The long-dreaded zombie apocalypse seemed imminent in one Florida town recently. On Sunday, 7,800 residents of Lake Worth, Florida received a message during a power outage that read: "Power Outage and Zombie Alert For Residents of Lake Worth and Terminus." Ben Kerr, a spokesman for the city, said that the message was "preprepared," but investigators could not discover who sent it or how.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the message was sent out at 1:45 am. The message also cryptically said "There are now far less than seven-thousand-three-hundred-eighty customers involved due to extreme zombie activity." Kerr, somewhat with tongue planted in cheek, used the city's Facebook page to write that there is currently no zombie activity in Lake Worth.

This is not the first time that a push alert has caused undue panic. In fact, there have been a recent spate of troubling, but false official warnings. In January 2018, an aggrieved government worker in Hawaii sent out a warning about a incoming ballistic missile attack. A month later, during a monthly test performed by the National Weather Service, several agencies sent warnings to their areas that a major storm was on the way.

Zombie land

Florida has something of a reputation when it comes to zombie-related news stories. In 2012, Rudy Eugene became known as the "Causeway Cannibal" for his unprovoked mauling of a homeless man named Ronald Poppo on the MacArthur Causeway near Miami. While the victim survived the attack, news cameras rolled as a nude Eugene began consuming parts of the victim's face.

At the time of the attack, it was widely reported in the media that Eugene was high on bath salts, a synthetic street drug, during the time of the attack. A later report by the medical examiner found only small amounts of marijuana in Eugene's system.

Near Delray Beach in February 2014, 18-year-old Tony Grein and members of his father were attacked by a large and powerful naked man. The incident occurred on a Tuesday night outside of the Grein home. The attacker, later identified as Anesson Joseph, bit into Grein's face and ear. This attack would later require five stitches. That same night, Joseph also attacked a 66-year-old, former New York City police officer before he was shot dead by officers from Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department.

Known locally as "Ano," Joseph turned out to be a Starbucks barista, a social media enthusiast, and an artist. 28-years-old at the time of the attack, Joseph did not have a criminal record and a toxicology report could find no trace of bath salts or other hallucinogenic drugs.