A report circulating on social media this week claims that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has canceled Halloween due to the Ebola virus. Is this true or false?
The report is fake.
The false report comes from the satirical website The Daily Currant. This satire piece claims that Christie decided to cancel the holiday in response to fears about the Ebola virus and its possible spread. The fictitious story entitled, “New Jersey Bans Halloween Trick-Or-Treating Over Ebola Fears” states that curfews and fines would be enacted to ensure compliance with the decision, referred to as “Halloween Quarantine.”
The story has a ring of truth to it due to the actual cancellation of Halloween in two consecutive years due to harsh weather in 2011 and 2012. The New Jersey Governor moved the holiday to November 5 back in 2012, using an Executive Order. He cited ongoing work related to Hurricane Sandy that year. In 2011, a massive snowstorm prompted Halloween to be canceled.
The Daily Currant is a prominent satire website which publishes humorous articles based on current events. Its About page claims, “Our stories are purely fictional.” Despite its transparency regarding its fictitious nature, internet readers have shared these fake stories after only a cursory glance of the headline, unaware that the story is not real.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not canceled Halloween 2014 due to Ebola fears. That story originated from the satirical website The Daily Currant.