Halloween Costumes: Sales Take a Bitter Pill
Parents in the 1980s firmly warned their children not to accept candy from strangers. Some parents inspected candy piece-by-piece for evidence of tampering, in part due to urban legends. But fears spiked in 1982 when seven people died after consuming cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules. Unlike the case of Timothy O’Bryan, whose father killed him with a cyanide-laced Pixy Stix for life insurance money, The Tylenol Cyanide Killer remains uncaught. Around Halloween, parents were leery about their children going out trick-or-treating. Costume sales took a hit as the old urban legend seemingly became a reality, but it didn’t take long for them to bounce back and enter a new market. Adults hosted Halloween parties instead of taking children trick-or-treating where they might receive a razorblade laced apple. To keep the festive atmosphere, adults started dressing up in their own costumes.