Claim: A corpse went undiscovered for two weeks at a Halloween haunted house attraction.
Example: [Collected via email, October 2014]
Any truth to this? Man dies in a haunted house & is mistaken for a prop for almost 2 weeks.
Origins: On 18 October 2014, Empire News published an article claiming that the corpse of a man who had died at a Halloween haunted house attraction in Illinois had been mistaken for a prop for nearly two weeks:
According to police, a 71-year-old man, whose identity has not been released pending notification to the family, had leaned up against a corner of the building after climbing the stairs to the second floor, and had apparently passed away.
“We don’t yet know whether he had a heart attack or an existing illness that may have caused his death,” said Officer Allison Garfield, who had been on the scene to direct traffic. “It was mayhem after he was discovered, though. People ran from the building screaming, but not in a good, fun way as you’d expect at a place like this.”
“To think that someone could live all alone in this world in a way that no one would notice you gone for multiple weeks, and he made a trip here all by himself to have some fun. We didn’t notice him ourselves. It’s just awful,” Said Lynn Graham. “We have so many props up there I guess I thought Hank put him up there, and he thought I did.”
The story quickly racked up thousands of shares on Facebook, and the more readers who laid eyes on this strange tale, the more people who came away believing it was true.
Fortunately, this tale was nothing more than a spooky ghost story. Empire News is a
While the story above is indeed a work of fiction, it does borrow a version of truth from some similar incidents. Since 1990, a handful of people have died while attempting to scare people with overly realistic Halloween decorations, and in 1976 a
Last updated: 21 October 2014
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.