Are trick or treat dangers real? Are sex offenders, kidnappings, and child sacrifices real Halloween threats? Are more children likely to be abducted on Halloween than any other night of the year? Is it safe to trick or treat alone or should parents always accompany children? If you’ve ever wondered how many Halloween threats are real and what are myths you aren’t alone. Trick or treat dangers are real, but some are blown out of proportion. Here’s a look at the facts and what you can do to not only ensure your children’s safety this Halloween, but separate the truth from myths.
First, there are sex offenders. Depending upon the area where you live, you may have a high or low percentage of registered sex offenders. Each year, at Halloween, local law enforcement agencies advise parents to know where sexual predators and offenders live before their children trick or treat. Keep in mind that the sex offender registry only keeps track of those offenders who have already been arrested and found guilty.
While it’s true that many children are victimized by adults they know, that doesn’t mean that stranger sexual abuse has never occurred on Halloween, or when children trick or treat. There are real trick or treat dangers as evidenced by several cases of children and teenagers who were raped and/or sexually abused on Halloween while trick or treating. There are some people who believe that there are no dangers of sexual abuse to children on Halloween, such as in this Huffington Post article, or that the risk is no greater on that night than any other night, but that simply isn’t the case.
ABC reported on a story where a 14-year-old, mentally-challenged girl was kidnapped and raped while trick or treating. Wisconsin officials have been so disturbed over the Halloween rape and murder of 9-year-old Lisa French, who never came home when she went to trick or treat on Oct. 31, 1973, that the city of Fond du Lac schedules trick or treat hours during the daytime. Trick or treat attacks aren’t limited to U.S. soil either. In the U.K., a rapist was sentenced to 12 years after abducting and raping a boy at knifepoint who was trick or treating, as reported by the Daily Mail.
To say that no child has ever been kidnapped, raped and murdered on Halloween, or during trick or treat hours isn’t correct. There is a real danger there, it has happened before. Staying away from known sexual offenders is not enough. Children must ensure that they trick or treat in groups, stay together, and are either accompanied by parents or other responsible adults. Children who trick or treat by themselves are most vulnerable. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides a safety list for trick or treat guidelines. They recommend that young children never trick or treat alone, or without a trusted, responsible adult.
— WISN 12 News (@WISN12News) October 20, 2014
— West Palm Beach PD (@WestPalmPD) October 30, 2014
On Oct. 31, 1969, two Michigan teen girls disappeared when they had plans to attend a homecoming football game, followed by a Halloween party, as reported by CBS Crimesider. Patricia Spencer, 16, and Pamela Hobley, 15, have never been heard of since and the case is believed to be a Halloween kidnapping. The case is handled by the NCMEC, and while it’s been 45 years, many still have hope the case will be solved. The case shows that trouble can ensue even when you are with someone else. While many believe that there is safety in numbers and that Halloween kidnappings are rare, history shows that no one is exempt from the threat of danger. Whether planning to trick or treat or to attend a Halloween party, it is imperative that everyone utilizes the safest course of action for a positive, Halloween experience.
Of all the Halloween dangers, none may be more of a trick or treat threat than that of child sacrifice. This is often widespread through Evangelical Christians that Halloween is the devil’s holiday and that it has to be taken back for God. What’s interesting is that Halloween was a pagan holiday until the Roman Catholic Church claimed it for God. So, it’s a bit interesting that many Evangelicals want to reclaim the holiday a second time. But what about the fears that those who dress up in costume or trick or treat are at risk for demonic possession or being offered as a sacrifice to the devil? Are there real cases of ritual, child sacrifice that takes place on Halloween?
— Bryan Daniel Peach (@bryanpeach) October 30, 2014
What is really being discussed when it comes to trick or treat dangers, such as child sacrifice on Halloween is Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). During the 1980s, there was a wave of fear and panic that swept across America, that there were Satanic ritual cults lurking around every corner, ready to abduct and sacrifice children. Halloween was listed as one of the “holiest” nights during the year for Satanists and witches to sacrifice children and no child was safe during trick or treat hours. This was known as “Satanic Panic,” as defined by Religious Tolerance. Fear of satanic panic was so widespread, that in Raliegh, North Carolina, the Associated Press reported on Oct. 29, 1989, that a group of parents were petrified that a satanic cult was going to abduct blonde haired, blued eyed children between the ages of 2-years-old and 5-years-old during trick or treat times for the purpose of child sacrifice on Halloween.
Trick or treat activities were met with fear and panic. Authorities investigated and tried to locate the satanic cult, but to no avail. Nothing ever panned out, and the threat was believed to be nothing more than rumor. While many people no longer believe in the satanic panic that ruled the 80s, (Geraldo Rivera publicly apologized for his part in promoting the myths), many Evangelical Christians continue to accept this form of Satanism and witchcraft as reality. On Oct. 8, Raw Story reported on a recent episode from televangelist Jim Bakker, where he explained that Planned Parenthood is a legal cover for child sacrifice. Bakker also said that several Planned Parenthood facilities are secret locations for Satanic temples. According to Bakker and his wife, abortion clinics hold satanic rituals on Halloween where they are essentially offering fetuses as child sacrifices. There has never been anything to prove these types of fears as fact.
In 1992, the FBI studied childhood ritual abuse to essentially determine fact from fiction, and set forth proposed treatment methods for survivors of satanic, ritual abuse. While there are cases of child sex rings, many of the cases of satanic ritual abuse appear to be false. There are fringe, religious groups; however, that have participated in occult rituals on a global scale, but for the majority of cases of “satanic panic’ in the U.S., the evidence disproves the notion.
You may read the full FBI report referred to as the “Investigator’s Guide to Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse” online and in PDF format.
It appears that there is truth to the dangers of sex offenders and kidnappings during Halloween or trick or treat times; but less chances that your child will be abducted for the purpose of child sacrifice when they go to trick or treat or attend a Halloween party.
What do you think? Do you believe trick or treat dangers are real? Do you fear sex offenders, kidnappings, and child sacrifices on Halloween when your kids trick or treat? What do you think of trick or treat rules for sex offenders?
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