The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Death
Macaulay Culkin not dead — A fake news report recently circulated on social media alleging that former child star Macaulay Culkin, of Home Alone fame, had been found dead in his Manhattan apartment. Cause of death was not described. The fake report originated from the spoof website msnbc.website, which is unaffiliated with the MSNBC news network.
Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014.   Comments (0)

Snooty the Manatee Death Hoax — As of today (Oct 23, 2014), Snooty the Manatee is still alive. This has been confirmed by the South Florida Museum where Snooty lives in the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Snooty was born on July 21, 1948 and has lived his entire life in captivity. In 1979 he was declared the Official Mascot of Manatee County, Florida. See his wikipedia page for more details about his life, as well as the South Florida Museum's timeline of Snooty's History. He's currently 66 years old, which makes him a very old manatee! He's quite likely the oldest manatee in the world. On October 22, 2014 a message… Continue…
Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014.   Comments (0)

Past time for Kaufman to return — Bob Zmuda and Lynn Margulies have a new book out titled Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally. According to the NY Post, much of the book details Zmuda's belief that Kaufman faked his death, as well as how Kaufman pulled off the stunt. Apparently it was a body double that died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in May 1984, not Kaufman. And Kaufman, says Zmuda, will be coming back any day now, because it's been 30 years since his death, and Kaufman promised Zmuda he would return in 30 years. Except he's already 4 months late.
Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014.   Comments (0)

Fake News: Indian Cobbler claims to be 179 years old — A news story is circulating claiming that the man in this photo is a 179-year-old Indian cobbler named Mahashta Murasi. The text of the article is as follows: A retired cobbler from northern India, Mahashta Murasi, claims he was born in January 1835, making him not only the oldest man on earth, but the oldest to have ever lived, according to the Guiness World Records. According to indian officials, the man was born at home in the city of Bangalore on January 6th 1835, and is recorded to have lived in Varanasi since 1903. He worked as a cobbler in the city until 1957, when he retired… Continue…
Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2014.   Comments (38)


New developments in afterlife communication — Some of the new developments include a device called the "soul phone," which is described as "an instrument that works like a telegraph through which people in spirit communicate." Also learn how to communicate with the dead via regular phones: "Brazilian researcher Sonia Rinaldi... has been helping people by making phone calls to the beyond since March 2001. The majority have been for parents who have lost their children. Sonia writes, 'With this technology controlled by the Beyond, the call is not from the Beyond. They enter our terrestrial phone calls.'" I guess that means you… Continue…
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014.   Comments (1)

MediaMass.net—the site that debunks nonexistent rumors — The recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has shone a light on the strange business model of the site Mediamass.net. After the actor died, reporters googled his name and came across an article on Mediamass reporting that the actor had recently been the victim of a death hoax. So a number of sites (such as The Telegraph and Daily Mail) subsequently reported on what a strange coincidence it was that the actor's real-life death had been anticipated by a death hoax. But the…
Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014.   Comments (2)

The Florida Keys—the ‘fake your death’ capital of the world — Why do people go to the Florida Keys to fake their death? Because of the water: "all the water — the ocean, the channels, the bay — all plausible places for a body never to be found." Florida Keys have been a place for many to stage their own deaths from The Miami Herald Some people come to the Florida Keys to dive the coral reefs or fish for tarpon. Others come to party in Key West. And then there are a desperate few who come to the subtropical island chain for a more sinister…
Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2014.   Comments (0)

The Myth of Holiday Suicide — According to urban legend, the holiday season sees a spike in suicides. But Scientific American notes that November and December actually have the lowest rates of suicide. The reason is perhaps because "The increased emotional and social support during holiday time temporarily dims the feelings of despair and anguish for many depressed children and adults." But unfortunately the holiday lull is followed by a peak of suicides in the Spring: "As winter thaws into spring, there is the…
Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013.   Comments (0)

Fake Mandela Corpse Photo — On Thursday, an image purporting to be a death photo of Nelson Mandela began circulating online. The photo — a greenish-tinged shot of Mandela with his eyes closed — was originally posted on twitter by someone with the username @nQOW_bee. IOL news reported: "In between tweets about the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial at FNB Stadium on Tuesday, which is her sexiest body part, and how she can’t stick to a healthy diet, she posted a picture of Mandela with…
Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2013.   Comments (0)

The Paul Walker Reverse Death Hoax — Celebrity death hoaxes have become such a pervasive part of the internet that when a celebrity really dies, particularly a young celebrity, people legitimately wonder if the news is real or fake. And that's exactly what happened after actor Paul Walker died in a car crash on Nov. 30. Adding to the uncertainty was the manner of his death. A lot of death hoaxes feature death-by-car-crash (that's the way Paul McCartney supposedly died back in 1966), so when the news came in that Walker…
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013.   Comments (0)

Andy Kaufman’s Daughter — The surprise guest at this year's Andy Kaufman Awards, which took place in NYC over the long weekend, was Andy Kaufman's 24-year-old daughter. The surprise is that Kaufman died 29 years ago. And Andy didn't store his sperm, or anything like that, in order to facilitate post-mortem conception. Andy's brother Michael explained that Andy faked his death because "Andy wanted to go into hiding and live a normal life, that he'd met and fallen in love with a woman and had a daughter, and that…
Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013.   Comments (2)

‘Arrival Ceremonies’ Renamed — This is a bit odd. The Pentagon has admitted that many of the "arrival ceremonies," in which the remains of fallen soldiers are carried in flag-draped coffins from the planes that brought them home, are actually an elaborate bit of funereal theater. In many cases, the remains have already been in the country for months. But for the benefit of the soldiers' family and loved ones, the remains are loaded onto a grounded plane, and then, a few hours later, are carried back off again.
Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013.   Comments (0)

Dead Bodies Rising — Viewers of The Steve Wilkos Show on CBS affiliate KRTV in Great Falls had the program interrupted on Monday by an emergency alert that delivered this warning: Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages on screen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous. Seems that someone had hacked…
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013.   Comments (3)

Tortoise Survives in Closet for 30 Years — The latest news from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is that a tortoise was found alive after being locked in a closet for 30 years. The story goes that the Almeida family lost their tortoise, Manuela, 30 years ago. They looked everywhere for her, but eventually concluded that she had run away. But when the father of the family, Leonel, died recently, the kids (now adults) were clearing out his room, and there, in the closet, was Manuela. Somehow she was still alive. [telegraph.co.uk] How could…
Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013.   Comments (2)

Samuel Shepherd: the 125-year-old Man — Samuel "Old Uncle Sam" Shepherd had a hard but interesting life. He was a slave who managed to buy his freedom, and lived on until 1909. But it's his birthdate that generates more interest than the date of his death. His grave marker in Oak Hill Cemetery (Lawrence, Kansas) lists his birthdate as 1784. This would make him 125 years old when he died. If true, he would potentially be the oldest person ever to have lived. According to wikipedia, Jeanne Calment of France holds the record…
Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2012.   Comments (3)

Was John Travolta replaced by a double in 1991? — According to this theory John Travolta died in 1991 and was replaced by a look-alike, German singer Roy Black. John Travolta (left) -- Roy Black (right) The corollary to this theory would be that Roy Black didn't die of heart failure in 1991, but actually survived and, for some inexplicable reason, took over Travolta's career. The theory doesn't explain how Travolta died. This is a very minor conspiracy theory. I'm guessing it was inspired by someone noticing that Roy Black and John Travolta look somewhat similar. But it made me curious about how many celebrities have… Continue…
Posted: Wed May 23, 2012.   Comments (8)

A Global Warming Hoax from 1874 — I periodically receive emails from people who insist I need to add global warming to the site because it's the "biggest hoax in human history." I don't agree with that. Actually, I think global warming is something that definitely merits being worried about. However, I did just add a global warming hoax to the hoax archive, which might make the global-warming-is-a-hoax crowd happy. Except that this hoax occurred in 1874. It's a story that appeared in U.S. newspapers in February 1874.…
Posted: Mon May 21, 2012.   Comments (0)

Death by Gatorade Shower — In his column on latimes.com, Brian Cronin examines the legend that Hall of Fame football coach George Allen got sick and died after being doused in gatorade by his team following a winning season. Did a Gatorade shower kill George Allen? latimes.com After three straight losing seasons, Allen led the Long Beach 49ers to a season-ending victory over the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on November 17, 1990 that secured them a winning season. Allen's team gave him a Gatorade shower…
Posted: Fri May 18, 2012.   Comments (0)

RIP Mike McGrady — Mike McGrady was the mastermind behind the Naked Came the Stranger hoax of 1969. His aim was to show that any book with enough sex scenes, even if lacking in any other merit, could sell well. And the book he created to prove this point did sell well. Although its sales had a lot to do with the fact that McGrady's sister-in-law, the attractive Penelope Ashe, posed as its author. Which shows that the good looks of an author can definitely sell books. And, of course, the book sold even…
Posted: Thu May 17, 2012.   Comments (0)

Was Junior Seau’s death predicted on Craigslist? (of course not) — The death last week of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau was big news here in San Diego. But then, as deadspin.com reports, a rumor began circulating that his death had been predicted on Craigslist. Specifically, on May 1, a day before Seau died, this post apparently was posted on San Diego Craigslist: The solution to this is simple. Someone must have edited the post after the fact to turn it into an accurate prediction. Either that, or Nostradamus has come back from the grave…
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012.   Comments (0)

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