Sure, it’s only early September, but Halloween super stores are already moving into strip malls and Facebook users are sharing a spooky story online.
"In the early 2000s, a man bought a ranch in Texas," reads the Aug. 26 post (warning, it’s a disturbing photo). "He noticed a scarecrow in the middle of his land. He went up to it and smelt something rotting. He took the clothes off the scarecrow and discovered it was a human skeleton. This is the photo he took before authorities arrived."
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 image in the post is gruesome, showing what looks like a desiccated body hung on branches like a scarecrow.
And, well, it is a scarecrow. The photo is from a blog called "The House of Marrow," which has recent posts with titles like, "The Pumpkinrot Pilgrimage" and "Halloween 2013."
Back in March 2012, a post titled "Skeleton Country" featured the image in the Facebook post among other angles of the scarecrow. The post is tagged with two labels — props and scarecrows — and the person who posted the photo under the name "Marrow" responded to some commenters admiring his handiwork.
"That’s fantastic," someone wrote. "It’s sort of how I wish my scarecrow looked. Your anatomy looks great, too."
"Thanks so much!" Marrow replied. "He was originally going to have a cardboard box over his head … but it looked weird and awkward so I went with a burlap sack."
Marrow later wrote in comments that he took the photos at an abandoned farmhouse outside of Wellington, New Zealand. On section of a Halloween-themed internet forum called "props and prop building," Marrow said that the scarecrow corpse was "built from scratch" using newspaper and masking tape.
We rate this Facebook post False.