Virginia School Closes After 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting Rumor

The Dark Knight Rises One Sheet - P 2012

The Dark Knight Rises One Sheet - P 2012

Article containing conspiracy theory causes school officials to suspend classes as the sheriff says "We have to take this as serious information."

Students in Narrows, W. Va. are home from school today after an online article -- now inaccessible -- tied the name of their town to a map in The Dark Knight Rises that also shows the name "Sandy Hook."

According to a local television station, an article on the Web site -- headlined “The Next School Massacre Target?" -- caused officials in Giles County, Virginia to warn parents of the connection, then cancel classes in all five county schools on Wednesday. No specific threat had been made, but “we have to take this as serious information,” Giles County Sheriff Morgan Milliron told the CBS affiliate.

Security has been increased, and schools will open again on Thursday. has been suspended by its Web hosting service.

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In July, at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, former graduate student James Holmes allegedly opened fire on the theater and killed 12 people, injuring 58 more. Last month at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza killed 26 students and teachers. Soon after that shooting, conspiracy sites began linking the film and the elementary school tragedy.

Conspiracy sites such as have highlighted a scene in The Dark Knight Rises in which Commissioner Jim Gordon, played by Gary Oldman, looks at a map as he tries to stop an uprising. His hand strays near a point on the map that reads "Sandy Hook," which such sites have taken to suggest a sort of subliminal message intended for viewers.