While us horror fans obviously prefer Halloween, we can’t ignore that another major American holiday is right around the corner. In fact, we’re only a few days away from Thanksgiving, the day where we collectively give thanks for what we have by eating mountains of food and bickering with our least favorite family members. Of course, after Thanksgiving comes the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. As you might imagine, thousands of people fighting it out for cheap electronics and the latest toys often leads to carnage, causing the day to more than live up to its foreboding moniker. Let’s look at some of the statistics, shall we?
According to the handy website Black FridayDeath Count, six people have lost their lives in Black Friday related incidents since the site was created in 2006. That might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but the fact that anyone has to die just so folks can get a cheap PlayStation or X-Box is beyond horrifying. As if the actual deaths weren’t bad enough, 90 additional people sustained serious injuries during Black Friday events during the same seven-year period. That’s 96 people who either died or were nearly maimed while attempting to get a good deal at their local department store.
2011 was easily the most perilous year of the seven, with 46 injuries and one fatality occurring. The spike can partially be attributed to mass police attacks on shoppers on at least two reported occasions. One person was shot outside a Wal-Mart in California, while another man was trampled to death at a Target. A store employee was also injured after losing control of his car after heading home from the exhausting workday.
2012 saw a lot less injuries reported, but upped the death count to two. In a truly tragic circumstance, a father lost control of his SUV due to exhaustion, crashing into two other vehicles. Two of the man’s daughters were killed, while his other two daughters and wife survived their injuries. Two more were also (non-fatally) shot in a Wal-Mart parking lot once again.
2013 ended with only a single fatality, that of a teen who fell asleep at the wheel while returning home from his Black Friday shopping. Unfortunately, the number of injuries shot back up, including such terrifying occurrences as a Virginia man getting stabbed over a parking space, a Las Vegas shopper carrying a TV getting shot, another shooting outside a Kohl’s in Illinois, and another stabbing at a mall. Perhaps most disturbing of 2013’s victims was the 11-year-old girl who was taken to the hospital after getting trampled during the Black Friday rush. Thankfully, she survived.
Wow, that was a quite depressing trip down memory lane. Now the question becomes, just how many won’t survive Black Friday 2014, and what will be left of them?