Watch a horrifying Halloween Safety PSA from 1977

Originally published at: Watch a horrifying Halloween Safety PSA from 1977 | Boing Boing


And so began the Malaise Era of Halloween, culminating in the parking lot trunk-or-treats of today.

BTW: Jason of the Scar Stuff blog is a great guy and a personal friend - he made a couple Halloween comp tapes that I trot out every year for the special day.


The OP neglects to mention that Jason himself appears in this PSA at about 5:28! And then again at about 6:10!

ETA: Gawd, I’d forgotten what a buzzkill this video is. It’s easy to see how the stage was set for the Satanic Panic several years later - the concentration on “stranger danger” and nefarious actors hiding stuff in goodies really sets the mood for the 80s.


When I was a kid, the B’klyn Halloween norm was to ring apartment buildings’ buzzers then wait for adults to toss coins and candies from their windows. We’d catch the stuff in our paper bags. Our biggest concern was the perpetual urban legend that evil adults would heat up coins on their stoves then toss the red-hot coins down to us.


remember kids, no spooky black costumes. your witch costume must be white because the appeasement of motorists is tantamount. you wouldn’t want to saddle their conscience with vehicular manslaughter, would you?

remember, if you dress a certain way and another person harms you because of the way you’re dressed, it’s your fault for dressing that way.

yeah, that’s a responsible message for the kids.


From the Mads:


Or one could be too short to be seen. I’ll explain. A few years ago, one of our neighbors got their very newbie toddler son into some serious cowboy gear. Hat, spurs, chaps, the works; a chunk of money must have gone into that. Anyway, the door bell rings, I take my turn and look through the peephole… and see nobody. I open the door and my head drops down to see the tiny kid standing there all by himself… just staring down into his empty plastic pumpkin container, it being way too small to hold more than a handful of candy. (His dad stood well away from our front door to watch his little guy soloing on what had to be his first ever trick or treat mission.) So I throw a couple of minibars into his container. Kid says nothing and just keeps staring into the container. So I throw in a couple of more bars. The kid doesn’t budge. (He either didn’t understand trick or treat… or he did – and too well.) I threw one more in. Dad: “That’s okay… he doesn’t know yet.” Indeed. Once I got over the surprise of seeing a very tiny cowboy at our door, a line (paraphrased) from Kill Bill 2 got into my head, one that I couldn’t shake as I was dealing with the kid. “That hat. That f-----g hat. That f-----g shit-kicker hat.”


I was in HS when all that began. It was the start of me realizing how ridiculous religion is.
Then I worked with a dude later on when I was in college who was a member of some evangelical church that was into scaring people about the backwards messages and stuff on records.
All so silly.


One of the worst things about the “Satanic Panic” scare was that even after it was exposed as the baseless fear-mongering it was the worst actors (like Kern County prosecutor Ed Jagels) still got away without facing any consequences whatsoever for the irreparable harm they caused. Families were destroyed, children traumatized forever, innocent people spent years of their lives in prison for crimes that never happened, some even lost their lives.

We’re seeing the same garbage playing out again today with Qanon and other conspiracy nuts harping on about imaginary Satanic child abuse rings while ignoring actual acts of abuse and exploitation.


Meme Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon


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