Creepiest Things to Happen On / Near Halloween

Serial Killer Richard Biegenwald Cuts Girl into Three Pieces and Buried Her

Serial Killer Richard Biegenwald Cuts Girl into Three Pieces and Buried Her

Halloween night, in 1981: 17-year-old Maria Ciallella of Brick, New Jersey had been out trick-or-treating late at night. Shortly after midnight, a patrolman spotted her walking alone on Route 88 in the direction of her house. Around 10 minutes later he turned the car around to offer her a ride, but she was already gone. Her corpse was later found chopped into three pieces and buried in the yard of Richard Biegenwald’s mother’s house on Staten Island.

A Cyclone Sweeps Through India, Kills 200,000

A Cyclone Sweeps Through India, Kills 200,000

The Bengal cyclone of 1876 was a deadly storm that struck Bangladesh (then part of the province of Bengal in British India) on Oct. 31, 1876, killing approximately 200,000 people. The cyclone formed made landfall at the Meghna River estuary. A high tide made the effects of the storm particularly deadly, and a storm surge of roughly 40 feet flooded the low-lying coastal areas. It is estimated that half of the deaths caused by the storm resulted from disease and starvation related to the flooding.

Gerald Turner Rapes, Tortures, and Kills a Nine-Year-Old Girl

Gerald Turner Rapes, Tortures, and Kills a Nine-Year-Old Girl

On Halloween night in 1973, nine-year-old Lisa French of Fond du Lac, Wisconnsin dressed up as a hobo and went trick-or-treating. After she rang the doorbell of neighbor Gerald Turner, he took her into his house and shut the door behind her. Turner would later write: I can still see you standing in the doorway with that felt hat beaming at having recognized me….Then I see the delight in your eyes turn to fear as I close the door behind you…. He raped her, killed her, stuffed her body in a plastic bag, and dumped it in a field.

Explosion at the Indiana State Fair kills 74 and Injures 400

Explosion at the Indiana State Fair kills 74 and Injures 400

On Halloween night, 1963, during a “Holiday on Ice” skating exhibition at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, a propane gas explosion killed 74 people and injured nearly 400 just after 11 p.m. No one realized that propane gas was leaking from a rusty tank in the concession area, slowly filling the unventilated room. The gas came in contact with an electric popcorn machine. A blast of orange flame shot 40 feet up through the South side seats, catapulting people and chairs through the air.

A Man Wearing a “Scream” Mask Shoots and Kills a Brooklyn Teen

A Man Wearing a “Scream” Mask Shoots and Kills a Brooklyn Teen

Last Halloween a man wearing a ghost-face mask that resembled the killer in the movie Scream shot and killed 19-year-old Anthony Seaberry on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. Police were initially worried about copycat crimes, but luckily, none occurred. No motive has ever been determined for this crime. The case remains unsolved.

EgyptAir Flight 990 Crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, Killing 217

EgyptAir Flight 990 Crashes into the Atlantic Ocean, Killing 217

It was October 31, 1999, Halloween. EgyptAir Flight 990, a giant twin-engine Boeing 767 on the way from New York to Cairo, with 217 people aboard, had taken off from Kennedy Airport in the middle of the night, climbed to 33,000 feet, and flown normally for half an hour before mysteriously plummeting into the Atlantic Ocean 60 miles South of Nantucket. Rumor had it that the crew didn’t communicate anything to air-traffic control, that the flight had simply dropped off the New York radar screens.

Jeremy Bryan Jones Stabs and Kills Woman in Betty Boop Costume

Jeremy Bryan Jones Stabs and Kills Woman in Betty Boop Costume

Jeremy Bryan Jones was a drifter and self-proclaimed ladies’ man who was raised in Oklahoma but wound up in Georgia. He eventually befriended a woman who allowed him to stay at her home. On Halloween night 2012, after dolling up the woman’s 12-year-old son and the boy’s friend in makeup, so they’d resemble Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS, Jones went to a popular tavern in Douglasville, GA, where he stabbed a woman wearing a Betty Boop costume to death in the parking lot.

Harry Houdini Dies from a Punch

Harry Houdini Dies from a Punch

On Halloween in 1926, magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix, which was damaged twelve days earlier when he was punched in the stomach unexpectedly. For 10 years after Houdini’s death, his wife Bess conducted a Halloween seance. Though Bess stopped participating in the seances after 1937, others have kept the tradition. Each Halloween, there are numerous Houdini seances held in various locations around the world.

The “Tool Box Killers” Torture a Female Hitchhiker to Death – While Recording it

The “Tool Box Killers” Torture a Female Hitchhiker to Death – While Recording it

Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris, the “Tool Box Killers”, spotted 16-year-old Shirley Ledford, hitchhiking home from a Halloween party. During the course of Ledford’s murder, they tape-recorded themselves taunting her while she screamed for mercy. Norris was later quoted as saying: “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.”

Children were Given Bags of Cocaine Instead of Sweets while Trick-or-Treating in Greater Manchester

Children were Given Bags of Cocaine Instead of Sweets while Trick-or-Treating in Greater Manchester

On Halloween 2012, young children were given bags of cocaine instead of sweets while trick-or-treating for Halloween. A 23-year-old man has been charged with possession of class A drugs following the incident in Greater Manchester the night before. The group of elementary school-aged children was given snap bags of white powder when they rang the doorbell at a house in Mendip Close, Royton. Their parents contacted authorities around 7:50 pm when the youngsters returned and emptied their bags. Police said none of the children had ingested the drug, which was later found to be cocaine.

BJ Liske Murders His Family

BJ Liske Murders His Family

On October 31, 2010, Devon Griffin was heading to church. He was staying with his father that weekend but stopped by his mother’s house to grab a fresh shirt. While he was there, he ran into his step brother BJ. The two had never gotten along and Devon thought it was odd that BJ was trying to have a conversation with him. Devon grabbed his shirt and went off to church. When he returned to his mother’s home, he found it oddly quiet. He looked around the house and discovered that BJ had murdered the family. His father had been shot in the head five times. Then he turned the gun on his stepmom, before beating his step brother to death with a claw hammer.

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is Assassinated by Two Security Guards

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is Assassinated by Two Security Guards

On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, was killed by her Sikh bodyguards. It was part of the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, the Indian Army’s assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar which left the Sikh temple heavily damaged. The assassination sparked four days of riots that left more than 8,000 Indian Sikhs dead in revenge attacks. It was an absolute massacre.

‘Orange Socks’

‘Orange Socks’

On Halloween in 1979, the unidentified body of a young woman was found in a concrete culvert near Interstate 35, just outside of Georgetown, Texas. The victim appeared to be in her twenties and had been sexually assaulted before she was strangled to death. The only unique clue to her identity was a silver, oval-shaped ring on her hand. The victim was nude and the only garment of clothing she had on was a pair of orange socks. Since the young woman was never identified, “Orange Socks” became her nickname. Years later, serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to the murder of “Orange Socks.” He even stated that he had sex with her corpse after she was dead.

The USS Reuben James is Torpedoed by a German U-Boat, Killing 100 Navy Sailors

The USS Reuben James is Torpedoed by a German U-Boat, Killing 100 Navy Sailors

The USS Reuben James was torpedoed on October 31, 1941, by a German submarine while escorting a convoy. The carrier was positioned between an ammunition ship in the convoy and the known position of a submarine wolf pack. Reuben James was hit forward by a torpedo and her entire bow was blown off when a magazine exploded. The bow sank immediately. The aft section floated for five minutes before going down. Of the 159-man crew, only 44 survived.

Teen Raped Nun and Stabbed Her to Death

Teen Raped Nun and Stabbed Her to Death

In 1981 when Johnny Frank Garrett was 17, a 76-year-old nun in Amarillo, TX was raped and stabbed to death in the early morning hours of Halloween. Garrett’s fingerprints were found on her headboard. Garrett later denied murdering her and instead claimed to have burglarized the convent a few days before Halloween. Still, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Although it seemed like an open-and-shut case, details emerged that cast doubt on Garrett’s culpability.

Michael Myers’ Mask in the Movie Halloween was the Face of William Shatner

Michael Myers’ Mask in the Movie Halloween was the Face of William Shatner

Because the film had an incredibly low budget, the prop department of the horror classic Halloween had to dress serial killer Michael Myers in the cheapest mask they could find in their local dress shop. Turns out that was a mask of William Shatner, which cost them a mere $2. They modified it a bit, spray painted it white and made it a bit scarier. Its now one of the iconic images of horror cinema.

The Halloween Home Invasion

The Halloween Home Invasion

When a 34-year-old woman heard a knock at the door on Halloween night, 2014, she assumed it was trick-or-treaters. Instead, she found herself face-to-face with three masked adults, two of them brandishing handguns. The trio barged inside, forced her and her 48-year-old husband to sit down, and bound their hands and feet with duct tape. Two more invaders showed up, joining the original attackers in ransacking the family’s Long Island, NY home. The woman was able to free herself, grabbed her two-year-old son and ran to a neighbor’s home to call the police. The attackers, four men, and one woman are believed to still be at large.

Bizarre Death Of Chris Jenkins

Bizarre Death Of Chris Jenkins

Chris Jenkins visited a downtown Minneapolis bar on Halloween night in 2002. After leaving the bar around midnight, Chris vanished without a trace. He remained a missing person for four months until his body was discovered in the Mississippi River. Since Chris was still wearing his Halloween costume, all indications were that he died shortly after he disappeared. Chris was heavily intoxicated that night and the cause of death was determined to be drowning. While the authorities have withheld specific details, they claimed that an incarcerated suspect told them he was present when Chris was murdered and thrown off a bridge into the river. Even though police believe this man’s story to be credible, no charges have ever been filed.

The East Coast Rapist Strikes

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Aaron Thomas, soon to be dubbed the “East Coast Rapist, had been attacking women from 1997 to 2009. One particularly gruesome story happened on October 31, 2009. Thomas had tracked three girls trick-or-treating in the rain alone. He pulled a gun-shaped lighter on them and ordered them into the woods. One of the girls managed to text her mother her location and police arrived within minutes. Very lucky girls. Thomas managed to get away initially but was later caught.

John D. White, a Former Preacher, Strangles a Woman to Death, then Dresses her Son up for Halloween

John D. White, a Former Preacher, Strangles a Woman to Death, then Dresses her Son up for Halloween

John D. White was a paroled murderer. While on parole, he became the pastor of a small Michigan church. There he met a female resident, with whom he became romantically involved. Sometimes he would even babysit the woman’s three-year-old grandson. But on Halloween night 2012, White strangled her to death with a plastic zip tie. He stuffed her in a garbage bag and dumped her in the woods. Then he returned to the trailer and dressed the boy in a Halloween costume so the boy’s father could take him out. After being arrested for murder, White told police his crime was part of a lingering fantasy to have sex with a corpse, but that he’d “forgot” whether or not he completed that act.

The Death Of the Key West Newborn

The Death Of the Key West Newborn

On October 31, 2004, a housekeeper at the Hilton Resort and Marina in Key West, Florida found the body of a newborn infant girl. The child still had the umbilical cord and placenta attached to her body, indicating that someone recently gave birth to this girl and decided to just toss her into the trash. It did not take authorities long to figure out who was responsible. Witnesses say the pregnant woman was in the bathroom for approximately 40 minutes and a security guard saw her clutching her stomach when she exited. When the guard asked if she was alright, he was told she had gotten sick by partying too much at nearby Fantasy Fest. The four individuals were escorted out of the hotel, but the child was not discovered until morning.

Creepy Clowns

Creepy Clowns

Police are getting calls all over the U.S. about threatening men dressed up as clowns luring children into the woods with money. There have also been reports about clowns running around with machetes, pipes, knives or even guns to scare the public. One school even performed a lockdown after there were reports of scary clowns harassing kids outside. In just one week alone, several reports of scary clowns across the nation surfaced. Someone reported a car full of clowns, possibly armed, careening through the York College of Pennsylvania campus. Police in Salisbury, Md., investigated reports of three people dressed as clowns hiding in bushes and jumping out to scare people. And a woman in Lancaster, Ohio, called police to report someone dressed as a clown holding a large kitchen knife.

Trick-or-Treaters Knocking on Man’s Door get Shot with an AK-47

Trick-or-Treaters Knocking on Man’s Door get Shot with an AK-47

On Halloween night in 2008, convicted drug dealer Quentin Patrick of Sumter, SC heard a knock on his door. Assuming it was rival gang members, he grabbed his full-auto AK-47 and blasted at least 29 bullets through his front door at them. Eleven of those bullets hit 12-year-old trick-or-treater T. J. Darrisaw, killing him. T. J.’s father and younger brother were also hit but amazingly survived.

Halloween Stabbing Took Place in Napa Valley, California, in 2004

Halloween Stabbing Took Place in Napa Valley, California, in 2004

Housemates Adriane Insogna, Leslie Ann Mazzara, and Lauren Meanza had spent the evening handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. After going to bed, Lauren woke to the sounds of Adriane screaming at 2am. She ran outside in horror. But after hearing screaming again, she ran back inside. She then discovered both her friends had been stabbed and were left barely alive. She again ran outside of the house and called 911. Her two friends later died. The killer was Adriane’s best friend’s fiancé, Eric Copple, who committed the murders because he was jealous of the friendship between Adriane and his girlfriend.

Ronald Sisman And Elizabeth Platzman Murdered

Ronald Sisman And Elizabeth Platzman Murdered

During the early morning hours of Halloween in 1981, a Manhattan couple named Ronald Sisman and Elizabeth Platzman were murdered in their apartment, near Greenwich Village. The couple was severely beaten and shot in the head, execution-style, and the apartment was completely ransacked. Sisman was rumored to be involved in drugs, so authorities initially believed that to be the motive for the killings. “Son of Sam” killer, David Berkowitz claimed that Sisman possessed snuff footage of one of the “Son of Sam” shootings and was planning to hand it over to the authorities to avoid some drug charges. While no evidence was found to support Berkowitz’s claims, he did provide an eerily accurate description of Sisman’s apartment. No one knows if the murders of Sisman and Platzman had anything to do with the “Son of Sam” case, they are still unsolved.

Father Poisons his own Son with Halloween Candy

Father Poisons his own Son with Halloween Candy

Ronald Clark O’Bryan had fallen deeply into debt, so he decided to murder his son for the insurance money. He purchased potassium cyanide, sprinkled it inside five Pixy Stix straws, crudely stapled them all shut, and handed them out to his son, daughter, and three other neighborhood kids. To avoid suspicion, his plot was to kill them all and blame a neighbor. O’Bryan’s 11-year-old son Timothy, apparently at his father’s urging, swallowed the Pixy Stix powder and complained that it tasted bitter. He soon began vomiting uncontrollably and was dead before reaching the hospital.

Haunted House Hit-and-Run

Haunted House Hit-and-Run

In 1997, a Connecticut woman was hit by a car outside of a haunted house display. Passersby, on their way to Nightmare at Floydville Road, thought the woman who lay there dying, bloodied and in pain, was part of the act. One eyewitness even told police after the fact that he saw the woman reach up from her prone position and thought she was one of the haunted house performers. Kimberley Kitrinos eventually died from her injuries and police were able to track down the driver who never realized he had hit a person with his car.

Hyun Jong ‘Cindy’ Song

Hyun Jong ‘Cindy’ Song

In 2001, Hyun Jong “Cindy” Song dressed up in a bunny costume and attended a Halloween party at a nightclub in State College. This was the last anyone ever saw of her. After Cindy was reported missing, a witness reported seeing a woman resembling Cindy with an unidentified male and crying out for help. An informant told police that Hugo Marcus Selenski and an accomplice named Michael Jason Kerkowski Jr. had abducted her. After Cindy was raped and murdered, the two men allegedly buried her body at another location. Then Kerkowski disappeared, and his remains were found in Selenski’s backyard. He claimed Kerkowski was murdered for keeping Cindy’s bunny ears as a souvenir.

Seven-Year-Old Shot to Death while Trick-or-Treating

Seven-Year-Old Shot to Death while Trick-or-Treating

Seven-year-old Tony Bagley was trick-or-treating with his sister, mother, and aunt early on Halloween night in 1994 on the North side of Las Vegas. A man in a hooded sweat suit leaped out of nowhere and fired at the family before hopping in a getaway car, which peeled away with its lights off. Bullets hit Tony, his sister, his aunt, and his mother, but they all survived. Except Tony. His biological father, who reportedly never commented to the police on Tony’s death, was arrested a few years later for an unrelated street shooting. Tony’s murder remains unsolved.

Man Gets Shot Confronting Kids who Egged his Car

Man Gets Shot Confronting Kids who Egged his Car

21-Year-old computer programmer Karl Jackson had his car egged by a group of local hooligans while driving his girlfriend and her son home through the notoriously dangerous South Bronx on Halloween in 1998. Jackson stepped out of the car to confront the people who threw the eggs and got back in the car after a brief argument. One of the youths got into a car and followed Jackson. They caught up with him a few blocks later and shot him in the head.

Man stabs girlfriend to death over missing bag of Halloween candy

Man stabs girlfriend to death over missing bag of Halloween candy

55-year-old Ledell Peoples blamed his girlfriend for stealing his bag of Halloween treats on Chicago’s South Side in 2011. An argument broke out and 49-year-old Maria Adams threw a plate at Peoples’ head, which struck him above the eye and caused a gash. Peoples then grabbed a knife and stabbed her multiple times, killing her. All of that for some cheap candy. Sad.

Peter Fabiano Murder

Peter Fabiano Murder

On Halloween night in 1957, 35-year-old Los Angeles resident, Peter Fabiano, answered the door to what he believed to be trick-or-treaters. Instead, the last thing he saw was an adult in a hat, red gloves, and a domino mask, aiming a brown paper bag that contained a .22 caliber pistol right at him. The person fired the fatal shot and immediately fled the scene, hoping to disappear under the cover of anonymity. A woman named Joan Rabel, who had an affair with Peter’s wife, Betty, wanted revenge after her lover reconciled with her husband. With help from Goldyne Pizer, she murdered Peter Fabiano. Police managed to track them both down and they were jailed for second-degree murder and sentenced to five years in prison.

A “Smiley Face” Killer

A “Smiley Face” Killer

Christopher Jenkins, was just 21 years old when he mysteriously disappeared on Halloween night in 2002. Four months later, his body was found floating in the Mississippi River, still clothed in his Halloween costume. Authorities called it an accidental drowning but his parents refused to believe it. Their search lead them to a series of drowning deaths, many involving young men with similar builds. Authorities connected at least 40 mysterious deaths by drowning of college-age men across the country. Authorities believe that some of them were connected by a crude drawing of a smiley face painted either on a tree or other surface near the crime scene. Detectives have dubbed the killer or killers “Smiley Face”, and believe they are still at large today.

Creepy Accident at St. Louis Haunted House

Creepy Accident at St. Louis Haunted House

It happened at Creepyworld, a popular Halloween attraction in Fenton, Mo., that bills itself as “America’s biggest and scariest Screampark.” According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the girl was working as an actress in the haunted town last Thursday night, when she somehow got a noose that was being used as a prop wrapped around her neck. A co-worker who makes rounds to check on employees found the teenager, unconscious and hanging.

Murder Of Marvin Brandland

Murder Of Marvin Brandland

In 1982, 69-year-old Marvin Brandland lived with his wife, Ethel, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. On Halloween 1982, the Brandlands were handing out candy to trick-or-treaters who came to their house. They answered the door to a man wearing a mask. He said, “Trick-or-treat. Give me your money or I’ll shoot.” The masked man entered the house and pulled out a gun. He demanded that the couple give him all the money they had in their safe. The Brandlands became suspicious since very few people knew they even had a safe in their basement. Marvin made a grab for the gun. The intruder wound up shooting Marvin in the throat before fleeing the house and inexplicably leaving his mask behind. Ethel was so traumatized by her husband’s death that she died only a few months later.

Chaim Weiss Halloween Murder

Chaim Weiss Halloween Murder

The morning after Halloween in 1986, the entire school at the Mesivta of Long Beach, a yeshiva high school in New York, was horrified when Chaim Weiss was found murdered on his dorm room floor. He had been bludgeoned to death after a sharp blow to the skull and was repeatedly stabbed in the head, but no murder weapon could be found anywhere. Since there was no evidence of a struggle, it seemed likely that Chaim was killed in his bed while he slept before his body was moved to the floor.

Decomposed Body Found on balcony

Decomposed Body Found on balcony

In Los Angeles in October 2009, a man’s corpse decomposed on his balcony, in full sight of his neighbors, for days because anyone who saw it thought it was part of a very convincing Halloween display and never called the police. Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on a Monday but wasn’t actually discovered by police until that Thursday when someone finally called it in. “The body was in plain view of the entire apartment complex [and] they all didn’t do anything,” one witness said. “It’s very strange. It did look unreal, to be honest.”

Stalker at the Railroad Tracks

Stalker at the Railroad Tracks

18-year-old Taylor Van Diest was walking alone to meet a friend on Halloween night, 2011. She noticed she was being followed and relayed this information via text. Shortly after that, all contact stopped and the young woman seemingly vanished into thin air. Hours later, Taylor was found by the railroad tracks, brutally beaten with life-threatening head wounds. She was rushed to the hospital but later died of her injuries. DNA evidence pointed to 26-year-old Matthew Foerster as the perpetrator. It is believed that the attack began as an attempted rape, but when Taylor screamed and fought to escape, Foerster panicked and smashed her head repeatedly with a blunt instrument.

Nima Louise Carter

Nima Louise Carter

The morning after Halloween in 1977, 19-month-old Nima Louise Carter from Lawton, Oklahoma went missing from her home. Since the windows in Nima’s bedroom were locked, it’s thought that her abductor had been hiding in the closet and sneaked the child out of the house while her parents were sleeping in the living room. A month later, a group of kids playing in an abandoned house four blocks away from the Carter home, found Nima’s decomposed body in a refrigerator. She died of suffocation. Jacqueline Roubideaux, a babysitter for Nima was a suspect, but there was no evidence to implicate her.

The Disappearance of DJ Blue

The Disappearance of DJ Blue

On Halloween night in 2012, 22-year-old Leon Hall, also known as DJ Blue, was kicked out of a nightclub for disorderly conduct. When the well-known Seattle entertainer didn’t respond to any texts or calls within the next few days, his friends knew something was seriously wrong. Although everyone hoped for a positive outcome, Hall’s body was said to have been found floating in a bay almost a month later. The exact circumstances behind his death are still unknown.