• Adam Conover ready for a night of trick or treating. (SBS)Source: SBS
Our own ignorance towards Halloween might be the most frightening thing of all! (Ghosts are pretty scary, too.)
Rob Hunter

31 Oct 2017 - 11:40 AM  UPDATED 31 Oct 2017 - 11:40 AM

Celebrating the cherished tradition of demanding free treats under threat of retribution, Adam Conover presents a special Halloween episode of Adam Ruins Everything that humorously debunks spooky myths and misconceptions. But no matter how many times common fallacies are proved false and con artists are exposed, there are certain Halloween myths that persist, such as...


People are trying to poison your children’s candy

It may be a difficult thought to acknowledge, but nobody cares about your children anywhere near as much as you do. As Conover explains, the idea that someone would go out of their way to poison Halloween candy in an effort to harm your kids is irrational and has been consistently debunked on multiple occasions. The sugar and fat content of lollies admittedly make them potentially harmful in the long term, but to poison somebody via one piece of candy per year would be extremely inefficient and an insult to deviant criminals everywhere.

Giving a child a piece of fruit is an acceptable Halloween treat

Industry experts agree that fruit has greater nutritional value than sugar-filled, potentially cancer-causing candy. Unfortunately experts are yet to find a way to make it taste nearly as good. If you give a child an apple on Halloween, you are deserving of a toilet-papered tree.


Halloween has no place in Australia

The most outlandish myth of them all! Though the adoption of American customs and use of the word "candy" may be tough for traditionalists to handle, Halloween is about dressing up and eating treats. If you have a problem with this, the correct response is to adopt another great Australian tradition of shutting the hell up.

You are legally immune from criminal consequences on Halloween

It may seem unfair, but police will not accept “They didn’t give me a chocolate” as a viable defence to most crimes, even on Halloween. As such, if someone does not give you a treat when requested, a measured reaction is vital, as violence or setting someone’s house on fire are not considered reasonable "tricks".


Sabrina the Teenage Witch was not a good TV show

Some myths are not only clearly false but can be plain disgusting. In such circumstances, sometimes the only comforting feeling is knowing the person who came up with such a slanderous notion will someday be dead.

It is bad luck to eat a black cat while walking under a ladder

The suggestion that you can create bad luck through certain activities is an obvious superstitious fallacy. That being said, walking near ladders can be dangerous and eating people’s cats is rude at best, meaning it is wise to keep these activities to a minimum where possible.


In horror film The Fly, Jeff Goldblum is played by 12 pug dogs taped together

This rumour has no basis in fact, but no matter how many accolades Goldblum wins or how often he presents human-like characteristics, he will never truly be able to shake the notion that he is just a bunch of pugs.

Debunking Halloween myths has the potential to make the custom less spooky than enthusiastic participants might appreciate. Fortunately, as Adam Conover reminds us in Adam Ruins Everything, there are plenty of things worth being terrified of this Halloween, such as the manipulative power of the media and the ability of con artists to steal our money.

So have fun out there, bearing in mind there are few things more terrifying than the modern world itself. And ghosts. Never forget about ghosts.


Adam Ruins Everything airs Tuesdays at 8pm on SBS VICELAND.

Watch the previous episode at SBS On Demand:

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