Pants on Fire!
Viral image
A 1988 exorcism took place in the only house still standing after Hurricane Ike.

Viral image on Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 in a Facebook post

No, a 1988 exorcism didn’t happen in this house that survived Hurricane Ike

As Americans track Hurricane Dorian’s path in the Atlantic, some are also sharing dubious Facebook posts about previous storms. 

Take this one, published on Aug. 28. It shows a black-and-white photo of a lone house and this text below it: "The only house still standing from Hurricane Ike in 2008. This is the same house that an exorcism took place back in 88’ Coincidence?" 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

The photo is real, but the notion that the house it features underwent an exorcism in 1988 is completely wrong. That’s because the house was built after 2005.

Photographer David J. Phillip took this photo on Sept. 14, 2008, after Hurricane Ike hit Texas. The beachfront home on the Gulf of Mexico is pictured among debris in Gilchrist, Texas. You can see it from different angles here, and the image used in the Facebook post also appears in this September 2008 Houston Chronicle story

The story describes how Ike destroyed the fire station, post office and "every structure on the gulf side" of Gilchrist except for the house. It was the home of Pam and Warren Adams and, the Chronicle reports, they built the place in 2005 after Hurricane Rita destroyed their previous home on the same lot. 

We rate this post Pants on Fire.