were tortured and enslaved in a forced labour camp making toys 15 hours a day with no pay or days off. He went on to plead for the letter to be forwarded to the World Human Rights Organization. The woman did just that, and the Chinese worker was freed when the camp was exposed months later.

Check out these extraordinary real life stories about the kindness of strangers.

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Neither rain, nor sleet, nor decomposing body…

It’s tragic enough to have collapsed and died alone on your own porch steps. To make things worse, the next morning, the mail deliverer, assuming the body was an excellent Halloween decoration, sidestepped the deceased on his way to delivering the corpse’s mail.

Would you believe these mysteries were actually solved by psychics?

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Next time go as a ghost

Sometimes, a costume is just too good. A nine-year-old wearing a black outfit and a black hat with a white tassel was mistaken for a skunk by a relative and shot. The girl survived.

Check out these outrageous true stories of the world’s dumbest criminals.

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A killer costume

The year was 1957. Halloween night. A couple was getting ready for bed when the doorbell rang. It was late, but the husband answered the door, ready to dole out more candy. Instead, an adult wearing a mask shot him in the chest, killing him. Was it a trick-or-treater dissatisfied with the candy selection? Not quite. The murderer, it turns out, was the girlfriend of a woman who had had an affair with the murdered man’s wife. The woman convinced her girlfriend to do away with the husband in order to have the wife for herself.

For more chilling tales, check out these spooky Ouija board stories.

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Angry candy

Candy might be important, but it’s certainly not worth your life. It was Halloween night in 2011 when a 55-year-old Chicago resident realized his candy bag was missing. He blamed a neighbour for the missing sweets and took his revenge to an extreme, stabbing her to death with several steak knives.

Would you believe these famous horror movies were inspired by real events?

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A devastating prank

Halloween is known for both tricks and treats, but some pranks just go too far. In 1998, a Bronx man was in the car with his girlfriend to pick up her nine-year-old son from a Halloween party. When a group of teens started egging the car, the man got out and an argument started. After he sat back down in the car, though, one of the teenagers shot him fatally in the head.

Next, take a virtual tour of the most haunted places in Canada.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest