Halloween aftermath: Local families’ candy concern

Some candy collected last night raised concerns for a group of local families and they have reported it to police just in case. There’s no official warning and no word of illnesses, but it’s information the families wanted to share. They told WSB they were trick-or-treating in the Fauntleroy area last night, came home, and ate some candy. The candy included small boxes of Milk Duds; those candies, they say, left behind a numbing sensation, like topical anesthetic. The candy also smelled a little like cough syrup, they told us. They met with police today and turned over candy for testing. Results might take a long time, they were told, so they’ve circulated the word in their neighborhoods and let us know too – again, just in case.

27 Replies to "Halloween aftermath: Local families' candy concern"

  • Alki Resident November 1, 2016 (6:03 pm)

    Im sorry this happened. If they test the candy they’re still not going to be able to trace it to the provider. Which makes me wonder if they’ll even test the candy. Pretty horrible thing to do.

  • Carol November 1, 2016 (6:16 pm)

    this may just be a made up urban legend designed to scare folks. note there are no actual names tied to the people reporting the issue, no first hand accounts.  this reads like chain mail from aol mail.

    • WSB November 1, 2016 (7:37 pm)

      Carol, no, it’s not a “made-up urban legend.” I have written it fairly vaguely because there’s no way to know whether it was some factory problem or actual tampering – which is EXTREMELY rare – or who knows what. But there are actual people involved, identity known, with whom I have communicated via phone and e-mail.

      We debated whether to publish anything, but after extensive discussion, we fell on the side that publishing this as a heads-up *just in case* was less potentially harmful than NOT publishing it and running the risk that JUST MAYBE somebody else had candy with a problem and wouldn’t have known to check it because we’d withheld the information. We get a lot of information because of what we do and have to decide often what to do, or not to do, with it. I don’t know if we always make the right decision, but we do the best we can. – TR

      • Carol November 1, 2016 (10:43 pm)

        WSB – then please do some proper reporting. Have you been on location? Interviewed people? Why not list their names? Photo of the candy in question? By just reporting without validation you can also cause panic.


        • miws November 2, 2016 (12:08 pm)

          Carol, please cite your professional journalism experience that qualifies you to imply that the owners of WSB, each of who has decades  of  experience in professional journalism ,  are not doing proper reporting.


        • jill November 2, 2016 (12:17 pm)

          Well Carol… I am one of the victims.. the instant that candy was in my mouth my tongue went numb.. my friend  was numb through the night.  Another was violently ill in Burien and another tasted a odd looking piece of candy of her sons and went numb as well.   We are mothers who have far better things to do than start urban legends to freak out kids and parents in our neighborhood.  This has happened in West Seattle and Burien … different locations trick or treating.. and because us moms were tireless about getting out the message we were able to find others that were sick from this candy.  So we are speaking with manufacturers .  We have given the evidence to the police and we have let our community know … I am thankful I check my kids candy and glad I am the one who went for the Milk Duds because this was very real and I would have been a mess if this had happened to my child or any child for that matter. 

          The police has the boxes of milk duds… but Im sure you know what a milk dud looks like… they have been around a while.  They are in a  small ,yellow box , with the words MILK DUDS on it… there are 3 inside and 4 if you are lucky. 

          This wasn’t to cause panic… this was to remind parents to check their kids stash because there was a actual, very real problem. 

          Thank you WSB for the heads up to our community… 

          • newnative November 2, 2016 (12:25 pm)

            Well, that is definitely a different take on the above report.  Violently ill is a sharp contrast to “no word of illnesses” as originally reported.   Not sure why the condescending description of a box of Milk Duds.  

          • WSB November 2, 2016 (12:39 pm)

            I didn’t have that information when I wrote this last night. I had been waiting for a reply to a couple of followup questions (one of which was in fact “Has anybody reported getting sick?” since my original conversation and e-mails with the folks who contacted us) when we decided to go ahead and go with what we had before it got to be too much later in the evening (not that we ever put up the CLOSED sign but we do know when readers cycle in and out and in order to reach people before after-dinner candy consumption, that was prime time).

          • t November 2, 2016 (1:30 pm)

            I am so sorry you had a scare.   I am curious–were any children ill?  It sounds from your report that it was only parents?  I guess that’s good, but given that kids often have weaker resistances (and eat a whole bunch more candy than adults) it’s a bit odd if no kids got sick.  So are there any reports of sick kids?

          • Carol November 2, 2016 (4:23 pm)

            Thank you Jill for replying and offering your first hand account. The article above read like something on Facebook The way you report is with photos, first hand account/testimony along with names and locations. Glad you guys are ok! Please keep us posted! 

  • ImmaMom November 1, 2016 (6:49 pm)

    Yikes!  Thank you for the heads up. 

  • TheKing November 1, 2016 (7:22 pm)

    What a strange Halloween. Between the masked assault-robbery, stabbing at the door, child hit and run by a drunk and this story to name a few. Simple times are a thing of the past. 

  • justme November 1, 2016 (8:23 pm)

    It’s time to stop the ridiculous holiday in my opinion.

    • Logan November 2, 2016 (7:33 am)

      Let’s stop Christmas too!!! Your birthday is stupid too, stop celebrating that too. Misery.

    • bill bob November 3, 2016 (11:26 am)

      It’s one of the only true “fun” holidays! The others are either religious, military based, or based upon remembrance of past presidents or public figures. I’ll go opposite and say we should get a day off to be creative, dress up, cook real food…we will call it Halloween! 

  • t November 1, 2016 (8:46 pm)

    I understand that the story is not fabricated at the point of journalism, but I also don’t know if there was ever any cause for concern with the actual candy.  

    The only part I’d take issue with is going out on the rather shaky limb of saying it was either a factory problem or tampering–until we know more it could just as easily be nerves and paranoia.

    There is no easy answer, and truth be told I too would probably err on the side of reporting (the costs, should the candy actually be tainted, are just too high to not get the word out), but my head and heart think and hope it is just nothing.

  • Julia November 1, 2016 (10:02 pm)

    I wonder if the Milk-Duds were either old or came from one of those mixed bags with chocolate and fruit-flavored candy, or both. That could make them nasty.

    • sam-c November 2, 2016 (9:04 am)

      Yes, that is entirely possible.  We have a giant jar of candy at work, all kinds.  All of the reeses PB cups have a fruity flavor added on now thanks to everything being mixed together.

  • Julia November 1, 2016 (11:25 pm)

    Reading carefully, “t”, I see that WSB said the candy problem may have been a factory problem, actual tampering, or “who knows what.” That leaves room for an innocent explanation.

    And Carol, I doubt this cautious alert will “cause panic.”

    • t November 2, 2016 (8:42 am)

      You are correct, of course. 

  • Tom S November 2, 2016 (8:49 am)

    I barely survived the late 70’s early 80’s with all the razor blades in apples and tampered with candy but I have a feeling we will all make it through this as well. 

  • M November 2, 2016 (10:54 am)

    Strangely we had a package of Milk Duds that was left behind in the candy bowl we left out on our front porch after putting the kids to bed. We did not offer Milk Duds, just lollypops. I just retrieved it to take a closer look and it is clearly re-sealed with glue on one end while the other end has no glue. Wondering if I should give it over for testing or just throw it away. I definitely won’t be letting my kids eat it. Thanks for the heads up because I already had a strange feeling about them.  

    • Carol November 2, 2016 (4:25 pm)

      Don’t trash potential evidence! Please report this to Seattle PD

  • unknown November 2, 2016 (11:24 am)

    All I gotta say for all of this is…. THANK YOU STELLA NICHOLS!

  • Justthefactsmaam November 2, 2016 (11:49 am)

    The WSB has always, in my opinion, taken a fair and unbiased approach to reporting local news.  Whether this incident was due to “tainted” candy, either through accidental or deliberate means, is not for readers to judge.  It’s a report and not an opinion.  Poisoned candy stories arise every year around Halloween.   BTW–stale popcorn balls in my treat bag back in the 60’s were the worst thing ever to receive!

  • waikikigirl November 2, 2016 (12:10 pm)

    I was thinking maybe those  Milk Duds were given out by a Senior Citizen and were kept in their medicine drawer, you know  with the Ben Gay or Vicks Vapor Rub. I for one know my Dad never threw anything out and he had candy left over from previous years Halloweens!   

  • BracePt November 3, 2016 (8:48 am)

    Jill, M or WSB – could you give more specifics about the area(s) where you visited/found the candy?  Thx

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