The Door Knock Challenge on Social Media Is Dangerous, Police Warn the Public


Jan. 19 2024, Published 10:28 a.m. ET

A teenager banging on a door as part of the door knock challenge on TikTok
Source: Friendswood Police Department

As anyone who has paid any attention to social media trends over the past five years likely knows, the trends that get popular can range from totally harmless to pretty dangerous. Now, police are warning some users about a new trend, encouraging them not to participate in it in part for their own safety.

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The trend is being referred to as the Door Knock challenge, but following news reports about the challenge, many want to better understand what it is and why some police think it's so dangerous. Here's everything we know about the Door Knock challenge that has gone viral on social media.

Teens walking up to a door to bang on it from doorbell footage.
Source: Friendswood Police Department Facebook
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What is the Door Knock challenge?

The Door Knock challenge encourages users to bang on a stranger's door in the middle of the night to startle them, and then run away. The trend is really just an evolution of "ding dong ditching," which is designed to enrage the person who answers the door but has tickled teenagers for generations. Although the trend may be amusing to some, police are warning people of all ages not to participate in it.

Police say the Door Knock challenge could be dangerous to those doing it.

Police in Texas have said that the trend “is causing both physical and emotional distress for residents of all ages.” Jimmy Evans, Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 3 Chief Deputy, told FOX26 that the trend could be dangerous for those who participate.

“This is a very dangerous game, very dangerous game,” Jimmy said. “I’m afraid a homeowner may think someone is trying to burglarize their residence and some innocent kid can get shot or killed.”

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One victim named Gwen echoed the officer's comments. “I would tell them stop it before they get hurt, or they hurt somebody. Please don’t do this. It’s wrong. It’s very wrong," she said. “It was scary. It was frightening. It was terrifying.”

Doorbell footage has been released from some police departments which shows teenagers running from house to house, and sometimes even using five-gallon water jugs to bang on the doors.

Source: Friendswood Police Department Facebook
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The footage also reveals that most teens are smart enough to cover their faces so that they can't be seen by doorbell cameras and identified. The police who are attempting to hunt these people down haven't been able to do so with any level of success. They're just encouraging young people to stop and reminding them that there are plenty of firearms about, especially in a state like Texas.

Although this one police department has offered a special focus to the trend, it's not totally clear how widespread it actually is. It's certainly a problem that is affecting communities in Texas, but in much of the country, the weather isn't ideal for teens to be running from house to house banging on doors. Hopefully, those taking part in the trend stop before someone gets irrevocably hurt.

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