8 blood-curdling Halloween horror stories that actually happened on October 31
Halloween may be a celebration of all things horror but often real life can be scarier than fiction.
On the same day of the year that kids are trick-or-treating and adults are partying in fancy dress, evil murders have been committed.
The following grisly crimes all took place on the calendar's spookiest night of the year, October 31.
1) Evil 'Candy Man' Ronald O'Bryan laced his eight-year-old's sweets with cyanide after an evening collecting them on the doorsteps of neighbours.
In 1974, the dad saw killing his son as the perfect way out of debt by cashing in on a life insurance payout.
After returning home from trick-or-treating in Houston, Texas, Ronald gave little Timothy a Pixy Stix sweet which left him vomiting and then dead on the way to the hospital.
Also known as the 'Man who killed Halloween', Ronald was found guilty of murder a year later and suffered the state's death penalty, Vice reports.
2) Martha Moxley, 15, was found battered to death on the morning of Halloween 1975, by what looked like someone wielding a golf club.
No one had been found guilty of the killing until Michael Skakel – who has powerful family connections in Connecticut – handed himself in 25 years later.
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Skakel who was also 15 at the time of Martha's death was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison but was released for retrial in 2013 and has remained free since.
3) A nun was raped, strangled and stabbed at a convent in Texas on October 31, 1981.
Johnny Frank Garrett who lived across the street was seen running from the crime scene and was executed 11 years later for murdering Sister Tadea Benz.
4) Friends were murdered in their own home after opening the door to who they thought was the last trick-or-treater of the night.
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After three women had gone to bed, one of them, Lauren Meanza heard a chilling scream bellow from the floor above in Napa, California.
Unknown to Lauren who fled the home on Halloween 2004, upstairs were the slaughtered bodies of her pals Leslie Mazzara and Adriane Insogna.
Killer Eric Matthew Copple never revealed his motive, Insider reports.
5) Eggs appeared to be the only weapon in sight when a couple came under attack from teenagers who bombarded their car in 1998.
When 21-year-old Bronx resident Karl Jackson however jumped out the car to blast the pranksters for their antics, one of them gunned him down in the head, The New York Times reports.
Curtis Sterling, 17, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
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6) In 1992 Japanese exchange studentYoshihiro Hattori was struggling to find the address for a Halloween party he had been invited to in New Orleans.
Tragically the 16-year-old knocked on the wrong door.
After no one answered he returned to his car until finally homeowner, Rodney Peairs stepped out.
Hattori explained "We are here for the party" only to be shot dead with a revolver.
Peairs claimed to have been scared and thought the student was trespassing on his property with criminal intent, according to Japan Today.
The killer was ruled not guilty of any charges thanks to the American "castle doctrine" whereby residents are within their rights to defend their property with lethal force.
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7) A jealous lesbian love affair led to an unsuspecting man's Los Angeles doorstep death late at night in 1957.
Peter Fabiano heard the doorbell and got up, leaving wife Betty in bed and grabbed some sweets for who he thought was a trick-or-treater.
Her opened the door to a masked woman who raised her hand inside a paper bag and shot him dead in the chest.
According to The Los Angeles Times, police eventually arrested Joan Rabel who was reportedly sleeping with Betty and convinced Goldyne Pizer, into murdering her husband.
Both Rabel and Pizer were jailed.
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8) A pair of serial killers struck for the fifth and final time when they spotted hitchhiker Shirley Ledford on Halloween 1979.
Shirley accepted a lift in their dingy van unaware that they were South California's Toolbox Killers.
As with their four previous victims, sickos Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris tortured the party-goer with standard tools before dumping her dead body on a stranger's lawn, according to New York Daily News.
Bittaker died in 2019 before his execution, NBC reports and Norris was given 45 years to life.
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