opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Lenore Skenazy
Lenore Skenazy
30 Oct 2014
Making Convenience a Crime

The editorial below ran in the Calgary Herald more than a month ago, and I am only just getting around to … Read More.

23 Oct 2014
(Dirty) Thought Crimes

A man in Britain has been convicted for his fantasies. Robul Hoque, 39, was found guilty of downloading "… Read More.

16 Oct 2014
Halloween Desperation

Sometimes you just have to marvel at the endless innovation of the marketing world. Say your job is to peddle … Read More.

What to Really Be Afraid of on Halloween


Happy Halloween! It's that time of year when your neighbors are secretly unwrapping candy, brushing lollipops with poison and inserting razor blades into Snickers bars!

Actually, though it may be a holiday tradition to view your neighbors as psychopaths who patiently wait for the one day of the year to kill the local kids, no child has ever been killed by a stranger's poisoned candy. Ever. But facts don't stop fear. Here are three ways in which our misguided terror on Halloween is killing all the fun.

1) Don't go outside. Parents are so scared of letting their kids roam free that — no joke — there's a trend called "trunk or treat." Cars gather in a circle, and kids go from one trunk to the next to grab candy, as if walking in a circle in a parking lot and collecting sugar is the whole point of the holiday. Sugar is important, but so is going outside on your own with your friends.

Some towns are so scared of the holiday that they've placed curfews on trick-or-treating. It's medieval. It's as if they really believe the ghouls come out at night.

2) It's too scary. There are schools, churches and community centers sending home notes begging parents not to let their kids wear costumes that are "too scary," as if kids can't handle an eyeball oozing blood anymore. One town even made a guy take down the zombie decorations in his front yard because they were too realistic.

In other words, they looked too much like real zombies?

3) Sex offender hysteria. In some towns, registered sex offenders have to turn off the lights to keep the trick-or-treaters away or gather together at the local precinct like some twisted version of study hall. The rules are different in different places. But they're all based on the idea that sex offenders pounce on trick-or-treaters — which turns out to be, like the poison candy story, completely false.

A recent study found that there is zero increase in child sex offenses on Halloween. In fact, one of the study's authors, Elizabeth Letourneau, now at Johns Hopkins University, said she and her fellow researchers considered titling the study "Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year," because it is, when it comes to sex crimes.

There is one thing to fear on Halloween: cars. More kids get hit by cars on Halloween than on any other day, for obvious reasons. There are more kids outside. So if we really wanted to make the holiday safer, we'd take the cops checking up on sex offenders and put them on traffic patrol instead, slowing down drivers or helping kids cross streets. That could save some lives — because cars are actually dangerous, unlike slightly torn Snickers bars.

Lenore Skenazy is a keynote speaker and author of the book and blog "Free-Range Kids." To find out more about Lenore Skenazy ( and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Lenore Skenazy
Oct. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Authorís Podcast
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 3 Nov 2014
Brent Bozell
Linda Chavez
Linda ChavezUpdated 31 Oct 2014

4 Nov 2007 Don't Call These Bags Garbage

23 May 2013 Kicking Non-PC Kids off Campus

24 Jun 2010 The Truth About State Fair Food