Terrorists Target malls on 10/31 hoax
October 12, 2001 4:39 PM   Subscribe

Terrorists Target malls on 10/31 hoax
I have received seven e-mails today about the 'mall attack' and I have had enough. I am sorry, but now is not the time to blindly forward on anything about terrorism without checking the facts. Even a simple Google search will prove most hoaxes false.

The only thing we have to fear is 'forward this to all your friends.'
The FBI has something to say about this also.
posted by DragonBoy (20 comments total)


DragonBoy, I feel your pain. I was forwarded the halloween mall attack email by a friend who has never, in the 8 years I have known her, forwarded me a hoax. But even she was taken by the fact that there is a person's name and phone number signed at the bottom of the email.
posted by arielmeadow at 5:36 PM on October 12, 2001

Don't go to the mall on Halloween, because terrorists driving with their lights off will be planting hypos full of AIDS in movie theater seats. On the other hand, they will be collecting greeting cards and soda-can tabs for a critically ill child, so they're not all bad. Except when they lobby for that internet email tax.

Although Nostradamus predicted the tax won't pass, so we can relax.

What's interesting about this email is that it actually has a real person with a real phone number on the bottom; the Snopsians called her up, and she said she believes it COMPLETELY.
posted by lileks at 5:37 PM on October 12, 2001

"The only thing we have to fear is 'forward this to all your friends.'
The FBI has something to say about this also."

dragonboy, You betcher booties they do. This from the FBI ought to be posted on Snopes right next to this.

And I very much agree that all we have to fear is "Forward this to all your friends." LOL!
posted by realjanetkagan at 5:55 PM on October 12, 2001

interesting that the FBI changed the URL from "skyfall.htm" to "101101.htm"

posted by cheesebot at 6:06 PM on October 12, 2001

cheesebot: While Muslim extremists have no reason to care one iota about Halloween, Christian extremists have been targeting Halloween as *E*V*I*L* for a long time now. In my (NJ) neighborhood, a major amount of trick-or-treating goes on in the mall. Every mall store here has candy treats on hand for the kidlets---they buy off the kidlets with penny candy so their parents can shop for $100 items. As far as the "Mall-o-ween" urban legend goes, I've got to ask: Who benefits from this particular scare-e-mail?
posted by realjanetkagan at 6:32 PM on October 12, 2001

Speaking as someone who worked as a store manager in a mall for several Halloweens, I can tell you that although the *theory* is to buy off the kidlets to sucker the parents in to shop, the reality is that all business grinds to a standstill while the candy is being passed out. There is an unbreakable line of children and parents around the entire mall, making it very difficult to get in and out of the stores. There is a very noticeable drop in sales on that day. At best it is simply a PR stunt to engender goodwill in the hopes that those people will return later and shop.
posted by Lokheed at 7:07 PM on October 12, 2001

Janet is right--there is a deep strain of Kill Joy in America. part of the puritan heritage. Years ago, I took my niece out trick or treating and she was the only kid under the age of 12 that some of the houses to which we went had seen all night. I reserached this and discovered The Razor Blade In The Apple: The Social Construction of Urban Legends by Joel Best. Best's most recent work is Randon Acts of Violence: How We talk About New Crimes And New Victims.--you know this goes beyond Halloween and shows what we're in for come the next few years.

All these recurring themes of date rape drugs, crack babies, the way we talk about crime and addicition is voo doo, moral voo doo. We were deep in a public hysteria cycle before this attack happened and now look what we're going to be up against. In the Kafakesque Kinesthetics: *shudder*.

The key phrase is Social Construction--any activity involving physical pleasure in our culture is perverted and the people involved persecuted to such incredible extremes. We talk about addiciton like there was any agreement among scientists without a addiction-is a-disease ideological ax to grind. So, we have a system of crime and punishment designed to create the most degrading situations possible while we obsees about monsters that don't exist. A friend of mine got an email about drug addicts with AIDs leaving infected needles in phone booth coin returns...Cri-yi-yi.

Bottom line: If it feels good, don't do it. Or we'll getcha!
posted by y2karl at 7:37 PM on October 12, 2001

PS. Who benefits? Candy companies--the profit margin in individually wrapped itsy bitsy candy bars in enormous.

How, Halloween is the biggest adult holiday apart from New Years. And try as they might, the Xtian killjoys & their ilk can't stop Halloween for kids.

It represents a deep cultural pattern where the world is turned upside down for a night--children go out and break the rules--within rules, of course.

In Iran and the countries part of it's historical cultural orbit--Tajikistan, Afghanistan, etc, there is a New Year's festival --Now Ruz--that's on the vernal equinox. It has elements of the European days of the dead that lie behind Halloween: people build fires outdoors and leap over them and kids throw chadors over their heads (impersonating the souls of the dead in on the pre-Islamic level) and go door to door banging on pots and begging for candy and coins.

Ancient stuff, this is, and impervious to whatever dominant religion that comes after...

Oh no, Yoda like speak I again!
posted by y2karl at 7:52 PM on October 12, 2001

Am i the only one who thinks they should have waited until after 10/31 to declare it a hoax?
posted by rabbit at 7:53 PM on October 12, 2001

These things just give sickos, bad ideas.
posted by MsRoxie at 7:54 PM on October 12, 2001

rabbit: I don't understand your question.

Me -- I absolutely love Halloween -- it is basically a nation-wide costume party, and people come up with such neat (and sometimes spooky!) costumes and jokes and themes. Silly naysayers -- claiming it's "evil" or has anything to do with witches, or "day of the dead," or such. Perhaps, a loooong time ago, it did, but in America in the 21st century, it's JUST A COSTUME PARTY and a chance to be creative.

stepping off scary soapbox now...
posted by davidmsc at 8:45 PM on October 12, 2001

rabbit: I don't understand your question

I'm just saying, that while its almost certainly a hoax, i think its possibly premature to "declare" it a hoax due to the fact that the date has not happened yet, and it doesn't seem that unlikely a scenario given the current environment...
posted by rabbit at 9:08 PM on October 12, 2001

lokheed: It may differ from mall to mall. The [NJ] people I've talked to about Halloween in the mall tell me it works for them [well, that is, it works for the stores they work for] so that's why they give out candy.

y2karl: "Kill Joy" is just too damn right. I adore Halloween, so much so that I stay home to hand out stuff trickortreaters (instead of going to an over-the-top costume party). Last year, we were down to ONE trickortreater. This year, we're trying to decide if we should just go over to the ONE kid's house & deliver a humongus bag of candy & then go to the costume party in Philly...or if we should stay home, just in case our ONE trickortreater shows up, so we can let him know it's OKAY to trickortreat.
posted by realjanetkagan at 9:32 PM on October 12, 2001

Orealjanetkagan: Maya's in college now, she must have been around 6 to 8 then--we went to the house of the young couple who'd just done a $300 number on their place, scarecrows, pumpkins, a lifesize Pee Wee Herman doll--this was pre -candal, corn stalks...She was the only kid: they dumped a whole bowl of candy bars in her bag.

And note the worry warts above: oh, it might happen, you kids better stay home...and do your homework. Go put the tools away. The terrorist'll getcha! Watch out for those infected needles in the phone booths!
posted by y2karl at 9:43 PM on October 12, 2001

Go put the tools away. The terrorist'll getcha! Watch out for those infected needles in the phone booths!

You know, it's not cool right now to blast someone for being scared. Fear is a legitimate response at this time. don't assume that just because you're "over" it, everyone else is. Little compassion, people.
posted by ColdChef at 10:01 PM on October 12, 2001

I agree with rabbit. Now we're all going to go to the malls because it's an f-ing hoax. Hmmm. I hope the terrorists lack any sense of irony.
posted by dopamine at 10:17 PM on October 12, 2001

Well, please pardon me, but to paraphrase Susan Sontag recently, let's all be afraid together but let's not be stupid together.

Anthrax is a more 'legitimate' fear and I'm not losing sleep.

Fear is what keeps people at home watching local and national tv news which keeps telling them how scared they should be and keeps them watching the ads...Hmm, I wonder....Anyway, ...your chances of personal death are much higher driving to a mall even if there are dozens ofTerrorists waiting...

Legitimate response? Try rational--and I really don't want to sound so harsh in saying it, but...Cri-yi!
posted by y2karl at 11:05 PM on October 12, 2001

"PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!" is a dead giveaway that it's garbage, but evidently a lot of people never bother to see if there's any truth to the story before spreading the BS far and wide.
I've been working on an anti-FWD rant to post on my website, though I know it will fall on deaf ears. Then again, I've thought of FWDing the following to everyone whose addy appears on the FWDs I get:"PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW: STOP WITH THE F***ING FWDS!"
posted by StOne at 12:45 AM on October 13, 2001

Can I forward this thread to everyone I know?
posted by davidmsc at 9:07 AM on October 13, 2001

« Older   |   I hate Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments