Halloween Myths – Trick or Truth? MICHAEL MYERS IS TOTALLY REAL! - Dread Central
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Halloween Myths – Trick or Truth? MICHAEL MYERS IS TOTALLY REAL!



Nowadays social media makes myths and legends of us all, but back in the day folklore was an important part of learning, development, and giving people, especially kids, a healthy heaping of fear in the interest of preservation.

There was a time when predators were mostly made of fur, teeth, and claws; but as society became integrated and city life was a thing, young people were warned about the escaped mental patient with a sharp hook-hand and a hatred for promiscuity or the creepy old neighbor who’d put razor blades or poison in a trick-or-treater’s Halloween candy.

Then there are the ghost stories – tales of places haunted by the spirits of horrible massacres or suicides. Naturally, these stories are most popular around Halloween.

But are any of them true? Let’s don our virtual deerstalkers and find out.


We’ve heard this story all our lives: Pins, needles, razor blades, poison, and even molly has been found in candy-seeker’s loot.

While this has happened, with the first documented cases cropping up in the late 1950s, no one has died from a random attack by a neighbor. Pranking, especially when it’s a scary or mean one, is part of Halloween, so chomp at your own risk. But usually the culprit is a kid pranking another kid (a friend or a sibling). Cases reported involved pins and tacks, and nothing requiring medical attention.

But in the 1960s, shit got real. The legend escalated from pins in candy bars to apples boobytrapped with razor blades or shards of broken glass. No one knows why the story shifted, but in ’67 The New York Times reported thirteen cases of sharp objects found in apples in New Jersey as wells as “several” others in Ottawa and Toronto. New Jersey state legislature passed a law shortly before Halloween 1968 demanding prison terms for those caught, but there were thirteen more apples with razor blades turned in that year.

The scary story made it into the movies in 1981 in Rick Rosenthal’s Halloween II and then again in 1988 with Kevin Tenney’s now-classic chiller Night of the Demons.

When it comes to poison, most of those stories were either made to mislead (in 1970 Kevin Toston, a 5-year-old boy from Detroit, found and ate heroin his uncle had stashed; the kid died following a 4-day coma, and his family attempted to protect the uncle by claiming the drug had been sprinkled in Halloween candy) or as cover-ups for murder (in 1974 Timothy O’Bryan, an 8-year-old boy from Texas, died after eating a cyanide-laced package of Pixie Stix; a police investigation determined that the compromised candy had been planted in his trick-or-treat pile by his own father, Ronald Clark O’Bryan, who also gave out poisoned Pixies to other children in an attempt to cover up the murder; the bad dad did it for a life insurance payout.).

As for drugs placed in candy that’s given out, that’s rare. Back in the 1970s, it was rumored to be LSD – nowadays the myth says it’s X/Molly/Ecstasy. In 2015 several Facebook statuses warned: “Parents should keep any eye out for drug-laced Gummy bears and MDMA disguised as Halloween candy being distributed to trick-or-treaters.”

While some kids have taken X on Halloween and later claimed they found it in their Halloween haul, no cases of stranger danger have been substantiated.

Verdict: Trick/Truth


Just a few years ago, 53 people were killed with a hatchet aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. You didn’t know about that? Well, read on. Here’s the news story:

Queen Mary Long Beach, CA – Queen Mary’s “Dark Harbor” is an annual Halloween tradition, where people come from across the country to stay on the haunted ship during the Halloween holiday. The event consists of mazes, monsters, séances and haunted tours. However, the real scare came in a way no one ever expected it to.

On Sunday morning, aboard the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach California, a graphic scene emerged as police did their best to get an accurate body count. At 2:33 AM, a guest aboard the ship approached the bartender at the Observation Bar dazed and confused. “Please, go down the hallway and see if you saw what I saw. It’s a massacre, a complete massacre,” said Paul Brown, a hotel guest on the ship.

The bartender phoned security, and followed the man’s instructions. What they found down the hallway were 32 open room doors with trails of blood, so much blood that it was unlike anything detectives had seen before. 58 blood covered corpses awaited the police upon their arrival at the crime scene. All 58 victims were found in their beds, with several being dismembered. As detectives went from body to body, they found that 6 of them still had pulses and were immediately rushed to the hospital. One man died while being transported by the ambulance.

The police discovered a bloody hatchet about 15 feet from the stairway entrance of the B Deck where the massacre occurred. The brand was a Tactical Tomahawk hatchet with the letters “SA” carved into the side of the handle. Authorities have taken all evidence into custody, but have no leads yet as to who may have committed these heinous murders. Police have released a statement saying they believe the murders may have been an inside job; the murderer entered each room with a master key used in housekeeping. The ship has been shut down indefinitely until detectives can complete their investigation.

Police are putting the area of Long Beach, California and the surrounding areas, on high alert; warning that there is a mass murderer on the loose. People are urged to call your local authorities if you see anything suspicious.

Well, guess what? It was a hoax posted on a fake news site to help promote the “Queen Scary” image.

Verdict: Trick


During the first-ever Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios Hollywood back in 1986, one of the scare-actors died in a tragic accident on Halloween night.

It was reported in the paper:

Paul Rebalde, 20, of Woodland Hills, was an employee of Universal Studios near Los Angeles who was killed on Halloween night. He was stationed on a parked tram filled with mannequins dressed to look like corpses. Rebalde, who was also in costume, was to leap from among the mannequins on the parked tram and frighten people passing on moving trams. Somehow Rebalde became trapped between the third and fourth sections of one of the four-section trams, and was run over and dragged for approximately 100 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene at about 9 p.m.

Halloween Horror Nights was discontinued for several years, starting up again in 1992 and going strong ever since.

Verdict: Truth


A horrific death by hanging is a favorite trick performed at many Halloween haunts and for decorative displays. It’s done easy-peasy and super-safely by securing the acting victim in a harness that supports his weight when he drops from the gallows so that the noose doesn’t actually snap his neck or squeeze his windpipe.

Unfortunately, such stunts have gone wrong and resulted in actual fatalities.

One incident was reported by the Chicago Tribune in October 1990:

A teenager who pretended to hang from gallows as part of a pre-Halloween hayride died while performing the stunt. Police said that hayride customers found the body of Brian Jewell, 17, hanging from the gallows, his feet touching the ground.

The stunt had worked on other nights and there was no indication of foul play, prosecutor James Holzapfel said. The gallows was being checked for flaws, and an autopsy was performed.

‘He’s supposed to have the noose around his neck, but it’s not a noose that tightens,’ said Holzapfel. Jewell would step down about one foot to the ground, making it appear he had been hanged, Holzapfel said.

During the ride, about 40 people are driven past several Halloween fright exhibits. The stunt went off without problems earlier [that day]. But the tractor driver became concerned later, when Jewell failed to give a speech he normally made as the wagon passed.

A similar story was reported that same month by the Los Angeles Times:

A 15-year-old staging a gallows scene at a Halloween party accidentally hanged himself when the noose somehow tightened, authorities said today. William Anthony Odom of Charlotte, N.C., was pronounced dead Friday night amid fake spider webs and plastic bats decorating an aunt’s home. Odom and several of his friends had staged a haunted house in the basement.

Verdict: Truth


(Okay, so all two of the Mac Davis fans reading this got that)

We’ve all heard this one… and many of us have told it at slumber parties or on Halloween night: A couple is in some remote “lover’s lane” when their make-out session is interrupted by a buzzkill report on the car radio about an escaped killer loose in the vicinity. The bad guy is easy to spot, as one of his severed hands has been replaced by a metal hook. He’s supposedly used that hook to murder all of his victims. Yikes! The girl insists on being driven home immediately. The boy argues with her, saying there’s nothing to be afraid of. She persists, and old blue-balls guns the engine and roars away. The couple stews in silence all the way back into town. Upon arrival at her house, a bloody hook is seen hanging from the passenger-side car door handle.

Even good old Dear Abby fell for this one, publishing the story in her column in 1960:

If you are interested in teenagers, you will print this story. I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but it doesn’t matter because it served its purpose on me.

A fellow and his date pulled into their favorite “lovers’ lane” to listen to the radio and do a little necking. The music was interrupted by an announcer who said there was an escaped convict in the area who had served time for rape and robbery. He was described as having a hook instead of a right hand. The couple became frightened and drove away. When the boy took his girl home, he went around to open the car door for her. Then he saw — a hook on the door handle! I don’t think I will ever park to make out as long as I live. I hope this does the same for other kids.

The roots of legends like The Hook lie in exaggerated memories of real life Lover’s Lane murders. There were actual cases of kids who’d gone to make out returning in pine boxes.

The most notorious case that sparked it was the Lovers Lane murders that happened in Texarkana in 1946 (and also inspiration for the 1976 horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown). After that, and after the legend was firmly fixed, we had the Monster of Florence, the Zodiac Killer and the Son of Sam, all famous for hunting couples in parking cars.

Verdict: Truth


In the early hours of Halloween 1981, 39-year-old photographer Ronald Sisman and 20-year-old college student Elizabeth Platzman were brutally murdered in their Chelsea apartment. The couple was badly beaten before being shot execution-style.

New York police didn’t have any suspects until the case took a strange and unexpected turn. A prison informant said that one of his fellow inmates – who just happened to be the “Son of Sam” killer, David Berkowitz – had predicted the crime weeks before it actually happened.

At the time Berkowitz had been thought to be involved with a satanic cult that helped him with his previous homicides. According to the informant, Berkowitz claimed that Sisman had footage of one of the Son of Sam shootings from 1977 and was planning to hand it over to the authorities. Or maybe he was going to sell it to a middleman. “Some famous artist wanted that to sell to a collector for about $50,000,” Berkowitz is quoted as saying. Rumor has it that the now-deceased erotic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe was the unnamed artist.

But for as many rumors and theories as there are, nothing has come of any of it and the ruthless double-murder of Ronald Sisman and Elizabeth Platzman remains unsolved.

Verdict: ???


While director John Carpenter has never come right out and said that Michael Myers was based on real-life creepy killer Ed Kemper, some folks insist on connecting the dots. Kemper murdered members of his family, along with many other people (especially coeds). He, like MM, is a huge, hulking dude, standing at 6’9″ and has “the devil’s eyes.” For his final act of murder, Kemper beheaded his mom, screwed her skull then her noggin as a dartboard before ramming her larynx down the garbage disposal. Even Michael Myers never did anything that bad!

Michael Myers cannot die, and even though he was incarcerated in the early 1970s Kemper remains alive to this day. Hmmm.

And then there are the rumors that Michael Myers is based on a serial slayer called Stanley Stiers. As Mystic Investigations claims (and only Mystic Investigations claims), back in 1923, Stiers snapped and slaughtered his entire family on Halloween night at the tender age of 11. After this myth surfaced, stories swirled in chatrooms: “After he killed his family, he went trick or treating, and also killed a few classmates that bullied him. He was described as having an inhuman strength, and escaped from [a] government testing facility where they kept him for 13 years.” Uh-huh. Sure.

Verdict: Trick

What are some of your favorite Halloween-related myths and scary stories? Post them in the comments below!


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Bobby Joe vs Evil Dead: The Female-Driven Evil Dead Spin-Off That Should Have Been



Whatever Happened to Bobby Joe?

That is a question that has plagued me since the first time I saw Evil Dead 2 at a party in high school. There might be a comic book that explains her final fate, but I don’t know about it, so I’m writing this up all the same.

This is my pitch for not only what happened to her after she was drug out into the middle of the woods by killer trees but also what could have happened after to our badass backwoods beauty queen (BBBQ).

Let’s call it: Bobby Joe vs Evil Dead

To begin, let’s start with the last time we saw little ol’ Bobby Joe. The poor girl got a mouthfulla eyeball and a hair fulla Ash’s hand and ran off into the woods alone, only to be taken by the trees. Dead, right? I call BS. After all, we have seen numerous people attacked by the Evil Trees (Cheryl, Scotty, and Mia spring to mind) and guess what? All of them survived, to varying degrees.

The point is the Evil Trees tend to, you know, molest and mutilate, but they aren’t known for their life-taking skills. Therefore it makes total sense that Bobby Joe survived her encounter with the trees out there. But that begs the question, “What happened to her?”

One of the coolest aspects to remember about her character is that she is (to my memory) the only character in the Evil Dead series that is “killed” and doesn’t come back as a Deadite. Strange huh? Almost seems like Raimi and co. were setting her up for an eventual return and then just kinda, I guess, forgot about her. But let’s not make the same mistake over and over, Bobby Joe needs her redemption and she needs her revenge. Bobby Joe needs to reemerge as the series’ badass female hero. But how?

Let’s get into it now. Bobby Joe is pulled off by the trees and, duh, fights back. Or maybe gets Mia and Cheryl’d but still walks/limps away from the ordeal. Now she’s pissed. That could work, but I have one better. She is pulled off by the trees and just as things are about to get really bad, she is rescued.

Rescued? Yes! By who? We’ll get to that. First I want to make sure to point out that just because she recused doesn’t mean she is a weak character. After all, Ash is about the weakest of all characters for most, if not debatably all, of the Evil Dead films, so this isn’t a damsel-in-distress situation. It’s a means of introducing a very interesting side spin-off to this spin-off.

So, Bobby Joe is being taken by trees when a shadowy male saves her at the last minute. They fight off the trees and then turn to each other… but don’t recognize one other. “Who are you,” she askes the man in the shadows with bitchin’ hair. And out steps, you guessed it, Scotty from the original The Evil Dead.

We’re now in an alternate timeline because the cabin sure as hell could pull off that kind of thing and now we live in a world where all of the events from all of the Evil Dead films – including the remake – can co-exist.

But back to the Scotty thing at hand. What happened was Scotty walked off from the original film and was going to be beaten by the trees but then happened upon Bobby Joe. The two then head back to the cabin where they find Ash fighting with Linda’s Deadite. They accidentally distract Ash and Linda whacks off HIS head with the shovel. Ash is dead!? This is getting crazy now. Yes, with Ash dead, Scotty and Bobby Joe fight off the remaining evil in the original film, with only Bobby Joe making it to morning.

This time around she is the one to lose her hand. This time around she takes up the chainsaw appendage. This time she is the victor. But just as the sun is rising and she moves out of the cabin in the woods – the Applehead Demon attacks! She reads from the book of the dead and the portal opens bringing us up to speed with the end of Evil Dead 2. Bobby Joe is sucked through the portal and lands, yep, in Army of Darkness.

We’re not through yet. Bobby Joe lands just where Ash did but this time she isn’t surrounded by knights played by Sam Raimi’s siblings. This time she is all alone. But wait… there is a cave a ways off… she enters to find Ash sleeping from too much of the sauce – and wakes him up.

Now it’s Ash & Bobby Joe vs Army of Darkness II: Dead by Modern-Day.

That’s a working title, by the way. But yes, Bobby Joe has now found her way into the original Evil Dead timeline and will join forces with newly awoken Ash (following his adventures in Army of Darkness). The story continues from there with the alternate heroes of the two Evil Dead universes going back-and-forth on who’s more badass, and their general shenanigans as they fighting their way through history (courtesy of fun and ironic random time-jumps via the main evil force).

Will the two chainsaw-handed warriors take to each other like soulmates and quickly join forces or will they see each other as arch-enemies? After all, Ash did shoot Bobby Joe accidentally in Evil Dead 2, and I highly doubt she’s just going to let that go. The mind reels with possibilities.

In closing, yes, all of this is a bit silly, but what have the Evil Dead films become other than sillier and sillier. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I would love to know the origin story of Bobby Joe. What must it have been like to grow up as a BBBQ? How did she end up with such a catch as Jake? These questions intrigue the hell out of me and I would love to see them explored in a possible comic series.

The Evil Dead series needs a strong female lead. In the years since the original trilogy, both the remake and the STARZ series have tried to give us strong “Female Ash” characters with Jane Levy’s Mia and Lucy Lawless’ Ruby. While both were arguably successful attempts (I love Mia especially), I still think the best candidate was always Bobby Joe from Evil Dead 2.

That’s my pitch. What do you think? Let us know!



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Exclusive: This Poster Premiere Challenges Your Concept of Perfect



The Eddie Alcazar-directed sci-fi/thriller Perfect will be having its world premiere at this year’s SXSW festival (info) and we’re here to bring you the exclusive poster premiere for the film, which is produced by Steven Soderbergh (Solaris, Unsane, Contagion). To see it in a larger size, just click on the poster.

Featuring music by Flying Lotus, the film sounds like a daring and bold entry into the body horror subgenre.

A boy in a cold and stark modern house, in a vaguely science fictional world, is seduced by advertisements of perfection to install implantable characteristics directly into his body. The implants heal his dark, twisted visions, but come with a corporeal cost. He persists on applying them, hoping to reach perfection, but ultimately he discovers that purity of mind is not exactly as he’s imagined.

Starring Garrett Wareing, Courtney Eaton, Tao Okamoto, Maurice Compte, and Abbie Cornish, Perfect is directed by Eddie Alcazar.


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Bruce is Back in Bitchin’ New Retro Poster for Eli Roth’s Death Wish Remake



Bruce. Is. Back.

A few weeks back we shared with you guys the awesome retro grindhouse trailer for Eli Roth’s upcoming remake of Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis.

That trailer was a ton of fun so we wanted to make sure to also share with you the new retro grindhouse poster for the film as well.

You can check out the poster to the right and the grindhouse trailer below and then let us know what you think!

Personally, I’m digging the hell out of this new marketing strategy, but then again, I love me some Grindhouse cinema. And if we can’t have Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, then I guess this flick will do, for now.

Death Wish is a remake of the Charles Bronson-led 1974 film of the same name, which itself was based on Brian Garfield’s original novel.

This film is directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) from a script written by Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Narc) and stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dean Norris, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, and Kimberly Elise.

Bruce is Back March 2, 2018.


Dr. Paul Kersey is a surgeon who often sees the consequences of the city’s violence in the emergency room. When home intruders brutally attack his wife and young daughter, Kersey becomes obsessed with delivering vigilante justice to the perpetrators. As the anonymous slayings grab the media’s attention, the public begins to wonder if the deadly avenger is a guardian angel — or the Grim Reaper itself.


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