Hoax Museum Blog: Death

Corpses Used As Mulch — Status: True The Telegraph reports on the latest funeral practice in Sweden: freeze-drying the corpse of your loved one using liquid nitrogen, then shattering it into a powder, picking out any metal or plastic bits, and using the powder as mulch in a garden. Says Susanne Wiigh-Masak, the inventor of this technique: "Mulching was nature's original plan for us, and that's what used to happen to us at the start of humanity - we went back into the soil." It actually seems like a pretty good…
Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005.   Comments (27)

New Orleans Euthanasia — A report in the Daily Mail claims that doctors stranded in New Orleans hospitals after Katrina hit decided to give some patients lethal doses of morphine, rather than watching them die in agony. A few bloggers are suggesting this report has all the markings of an urban legend, given that it's based on only one identified source. If so, it wouldn't be the first urban legend emerging from the disaster. However, the recent discovery of 44 dead bodies in a New Orleans hospital would seem to…
Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005.   Comments (19)

Suicidal Chicken — I've posted before about dogs who commit suicide, so when I saw this story about a chicken who committed suicide I thought I better add it to the site: The man's son said that the chicken probably decided to kill itself being unable to lead the horrible life in the provincial village. The chicken is a vulnerable and sensitive bird that might not have the energy to handle stressful situations. Most likely, the Russian suicidal chicken has lost the will to live. The poor bird was not…
Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2005.   Comments (19)

Woman Claims to Have Diana’s Kidney — A French woman, Francoise Gaellar, had a kidney transplant two days after Princess Diana died in a car crash. She believes that she received Diana's kidney. As a consequence, she now feels urges to speak in English: "I found myself speaking English to my friends, something I don't normally do because I have no reason to," she says. "I cannot explain why I did this." Is this evidence of a fanciful nature, or an indication she had indeed received an organ from an English-speaker?…
Posted: Wed May 25, 2005.   Comments (20)


Dead Husband Hoax — A woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after faking her husband's death (with the help of her husband). The two of them dug up a corpse from a grave, put it in their car, and lit it on fire. The police weren't fooled. Apparently the husband had been sentenced to jail, and the scheme was an elaborate way to get out of having to go. Now they're both going to jail. So the plan really didn't work. My impression is that forging a death certificate is, by far, the easiest way to…
Posted: Thu May 05, 2005.   Comments (3)

Cochran’s Tombstone — This photo of Johnnie Cochran's tombstone has been making the rounds: One big clue that it's fake is that it misspells Cochran's first name. Another clue that it's fake is that it's obviously a joke. But here's a photo taken by the Mars Spirit lander that I swear is absolutely real. No joke:
Posted: Tue May 03, 2005.   Comments (8)

Oscar Meyer Weiner Hearse — Apparently this is not a hoax. The Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile led the funeral procession for George Molchan, a former spokesman for the company who died earlier this month. He often drove it, so it seemed fitting to include it in the ceremony (thanks to Eric for the link): Molchan was laid to rest to the accompaniment of solemn prayers delivered in Slovenian by clergy from St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church. But not before the 50 or so people at the Calumet Park Cemetery grave site…
Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005.   Comments (11)

BigBoy Graveyard — Detroit Funk offers photographic evidence of the existence of a BigBoy Graveyard, which is kind of like the legendary Elephant Graveyard, except for BigBoys: People all heard of it, but nobody had actually seen it with their own eyes. Well then my brotherinlaw Dave discovers the actual location - it was not an urban legend ! The BigBoy Graveyard actually existed...And its one of the saddest places in the DetroMetro area (if not the world) , its damn hard not to shed a tear there for…
Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005.   Comments (39)

Is the Pope Incorruptible? — The question that seems to be on everyone's mind is what's going on with the Pope. Why isn't his body showing signs of decomposition? He's been dead for almost a week now, and most bodies at this stage would be putrefying. But not the Pope. Has he been embalmed? The Vatican says no. But the experts seem to think that some kind of embalming, if only partial, must have occurred. Could it be that his body is being kept chilled? If so, the cooling apparatus is pretty well concealed. Or is…
Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005.   Comments (43)

Google and Terri Schiavo — On March 22 Google altered their graphic (as they often do) to show water dripping out of the word 'Google' into a bowl. The rumor immediately started racing around that this was some kind of reference to the Terri Schiavo case. I don't quite follow the logic of the rumor. Did people think that Google was showing how water is dripping out of Schiavo as she dehydrates? I'm not sure. Anyway, it wasn't any kind of reference to Terri Schiavo. Google used the graphic to note that it was
Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005.   Comments (22)

Pet Pillows — I love my cat, but the idea of making a pillow out of her seems a bit ghoulish to me. But those who fancy the idea can have pet pillows prepared by Jeanette's Taxidermy. However, you have to make sure you follow the instructions carefully: "Please freeze your pet immediately upon passing to insure there will be no hair slippage.  Double bag to insure no freezerburn." This is similar to VIP Fibers, the company that will make a sweater out of your pet's fur, which I posted about last…
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005.   Comments (15)

Hitman Professional Killings — Status: Hoax website If you're ever shopping around for a contract killer, look no further than HITMAN, "The most trusted name in professional killings." They conveniently take Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Plus, they offer "discounts for packages of three hits or more, as long as the marks are all grouped together in one geographic location, and as long as our services have to be rendered all within the same timeframe." I'm impressed by their list of 'greatest hits' that…
Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2005.   Comments (37)

Sex, Death, and Maggots — I came across this story posted on LiveJournal. This may be an urban legend that's been around for a while, but I haven't heard it before: Subject: The most disgusting thing I've ever heard. Ever. So I know this girl. She has all these weird white things in the back of her throat, so she goes to the doctor thinkings she got some nasty STD of the mouth. Turns out its not an STD at all. She has f*****ng maggots growing in her throat. (I know this girl, this is not an urban legend) So…
Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005.   Comments (30)

Fan Death and Tongue Cutting — Fan Death is "the belief that if someone is sleeping in a sealed room (windows and doors are closed) with an electric fan on, they could die." The theory is that either hypothermia will get you, or the fan breeze will somehow form a vacuum around your mouth and suffocate you. Apparently many people in Korea believe this is true. Or at least, this is what Robin, the creator of fandeath.net, has concluded after living in Korea for five years. He writes: When I first heard about fan…
Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005.   Comments (55)

Do Dogs Commit Suicide? — In the past six months five dogs have fallen to their death off a bridge in Dumbarton, Scotland. This fact does not seem to be disputed. What is controversial is whether or not the dogs fell because they committed suicide. Or did they think they saw something and accidentally leapt? In the most recent case a woman claims that she was out walking her dog when it suddenly ran away from her "vaulted over the parapet and plunged 40ft to its death." Some animal behaviorists are dismissing…
Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005.   Comments (96)

Sometimes Sweaty Statue Says Pope Will Live — A statue of Pope Sylvester II in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran is said to become damp when a Pope is about to die. The statue ain't sweating, so that means things are looking good for John Paul II. The accuracy of the statue as a medical diagnostic tool has been confirmed by "two elderly Italian nuns", so this is a pretty definite thing. (thanks to Gary for the link)
Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005.   Comments (8)

Hippo Eats Dwarf — I came across this peculiar news story about a hippo eating a dwarf. It's been floating around the internet for a while, though I'm not sure exactly how long. Google 'hippo eats dwarf' and you'll pull up a bunch of pages. There's even a band named Hippo Eats Dwarf. The article has been circulating as an image file of a scanned article (click the thumbnail), but here's the text of it: A hippopotamus has swallowed a dwarf in a circus accident in northern Thailand. "A dwarf, nicknamed…
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2005.   Comments (61)

Man Tries to Sell Will on eBay — A guy on eBay, inspired by the forehead advertising auction, attempted to sell his will. The winner of the auction would, upon his death, receive everything he owns. Since the seller is a young guy, the winner could be waiting for a while before they get anything. Two other things occurred to me. First, if the guy dies heavily in debt, all you're going to inherit is a bunch of bills. He fails to mention this possibility (and he would have an incentive to die in debt). Second, I'm not…
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005.   Comments (9)

Napoleon Dynamite Star Not Dead — The latest celebrity death rumor going around is that Jon Heder, star of Napoleon Dynamite, died in a car accident while driving with a friend to Salem, Oregon. A website making this claim is here. People have also been speculating about this rumor on the IMDB message boards (Thanks to Ana for the link). Jon Heder, of course, is not dead (unless that person who looks like him and has been making media appearances is just an imposter). Michael Heaton, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer,…
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2005.   Comments (79)

How Much is a Corpse Worth? — Here's an email I received today. I don't think that what it describes is a hoax in any way, but it seemed weird enough to be worth posting. I blurred out the names on the attached picture (click to enlarge) at the request of the emailer. I so love your website, that I sometimes think that I shall send you more stuff. Let me explain : I work in the head office of a psychiatric hospital, I am the personal assistant to the director which means I am the one opening all the mail. Few…
Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005.   Comments (11)

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