The Hoax Museum Blog
How Much is a Corpse Worth?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Feb 06, 2005
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 weeks ago I got this…
The Phone Angel
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 03, 2005
If you've ever wanted to phone up someone who's dead, then Jürgen Bröther has the solution for you: the Phone Angel. If I understand it correctly, this is basically a speakerphone installed inside a coffin. It's configured so that whenever it senses an incoming call, it'll turn on, so that your voice will be broadcast inside the coffin. Just don't expect the occupant of the coffin to speak back. Or maybe they will... The weirdest part of the whole deal is that he offers a rebate if you return the phone once it's battery wears out. Of course, to retrieve the phone you have to…
John Goodman Isn’t Dead
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 21, 2005
A fake news story about the death of actor John Goodman raced around the internet today. It's hard to understand why people believed this for a second, since the story was filled with spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Here's a sample: LOS ANGELES, California (AP) - Actor John Goodman, star of such hits as Monsters Inc and Beyond the Sea, found dead today in his home. Cause of death is not known. Recently seen in the Kevin Spacey epik Beyond the Sea, Goodman was deemed in fine health by his doctor just three days ago. Cause of death is not yet known, but it is suspected natural causes. Goodman was most notably known as the blue-collar patriarch…
Aicha Kid Suicide Video
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 20, 2005
One of the many random viral videos that floats around the internet is this 'Aicha Kid Video' that shows a skinny teenager singing and dancing to the song 'Aicha'. But before you click on the link to see the video, first read about the urban legend that accompanies the video, because I think it makes the video itself much more interesting. According to the UL, there's an 'uncut' version of this video, and in this uncut version... well, this poster from ebaumsworld summarizes it better than I could: it is hard to get the unedited one, most of them…
Countdown to Oblivion
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 14, 2005
This attracted quite a bit of attention (relatively speaking), but I only found out about it today, once it was revealed to be a hoax. It was a Countdown-to-Suicide Journal on LiveJournal: My name is Jerry Romero, and I am 23 years old. If you have found this journal, it is through your own actions. I will not comment on other entries in an attempt to make friends. I am leaving this in the hands of Fate and no-one else. This journal was created solely for the purpose of providing one last lifeline in a vast sea of hopelessness. On January 13th, I am going to kill myself.
Is Jim Morrison Alive?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 03, 2005
Most people think the musician Jim Morrison, lead singer for the Doors, died in Paris on July 3, 1971. But Gerald Pitts says that he "discovered Jim Morrison Living on a Ranch in the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 1998." According to him, Morrison is living a quiet life as an American cowboy "away from the Hollywood scene." Even though Morrison evidently engineered an elaborate death hoax to escape publicity, he agreed to appear on film for Pitts. You can buy a copy of this film for only $24.95 (shipping is extra). Pitts' site includes a video comparing the features of Jim Morrison the fifty-something cowboy to Jim Morrison…
Lava Lamp Explodes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 01, 2004
I saw this story on the news last night: lava lamp explodes and kills man. It's definitely a candidate for the Darwin Awards, but it also sounds a bit like an urban legend (Big Gary wrote asking 'Can a lava lamp really kill someone? Have I been foolish to turn my back on my lava lamp?') It's been pretty widely reported, so I have to assume the story is true. And I could also imagine that if you heat a lava lamp on top of a stove, it could explode, and if you're really unlucky a shard of glass from that explosion could puncture your heart. The question in my…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 24, 2004
Terminal Tours provides a service for those who are near death or just thinking about dying, whisking them away on the vacation of their dreams. It gives them a chance to do that one thing they always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. The guide on this 'terminal tour' is Michael Keever. Except Michael Keever doesn't actually exist. He's a character from Tom LeClair's recent novel, Passing On. Nor does Terminal Tours itself exist. LeClair left some comments in the hoax museum message board, noting that the Terminal Tours site "extends the fiction of the novel and parodies 'promise you everything, including eternal life' web sites." He also tells me that…
Seize The Day, Then Die
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 19, 2004
I thought I had some strange teachers in my time, but none as strange as this Manchester teacher who told her students that a meteor was going to hit the earth in a week and they were all going to die. Her point: to motivate them to 'seize the day'. The logic seems to be 'make them think they're going to die so they appreciate what they have.' Kind of like that guy who tried to save his marriage by electrifying his wife in the bathtub. On a completely unrelated note, the widespread use of the phrase seize the day (from the latin carpe diem) is a pet peeve of mine, since…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
Reality TV has definitely sunk to a new low. Reuters reports that Channel 4 in Britain is considering televising a human corpse as it decomposes. They're currently searching for volunteers willing to donate their body after they die. This reminds me of two things. The See Me Rot Decomposition Cam, and also that theater group that held auditions to get someone to donate their corpse.
Woman Learns of Her Death in Iraq
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 04, 2004
I've heard about people who find their own obituaries mistakenly printed in papers, but I imagine that discovering you've been killed by Islamic militants in Iraq would be a little more off-putting. As the Associated Press reports: A woman was shocked to learn Friday that a photo of what appeared to be her old driver's license showed up on an Islamic Web site along with a claim that she had been captured in southern Iraq and slain. She's never been anywhere near Iraq, but she speculates that the militants got her name from a Kuwaiti guy she dated in the '80s. So not only has she been killed by Islamic militants, but also an old relationship is coming…
Girl Gets Her Ride Pimped, Then Carjacked
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 03, 2004
An urban legend has been circulating about Pimp My Ride, the MTV show on which people get surprised by having their raggedy hoopties (read: old cars) transformed into tricked-out pimp-mobiles. I'll let this poster from the Elle.com forums describe the rumor, since she does it so much better than I could: okay remember the beloved episode of the girl Nile with the pink cadillac and they put the river in the back her car. i think it was like episode 2 or something. i was told that she was car jacked and killed like 6wks after the show aired. did anyone else hear this? i searched the internet looking for this and…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 02, 2004
A recent article in the Phoenix New Times describes Phoenix-based Preserve A Life, a company that specializes in Humidermy... a.k.a. Human Taxidermy. If you can't stand the idea of cremating or burying your dearly departed, then Preserve A Life will freeze-dry and 'mount' them for you. Bring Granny back home and have her on display in the living room. You can pose the body in any position you want: "Children have been posed on bicycles and skateboards, grandmothers in rocking chairs, and grandfathers playing boccie ball." As I was reading the article, I kept thinking this CAN'T be real, but some of the links mentioned in the article seemed authentic, such as this one to a
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 02, 2004
According to local legend in Manitou Springs, Colorado (legend that may or may not be true), a young woman named Emma Crawford was once buried at the top of nearby Red Mountain. But during a rain storm, her coffin came loose and raced down the side of the mountain. To commemorate this event, residents of the town now hold an annual coffin racing contest through the center of town. A few pictures from yesterday's race can be seen here. I'm not sure who won.
Man Dies, No One Notices
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 01, 2004
Yahoo News offers up this brief report about a British train conductor who "stamped and carefully returned the ticket of a slumbering passenger without realizing the man was dead." I guess people only realized the guy was dead once the train pulled into the station (York) and he failed to wake up. Now, by coincidence, I took this very same train last month, and the seats were pretty cramped, so either the train was quite empty, or whoever was sitting next to the dead guy was really oblivious. The story reminds me of the old urban legend about the guy who dies in his office, sitting at his desk, but none of his co-workers notice.