For the last year, Freddie’s Restaurant and Pizzeria in New Jersey has been overwhelmed with phone calls, their lines ringing off the hook constantly. You’d think that’s be great for business, right?
Unfortunately, most of the callers to this 70-year-old pizza place aren’t looking to have a pizza delivered, nor are they calling from the area codes surrounding the restaurant.
A report from the Ashbury Park Press says that things get bad right around the time school gets out, “picking up the pace in time zone after time zone.”
Instead of calling to score some pizza, they’re calling to find out if the place is the same as the one shown in the Five Nights at Freddy’s series of horror games.
The joint can get more than 200 calls an hour some days, and they had to install additional phone lines to accommodate the calls. Employees try to filter what they can based on area code, but as cellphones increasingly disconnect a user’s phone number from its native geography, simply filtering out wider area codes isn’t an answer. Changing their number isn’t an answer either, as it’s printed all over the place. And a change might simply embolden the young urban legend hunters.
A casual search suggests that the average age of players of the Five Nights at Freddy’s series is 12 to 17. That range goes from “young enough to have a wild imagination” to “old enough to get your giggles through prank calls.” Unfortunately, Freddie’s doesn’t have animatronic animals anymore than Gamestop has copies of Battletoads.
This isn’t the first time a fictional location or numbers have bled over into real life, and Freddie’s in New Jersey isn’t the only place inundated – Fast Freddie’s in Roseville, CA, is seeing similar activity. If your favorite pizza joint is named after someone called Fred, you might want to order online.