Scream 6's Viral Marketing Campaign Scared People Into Calling 911

Ghostface will be back on the silver screen soon. For years, dressing up as the character has been a mainstay of Halloween — it's fairly common to see someone decked out in a black cloak-like hood and a white rubber mask with sunken eyes and a screaming mouth on the beloved holiday. Watching someone do that on a regular day, though, could be a particularly terrifying experience, as it was for the residents of Sonoma, California, this week.

With the popular slasher film franchise's sixth installment set to release next week, Paramount Pictures have developed quite a viral marketing campaign — one that is scaring people enough to call 911 and report an emergency. The Sonoma Police Department in California announced that multiple 911 calls were made on Monday morning about an individual fully clad in a black hood, wearing the iconic costume, ominously standing in the street. 

Not Ghostface, just a guy in a mask

The Sonoma Police Department shared on their Facebook page that a man dressed as the easily-identifiable figure from the "Scream" franchise had become a cause of concern for multiple people in the city. Interestingly, officials discovered during an investigation that Paramount hired the person to promote the latest installment in the franchise, "Scream VI," which releases on March 10, 2023. They shared:

"This individual has been contacted and was hired by a company through Paramount to promote the new Scream movie."

The New York Post reported that NBC Bay Area had obtained a video of the incident, which shows the figure staring at everyone passing through the intersection. It has also been reported that many scenes from the 1996 movie — the first in the franchise — were filmed in Sonoma.

"Scream VI" stars "Wednesday" and "You" star Jenna Ortega, who also starred in the 2022 film. Courteney Cox reprises her role as journalist Gale Weathers; after the definitive ending of "Scream V," she's the only original cast member set to return. 

As for other cast members, we have a great mix of familiar and new faces, which include Hayden Panettiere, Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Samara Weaving, Jack Champion, Mason Gooding, and Roger L. Jackson, among others. The film is set in New York City and follows the four survivors of the Ghostface murders who leave the cursed town of Woodsboro for a new beginning. Of course, a new killer finds its way to them once again.