Haunted house letter mistaken as real threat
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Police in Gainesville, Florida said some workers at a tourism office got a big scare, after an advertisement for a haunted house was mistaken for a real threat.
When a creepy letter arrived a few days ago, police said a woman who works there was frightened.
"They're cut-out letters and they're pasted to cardboard and appears to have a substance of blood all over them," explained Officer Ben Tobias, with the Gainesville Police Department.
Investigators said the victim recently had an issue with a stalker, and she thought this was a real threat.
According to police, several people thought the same thing.
"A lot of the people that called were thinking they had an actual stalker and were very frightened on this. These went to people's homes and some went to businesses. Even some local reporters got them and thought they were a victim of a stalker," Tobias added.
"We wanted to get the media's attention, we wanted to go creative," said organizer Tony Hernandez.
He now realizes it was too creative. He said this letter was one of three that was supposed to go out, promoting the Torment Factory's Haunted House, it was never meant to scare anyone, especially the woman who works here.
"She had an active situation in her real life and kinda caused concerns, so we had to go through apologies and call the office and say this wasn't our intent. This was supposed to go through people who knew what was going on," Hernandez said.
He said he was just trying to do a community event and raise money for the United Way.
"We're local business owners trying to do a cool thing in the community."
We asked him if he planned to send out the other two letters.
"As of right now the answer is no. This has caused us to rewrite the second and third one. It's gonna be more, fluffy and not so much creepy. It's a learning experience."
Police said there was no crime committed in this situation, but in the future, they said the letters need to have advertisement label, so police aren't called out.