Do Witches Curse Halloween Candy? No!

Do Witches Curse Halloween Candy? No! September 23, 2019

As I’ve mentioned, I love September. What’s not to love about Autumn and celebrating the second harvest after a lovely Summer? Good things, both. However, September also ushers in a time when some Christians begin promoting fear-based disinformation about both Halloween and Witches. For instance, that Witches curse candy meant for trick-or-treating children.

Which a ridiculous notion! However, as a Witch I feel it’s important to address the question, as there are people who will believe this tripe and that’s just sad.

Do Witches curse Halloween candy? No. Do Witches, Satanists or other Pagans conspire to harm children, (spiritually/emotionally/physically) and/or their families, while children Trick-or-Treat or any other time of the year? Of course not. This does not stop some Christians, such as the one from a recent Charisma Magazine article, from promoting such false ideas and fear (they’ll say it’s to “inform” but whatever) within their readership.

Curse
Cursed candy is a new twist on an urban legend.  Image by JoB via needpix.com

Witches Curse Candy. True Story Or Urban Legend?

The idea that candy might be used as a weapon against children on Halloween is longstanding. As a child, I remember television reporters admonishing parents to check their kids Trick-or-Treat haul for anomalies in packaging and to throw away home-made goodies. Hospitals offered to x-ray candy for sharp objects. In fact, such precautions are still offered, despite the fact that tainted or adulterated candy claims are mostly untrue.

Coined as “Halloween Sadism”, reports of contaminated treats date back to the 1950’s. Sociologist Joel Best has spent 30 years studying and tracking down the validity of these reports. According to his research, reports of children being injured or killed through poison, razors, et al, (upon investigation and scrutiny) turn out to be local legends circulated as “true”, accidental, or a hoax perpetrated by the children themselves. In other words, poisoned or razor stuffed Halloween treats are an urban myth.

A handful of substantiated cases have occurred. In 1959, Willliam V. Shyne from Fremont, California,  handed out candy-coated laxatives to children, making thirty of them ill. In 1974, Ronald O’Bryan gave cyanide-laced pixie sticks to his son and four other childen. The son, Timothy, was the only child to eat the candy. Allegedly, O’Bryan used the stories of tainted candy as a cover for the murder. He was executed in 1984 and has become known as “the Candyman.” The point is, widespread belief that mysterious “someones” use candy against children is, on the whole, unfounded and plays on parent’s fear. Cursed candy is a twist on the poisoned candy urban legend–IE: Witches and/or Satanists curse candy to harm children–and is no more true than the original stories.

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Wiccaphobia. It’s a whole thing. Image by Kevin Phillips via pixabay.com

Fear Of Witches Is A Recurrent Theme

So, is there an additional factor which informs this idea of cursed candy? You betcha. Wiccaphobia is the irrational fear of witchcraft and Witches. Folk magick, indigenous magickal practice, and/or witchcraft has been a part of humanity’s experience from ancient times. However, when Christianity began to spread, those accused of practicing folk magick or witchcraft (ie: associating with “the Devil”) were labeled as “sinful”, “evil”, “heretical”, etc.

In Europe, the death toll for convicted Witches from the 14th to 17th centuries is estimated between 40,000 and 200,000The Salem Witch trials are an example of hysteria followed to its deadly conclusion when opportunistic people take advantage of the fear of witchcraft or Witches. And while we may not have to worry about such violence in these modern times in the United States (other countries are a different story), there is still a danger for some when people find out they are Witches.

Witches
Witchcraft is misunderstood by those outside of the community. Image by Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Witchcraft Is Growing But Many Witches Remain Hidden

Many listeners of our 3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast report feeling insecure about revealing themselves as Witches or Pagans based on the potential reaction from family, friends, or community. There are some places where a person could lose their job if outed as a Witch. A person may fear losing a spouse, children, or family members if the truth of their path is revealed.

And in my opinion, Christian articles which label Witches/Satanists/Pagans as “evil people” out to curse and causing harm through children (or any innocent, for that matter) is reprehensible. Such editorials add fuel to the fire (pun intended), causing potential harm for those whom the finger points toward. Making false claims such as “Did you know satanists, witches, warlocks and others who desire to destroy Christians curse the candy they hand out?” and calling Witches/Satanists/Pagans “demonic people” suggests nothing but true ignorance on the part of the author.

Do some Witches perform baneful magick or a curse? Yes. I do, if it becomes necessary. But not for any of the reasons certain Christians seem adamant to believe. The truth is the Witches/Satanists/Pagans whom I know don’t give one fig what the Church is doing, so long as they do not impede upon our free will to live and practice our own spiritual beliefs in peace.

While I cannot speak for all, to my knowledge there is not a “committed, coordinated, obedient” effort “to curse Christians.” All that nonsense being spouted is fear-mongering propaganda. Nothing more. Witches/Satanists/Pagans have our own lives and families. Our own children (or neighbor kids) to share in the joy of the annual neighborhood candy grab. Quite frankly, I doubt any of us care enough about you to bother with a curse. Not worth our time.

About
Gwyn is one of the hosts of 3 Pagans and a Cat, a podcast about the questions and discussions between three pagan family members, each exploring different pagan paths and how their various traditions can intersect. The most practiced pagan on the path, Gwyn is a Modern Hekataen-Green Witch, Devotee of the Covenant of Hekate, and Clairsentient Medium. She loves working with herbs, essential oils and plants. In the past, she has been a musician, teacher, and published author. Now, together with Car and Ode, Gwyn is a teacher/presenter at multiple Pagan events and loves to chat about witchcraft, spiritual things, and life in general You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mike Dunster

    That article in Charisma magazine about the eeeeeevil of Halloween was sad. This kind of things has been going around (as a modern phenomenon) since the crazed wackiness of Jack Chick and the the seemingly never-ending flow of “ex witches” who were “rescued by jesus”, but none of whom seem to actually have any clue what witchcraft or Wicca is actually about, and whose descriptions of ‘witch rituals” inevitably sound like something out of Hammer House of Horror or a Dennis Wheatley book.

  • Gwyn

    Yes, it is sad indeed. Honestly, it all reminds me of the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980’s. Some people can’t let that stuff go.

  • Mike Dunster

    Yes, I think some people and some groups define themselves almost purely by negativity, by what they are against. That’s bad enough, but what gets really weird is when the things that they’re against are almost entirely figments of their own imagination!

  • modifiedlizard

    Charisma magazine is the mouthpiece for a movement within Christianity known variously as the third wave, new apostolic reformation and independent network charismatics. They draw much of their inspiration from churches in developing countries where witch hunts are still very much a thing. Because such churches are the fastest growing in Christianity they figure they must be the ones doing it right. It’s just the way their theology works.

  • Gwyn

    This is a very good point. Sad to say, in my previous Christian years I actually wrote for that publication, although my contributions attempted to dispel the misconceptions mentioned in the crazy article CM recently published. Thankfully, I came to my senses and I’m no longer part of that world.

  • Caycee MacGowan

    This article gave me an idea. Maybe, if all witches put a spell on the candy to make the eaters wise, kind, and tolerant of other people. It might make the world a better place.

  • Gwyn

    Definitely a spell I can get behind.

  • Jenni

    Imagine that, Christians telling outright lies. Sorry, is my sarcasm showing? For every wonderful, kind, open-minded, Christian I meet, there are 1000 ugly hateful ones.

  • Kathy

    I admit I was one of those Christians who were petrified of witches. It was due to the horrendous book I read in my teens called From Witchcraft to Christ. I doubt that story was even true. I don’t know what “old me” would think of me now. It’s funny actually. I’m so glad I don’t live in that fear anymore. It infiltrated so much of my life. (Love your podcast, by the way.)

  • Gwyn

    Thank you. I am so glad you are enjoying the podcast. We have fun. And I understand where you came from in that former life as a Christian. There is a lot of misinformation circulating in the church.

  • Gwyn

    No, I understand. Having been raised in the church before becoming a Witch (and then out of fear and guilt went back for a time, wrote some books “denouncing the occult” because “evangelical”, which I now regret – something I talk about on our podcast and will address further in our next episode) it saddens, but does not surprise me, that this misinformation persists.

  • Mike Curnutt

    I’m 62 and for as far back as I can remember, even as a kid, there has always been the myth of tainted candy.

  • Mike Dunster

    I read From Witchcraft To Christ not long after becoming a Christian in my teens, and at the time I believed it completely. But when I reread it about 10 years ago, I was amazed at how I could have been taken in by such a transparent fantasy. However, I think I only realised what nonsense it was because I had left the church and started hanging around pagans, and from them realised that the book had about as much to do with reality as flat-earthism. A lot of Christians believe this stuff and assume the author knows what shes talking about (see the reviews it gets on Amazon!) because they genuinely don’t the world outside their own little conclave, have probably never actually sat down and spoken to a real pagan or Muslim or atheist.

  • Gwyn

    Yep, that sounds about right. The urban legend origin dates back to the 1950’s.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    But only if this spell is consented to by the recipients! Hidden “surprise”: “Good” spells are no different from hidden malevolent workings. Both cross the line of “Free Will”. Now, if you say “Be wise” as you hand out the charmed candy and the kiddies nod agreement, then no boundaries are crossed.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Given that Christianity is a fear-based religion, this is no surprise. Given that Christianity is a religion of bigotry, again no surprise. Given that Christianity is antithetical to the teachings of Yeshua bar Yushif (called Jesus by the Greeks), it comes as no surprise. Saul of Tarsus stole the religion from the original followers of Yeshua when Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome, and Rome in the form of Emperor Constantine turned it into a religion that kept the Plebeians in line and properly subservient.
    With all this corruption, how can the demonization of anyone who thinks outside the Christian “box” not happen? Offer blessings on the spirits who visit on Samhain and forget the Christian mud slinging; they’re getting more mud on themselves than on us.

  • Gwyn

    Aw man. There you go being all moral about it and stuff. Fine. 😉

  • Gwyn

    You make excellent points. Good advice, too. 🙂

  • MrFribbles

    Even back when I was an Evangelical, I never understood the hatred and fear directed at Halloween. I was receiving simultaneous contradictory messages, with the same authority figures telling me, “Magic isn’t real, it’s all an illusion, and all other gods are nothing but dead idols,” AND, “You can’t celebrate Halloween because the spiritual influence it will have on your life will be devastating.” Um, hey, yeah Mr. Pastor sir, which one is it?
    I must admit, I never actually heard of anyone cursing the candy I wasn’t allowed to go out and collect. It was more a “Halloween worships evil/the dead” in my old tradition.

  • Gwyn

    That’s a really good point about the dissonance created by those two concepts (magic isn’t real, the gods are dead idols vs Halloween’s spiritual influence). I hadn’t thought of the contradictory nature. Although, now that aI think of it, there is precedent.