The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Death
Man Dies, No One Notices — 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…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (7)

Who’s Buried in Yeats’ Grave? — William Butler Yeats is widely regarded as one of the greatest modern poets. He's also my favorite poet (and we happen to share a birthday!). When I spent a semester studying in Ireland fifteen years ago I made a special trip to visit his grave located just outside of Sligo. It's well worth a visit, even if you couldn't care less about Yeats, because the scenery there is stunning. But now I find out that Yeats may not occupy that grave. Instead, it may be a random Englishman named…
Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004.   Comments (21)

Banana Straightener — German artist Karl-Friedrich Lentze has applied for a patent on his new invention: a banana-straightening device (thanks to Hairy Houdini for posting this in the hoax forum). Obviously this is just what the world needs. Basically Lentze's idea is to chop off the bent bits and then seal the banana back up with a "biologically safe plaster." Here are some of Lentze's other projects: He asked the Bonn City Council whether it would be possible for him to be buried with an inflatable sex…
Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004.   Comments (3)

Fake LiveJournal Deaths — There's a LiveJournal community devoted to exposing fake LiveJournal deaths. I love it. You find cynical observations such as this: "you'll notice when visiting luna's journal that her dad died on August 8. He was immediately buried the next afternoon. In the meantime however, luna spent the hours posting bad poetry and stupid surveys." The Museum of Hoaxes also gets mentioned. Unfortunately it looks like they're configuring the community so that you'll now have to join it in order to…
Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004.   Comments (0)


William Hung Not Dead Yet — I've noted before how popular celebrity death hoaxes have become. In fact, it's kind of like a weird sign of status for a celebrity to have their death falsely reported. It shows people care, in a sick and twisted way. Britney still leads the pack, having been killed in car crashes many times, but now American Idol anti-star William Hung has joined this elite group of prematurely-reported-dead celebrities. Reports of his death via heroin overdose have been spreading all around the…
Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004.   Comments (89)

Thatcher Isn’t Dead — Margaret Thatcher isn't dead, despite what this elaborate mock-up of The Guardian claims. Nor is Stephen Hawking now going to speak in her voice.
Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004.   Comments (6)

Andy Has Returned… And He’s Got A Weblog — I should never have doubted that Andy Kaufman wouldn't return. He's now back from the dead (or the faux dead), and he's started a weblog. Among the things he's learned while away: alien abductions are a hoax, and he's Ann Coulter's twin. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Mon May 17, 2004.   Comments (0)

Where’s Andy? — Today's the day Andy Kaufman is supposed to return from the dead... twenty years to the day after his 'death.' But it's only 5 pm here in California. He has a couple of hours left to make an appearance.
Posted: Sun May 16, 2004.   Comments (0)

LifeGem — I should create a category for things that sound fake, but are actually real. In that category I would place LifeGem. According to their website, a LifeGem is "a certified, high quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique and wonderful life." Or, to put it more plainly, it's a diamond made from cremated human (or animal) remains. Actually, I'm just assuming it's real because it seems to have received quite a bit of publicity from places…
Posted: Tue May 11, 2004.   Comments (7)

Will Andy Kaufman Return? — Some say Andy Kaufman died on May 16, 1984. Some say he didn't. But whatever the case may be, Kaufman said that if he did fake his death, he would return 20 years later, and May 16, 2004 will be the 20th anniversary of his 'death.' In honor of this, Comic Relief will be holding an 'Andy Kaufman: Dead or Alive' show at the LA House of Blues on May 16. Perhaps Andy himself will put in an appearance. (Thanks, Julie)
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (1)

Afterlife Publicity — As Gawker reports, a great 'take-this-job-and-shove-it' email has been making the rounds recently. It's penned by Bob Rubenstein, a publicist for a record label, who lost his job soon after the lead singer of the band he was supposed to promote, Pre)Thing, died of a heart attack. Bob, embittered for being fired, dishes some dirt on the company he was canned from, revealing how they brought in a psychic to talk with the departed spirit of the singer to see if he'd be willing to do any…
Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004.   Comments (0)

Michael Jackson Isn’t Dead — Despite the claims of this faux news story, Michael Jackson isn't dead.
Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2004.   Comments (1)

Woman Killed by Frozen Urine — Kelli wrote in with a question about this strange photo showing a woman impaled by a long, yellowish-looking stick. The photo comes with an explanatory caption: This unfortunate woman was found dead on parkland in Yorkshire, England. She's believed to have been pierced by a shaft of frozen urine which had fallen from a leak in a toilet facility of an overhead plane. Kelli wants to know if it's real. Well, of course it's not. This photo has actually been floating around the internet…
Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004.   Comments (7)

A Wedding and a Funeral — New York artist 'Shishaldin' has announced her intention to marry the French poet, Isidore Ducasse. The one catch is that Ducasse has been dead for 134 years. But in France the President is allowed to approve marriages between the living and the dead thanks to a law that was passed following a case where a woman's fiancee died right before they could get married and the grief-stricken woman pleaded with the President to allow the marriage to proceed anyway. My one question here is…
Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004.   Comments (0)

Actor Wanted, Preferably Dead — A British theater group is auditioning actors for a part in its next production. But there's one catch. They're only interested in people who can promise that they'll die before the play begins its run. Your body, if you get the part, will then lie lifeless on stage. Evidently it's not a speaking role. It's hard not to suspect that this is all a big publicity stunt and that when the time comes there will be no body on stage. Wouldn't you need a license for something like that? It…
Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2004.   Comments (0)

Decomposition Cam — The folks over at SeeMeRot.com have engineered something rather unusual: a webcam set up inside a coffin so that you can see their friend's body decompose. At least, that's what they claim. The 'webcam image' appears simply to be an animated gif that cycles between a blurry and an in-focus image to simulate how a real webcam might behave. Plus, they have rather odd sponsors for a project of this kind... sponsors offering 'live sexy girl cams'. I suppose the logic is that once you get…
Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2004.   Comments (28)

The Fake Death of Andy Kaufman — Most people think that the comedian Andy Kaufman died of lung cancer on May 16, 1984. But Enrique P. believes that Kaufman faked his death. And he's put up a website where he argues his case. (Thanks to Julie H. for the link).
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004.   Comments (9)

The Death Clock — The Internet Death Clock will calculate the time of your death, telling you exactly how many seconds you have left to live. But Chris has written in noting that there's something fishy about it because every time you click the button to calculate your time of death, you get a different number. I would add that I once had a fortune teller read my tarot cards and tell me when I was going to die, and the internet death clock doesn't agree with this reading... so it must be a hoax. (note:…
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003.   Comments (16)

Death by Lizards — I'm not sure whether or not this is a hoax, but it's definitely strange. Back in 1910 a young woman died in Akron, Ohio and the local doctor reported that the cause of her death was lizards living in her stomach. Common sense would say that this couldn't have been the case. Lizards couldn't survive for an extended period in the acid of a person's stomach. So did the doctor really believe lizards were the cause of the woman's death, or was he purposefully trying to make an outrageous…
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hell on Earth’s Suicide Stunt — Hell on Earth promises that its concert in St. Petersburg this weekend will include an onstage suicide. A terminally ill patient will be the one departing this world. I guess if you wanted to go, doing it at a rock concert wouldn't be a bad way to do it, but in my opinion this is a pure publicity stunt hoax. In the same vein as Hunting for Bambi, Or Freck's New Feet (in which Freck claimed he was going to cut off his legs for a live audience... that never happened, of course). What will…
Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

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