Halloween Horrors that Prove Tricks Aren't Always Treats

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Halloween night is the one time a year where children don masks and costumes in the hopes of finding the most candy. It is also the night of the year where teens "tp" houses and egg strangers. However, for all the joy and youthful fun that Halloween brings, the "Devil's Night" got its name for all the depraved things that have happened on this night. Below are ten horrific instances that seem like they're from a slasher film but are all too rooted in reality. There is a reason it is considered the scariest night of the year, and below you'll discover just why that is true. 

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1. Liske Family Murders

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In a police report that reads like something directly from a horror film, on Halloween in 2010 a teen boy returned home to a house full of carnage. Upon walking through the door the teen found his brother, mother, and step-father all blugeoned to death in the face. He described to the police later that what he saw seemed "like a haunted house." 

Police would later track down the killer as the son of the mother from a previous marriage. It took police two days to track him down and discover he had a history of schizophrenia and violence. He never was able to give the police a motive for his murderous rampage. 

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2. Three Women Abducted on Halloween in 2009

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One of your worst nightmares probably came to life occurred in 2009 Woodbridge, Virginia. Three young women were abducted by a man at gunpoint while out trick-r-treating. The man assaulted all three before sexually molesting two. Finally, one was able to phone her mother before the man released all three of the girls in question. It took two years for the cops to hunt him down and arrest him. Meaning, for two years he was able to stalk other women and commit who knows how many other heinous crimes. 

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3. 9-Year-Old Shot for Skunk Costume

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In 2012, a 9-year-old girl was shot outside a Halloween party by a relative who mistook her for an actual skunk. The man had not been drinking, but became so alarmed when seeing her in costume he took a shotgun and fired it at her shoulder. She survived and was flown to the nearest hospital, but for a night about dressing up, her costume took her to new levels of terror. 

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4. The Toolbox Killer

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Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris committed one of their more heinous crimes on Halloween night after stumbling across 16-year-old Shirley Ledford as she left a party. 

The pair abducted, bound and tortured Ledford in their infamous trailer by repeatedly bashing her elbow with a hammer, inserting plyers into her, and eventually strangling her with a coat hanger. The worst part of all this is that they recorded her during torture and would taunt her by playing back her own screams to her. 

After the police uncovered the footage, Norris would go on to state: 

We've all heard women scream in horror films ... still, we know that no one is really screaming. Why? Simply because an actress can't produce some sounds that convince us that something vile and heinous is happening. If you ever heard that tape, there is just no possible way that you'd not begin crying and trembling. I doubt you could listen to more than a full sixty seconds of it.

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5. Brian Jewell, 17, Accidentally Hangs Himself

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Although not a murder, the case of Brian Jewell is one that haunts me.

One Halloween prank went terribly wrong back in 2005 when Brian Jewell attempted to scare his friends with an elaborate hanging scheme. Jewell was helping put on a Haunted Hayride event in North Carolina when something went horrifically awry. "He's supposed to have the noose around his neck, but it's not a noose that tightens," said another worker who was questioned by police after Jewell's body was found. 

According to workers for the event, Jewell was supposed to be one of the main attractions of the event. The stunt had gone off without a hitch earlier in the day, but one of the men driving the haunted tractor became concerned when Jewell appeared lifeless and failed to give a speech that was scripted during one of the run-throughs. 

Jewell's body was removed from the Haunted Hayride after the noose around his neck did, indeed, tighten and kill him. Over 40 people rode by his corpse before anyone began to suspect that the "dead' body they were looking at was actually dead. 


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6. Timothy O'Bryan Poisoning, 1974

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One of the most infamous Halloween urban legends is that you have to check your candy, otherwise it may be poisoned. This legend came into being in 1974, when young Timothy O'Bryan returned from a night of trick-r-treating and wanted to end the night with a Pixie Stick. After ingesting the stick of pure sugar, O'Bryan began to convulse and die. 

Turns out his candy was poisoned with cyanide not by a stranger but by his own father. O'Bryan's father was in debt, and figured the life insurance on his children would be enough to cover the costs ”” so he attempted to poison and kill them. 

Timothy never made it, but neither did his father, who was put to death by lethal injection a few years later. 

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7. Karl Jackson, 21, Attempts to Stop Eggers

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Karl Jackson was enjoying Halloween night with his girlfriend when things took a turn for the worst. He was helping his girlfriend pick up her 9-year-old son from a Halloween party when reckless teenagers began throwing eggs at his car. Jackson got out of the car in an attempt to reason with the teens, but things went south when one pulled a gun on him and shot him point blank in the head. Jackson bled out at the scene and the killer was never caught. 

Egg throwing has been a tradition on Halloween for decades, but Jackson's story goes to show you that there are those out there who are looking to do more harm than a little vandalism on the "Devil's Night." 

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8. Johnny Lee Garrett

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Johnny Lee Garrett was a sick young boy who in 1981 decided to spend the most evil night of the year raping and murdering a nun. According to testaments that 17-year-old Garrett gave:

There was a nun in bed and she acted as if she was going to scream. I covered her mouth so she couldn't make any noise....I started choking her until she passed out. I had sex with her. I left the convent the way I came in.

Later Garrett would retract his admission and claim that he did not murder the nun. Although there were some holes in the case against Garrett, he was put to death in 1992 by the state of Texas, where the crime occurred. 

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9. Trick-or-Treat Murder

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For some, "trick or treat!" is the last thing they ever hear. 

This was the case for Los Angeles resident Peter Fabiano back in 1957. According to reports, Fabiano was having marital troubles when he heard a knock on his door. When he opened it up, expecting to find costume-clad children he was met with a man in a ski-mask who blew a hole through his chest with a .38-caliber handgun. 

The murderer ended up being Goldyne Pizer, a jealous lover of Fabiano's wife, who conspired to murder her own husband on Halloween night since she believed it was the one night a year a murderer would be able to get away undetected. 

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10. Pasadena Murders

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13-year-old Edgar Evans and 14-year-olds Stephen Coats and Reggie Crawford were gunned down on Halloween night while trick-or-treating in 1993. The five gunman who were charged saw the youths walking along when they decided to murder them as a gang initiation ritual. Policemen originally believed that the three were chosen because they were wearing dark clothes and were 20 feet from a known rival gang member's home. The town of Pasadena was shocked at this senseless violence that claimed the lives of these three boys. 

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