Hoaxes & Rumors

Did 42 Million Shoppers Die on Black Friday?

Did 42 Million Shoppers Die on Black Friday?

A news item circulating online states that 42 million Americans were killed during Black Friday. Is this true or false?

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The article is satire.

This humorous article was published by The Onion, a humorous website, back in 2012. In the fictitious story we read:

“…the record-breaking post-Thanksgiving shopping spree carnage began as early as midnight on Friday, when 13 million shoppers were reportedly trampled, pummeled, burned, stabbed, shot, lanced, and brutally beaten to death while attempting to participate in early holiday sales events.

Law enforcement officials said the bloodbath only escalated throughout the weekend as hordes of savage holiday shoppers began murdering customers at Wal-Mart, Sears, and JCPenney locations nationwide, leaving piles of dismembered and mutilated corpses in their wake.”

The number of soldiers killed in every war in American history amounts to just under 3 million, so the 42 million Black Friday casualties is exaggerated far beyond the scope of reality. It should also be pointed out that the article has circulated every Black Friday since 2012 and is now outdated as well as satirical.

The Image

A photo which accompanied the Black Friday article in 2013 is actually an altered image of the Ridderhof shopping mall in the Netherlands where a shooting spree occurred in 2011.


Actual Black Friday Deaths

According to the website BlackFridayDeathCount.com, the number of Black Friday deaths since from 2006 through 2015 is 7, along with an additional 98 injuries. Three of those injuries occurred in the UK in 2014. According to the website, the most recent Black Friday death occurred back in 2013.

Bottom Line

42 million Americans were not killed on Black Friday in 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015. The article was originally published by The Onion, a website featuring humorous stories, back in 2012. The number of Black Friday deaths since 2006 is believed to be 7.


  • 42 Million Dead In Bloodiest Black Friday Weekend On Record (The Onion: November 26, 2012)

Updated November 27, 2015
Originally published November 2013

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