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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Death
Tombstone Humor — The temperature reached 110 degrees on my patio today. I sat inside the whole day with a fan blowing on me, wishing I had air conditioning, and wondering how anyone could think global warming is a hoax. I also put together a list of tombstone humor, which I posted in the hoaxipedia. My favorite humorous epitaph that I came across, which supposedly can be found on a tombstone in a Maine cemetery (though I have my doubts) is this one: “Tears cannot restore her. Therefore do I weep.”
Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2007.   Comments (18)

Death-Predicting Dog — First there was Oscar, the death-predicting cat. Now there's Scamp, the death-predicting schnauzer. Metro.co.uk reports: Scamp, a Schnauzer, lives at The Pines nursing home in Ohio – where his owner, a staff member, claims he has been present for the death of virtually every patient for the past three years. That's around forty deaths, twice as many as Oscar the cat's kill count of 20. Deirdre Huth, Scamps owner, says that the doomhound always turns up in the hours before one of the…
Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007.   Comments (2)

Poe Toaster Revealed — RainOubliette has beaten me to the punch and already posted about this in the forum, but I've been getting so many emails about it that it obviously belongs here on the front page as well. For decades a mysterious figure has visited the grave of Edgar Allan Poe in Westminster Churchyard, Baltimore on the anniversary of Poe's birthday and placed three roses and a bottle of cognac on the writer's grave. The figure has become known as the "Poe Toaster." Now a man, Sam Porpora, has…
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007.   Comments (6)

Oscar, the death-predicting cat — The latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 357, Number 4) contains a short article about Oscar, a cat that seems to possess the ability to predict when people are about to die. Oscar's home is the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, so he has many chances to be around dying people. When patients are about to die, he curls up next to them and happily sleeps there, until they're dead. Then he quietly exits the room. Most of…
Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007.   Comments (81)


Paris Hilton Lives! — In the past few days, several hoaxes have been circulating on the internet about Paris Hilton. The first claims that she was stabbed in jail. The second suggests that she committed suicide. The appearance of these hoaxes was rather predictable, given the media circus surrounding her time in jail. The method of operation of both hoaxes was to disguise themselves as credible news sites. The "Paris Hilton was stabbed" story disguised itself as a CNN webpage. The "Paris Hilton committed…
Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007.   Comments (10)

Mayor Appears on Tree — Donald Stephens, Mayor of Rosemont in Illinois for fifty-one years, died on April 18. But now he's come back. On a tree. The Chicago Tribune reports that: Eerily, a likeness of the late mayor's face has appeared on a tree outside the village-owned health club, according to some people who have seen it. In a town still grieving for the larger-than-life mayor, who died April 18, the mysterious image is sure to add to the Stephens mystique. I find it amazing that people think it's the…
Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007.   Comments (13)

Psychic Photographer Takes Pictures of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson — Jon-Erik Beckjord has taken photographs that show images of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as OJ Simpson, he claims. The photos were taken at the scene of the murders, and Beckjord believes that the images are an accusation from beyond the grave. He says that the photographs show OJ's face alongside those he was acquitted of murdering, and his theory is that the spirits of Goldman and Simpson are making a statement. Beckjord is a keen observer of the strange. "He acts as…
Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006.   Comments (26)

Quick Links: Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos, etc. — Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos Unsurprisingly, several videos have popped up on YouTube portraying Steve Irwin's death. They're pretty unconvincing. (Thanks, Nai Art.) IT Skills in Return For Gropes The mirror of a now deleted post from Craigslist, the title really says it all. I particularly liked: "I have a lot of tech knowledge in my life and regrettably no boobs." (Via BoingBoing, thanks Cranky Media Guy.) Building Using Recycled Paper "Papercrete [is] a mixture of Portland cement,…
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (8)

Quick Links: Gnomes and Gropers — Yet Another Traveling Gnome Back in the Spring Allen Snyder's gnome disappeared from his garden. Now he's learned that it's been attending Pittsburgh Steelers' games. Next stop an airplane to somewhere far away. Submitted by Big Gary who notes: "Predicatable, but I thought you'd want to keep your gnome section up-to-date." Pretends to be mentally ill to get a grope This is pathetic. William Mucklow has been accused of pretending to be mentally ill so that he can hire nurses to take…
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (5)

Quick Links: Pregnant Man, etc. — Beijing Fake Smile Campaign Beijing residents are being urged to practice their best fake smiles, in preparation for the 2008 Olympics: "We hope Beijing residents will join in the smile campaign to turn the city into a city of smile," Liu Jian, one of the committee members, was quoted as saying on Monday. What happens to those who refuse to smile? Clown Crushed To Death, Audience Applauds No reason to doubt this story isn't true, but it does seem like a real-life version of the Hippo…
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006.   Comments (17)

Quick Links: Taco Sauce Pranksters, etc. — Taco Sauce Pranksters Strike Fifteen masked men entered an Indiana Taco Bell and returned 25,000 packets of taco sauce that, so they said, had been accumulating in the trunk of their car for the past three years. It required 40 trash bags to carry all the packets of sauce into the store. Maybe they thought that if they saved up enough packets of sauce they could win a free Liberty Bell. Unwise Grenade Opening Technique Reuters reports that "A Brazilian man died Tuesday when he tried to…
Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006.   Comments (11)

Thief Plays Dead To Avoid Arrest — Status: Dumb criminal German police report an encounter with a master criminal who, when caught in the act of stealing a computer, tried the old "pretend you're dead" act to elude capture: The 51-year-old sneaked into a company in the town of Hildesheim late Monday and tried to make off with a computer when the owner discovered him and called the police. The man had fled into the boiler room, where they found him lying on the floor, police said in a statement. He had a pulse, but was…
Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006.   Comments (3)

How To Fake Your Death On The Internet — Status: Public Service Video A highly informative Beginner's Guide To Faking Your Death On The Internet can be viewed on YouTube. It was created by satirist and internet scholar Luke Lewis. Some of the points it covers: → Interest in your death (or the death of your alter-ego) can be measured by Heinstein's 2nd Law of the Internet, which states: I = H x W x C. Or rather, INTEREST in your character equals their HOTNESS times their camWHORE factor times the CRAZINESS of the community in…
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006.   Comments (2)

Did Ken Lay Fake His Death? — Status: Undetermined (I refuse to give him the benefit of the doubt) Ken Lay was reported dead on Wednesday. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death to be severe coronary disease. But almost as soon as word of his death hit the internet, the conspiracy theories started. Scott Adams summed up what many were thinking in his Dilbert Blog: Does it seem suspicious to you that ex-Enron CEO Ken Lay died right before they could put his guilty ass behind bars? I wonder how many doctors…
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006.   Comments (17)

Huggable Urns — Status: Weird, but real Christophe Thill sent me a link to Huggable Urns (they're teddy bears that hold cremains) along with the message: "This has to be a hoax? Right? Right?" Sorry, Christophe. I don't think so. The Huggable Urns look real enough, and if you click on the 'Buy Now' button on the products page, it takes you to a PayPal payment page, which is usually a good sign that a product is real. Actually, although the huggable urns seem a bit ghoulish and tacky, they're not…
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006.   Comments (20)

The Frosties Kid Is Dead — Status: Urban Legend A recent ad for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes shows a blond-haired kid dancing around singing "They're going to taste great!" I think this is a British ad. At least, I've never seen it here in America. And all the references to it I've found occur in the British press. For instance, David Whitehouse writes in the Guardian: Pity the poor Kellogg's marketing department... all they wanted to do was make an advert in which a chirpy young scamp would skip his way through the…
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006.   Comments (102)

The Body On A Highway Prank — Status: Prank Gone Wrong One of the rules of pranking is that you should do no harm. This means no harm to others, nor to yourself. The two Russian soldiers who thought lying down across the highway would be a funny prank, should have given more thought to this rule. As reported by MosNews.com: Two young men, private Vladislav Lunev and first class private Nikolay Chistyakov escaped from the army troops not far from Moscow, Russia, late at night, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported…
Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006.   Comments (13)

Candidate Accused of Having Faked His Death — Status: Strange News I note in Hippo Eats Dwarf that if you fake your death, you need to remain dead, which means staying under the radar. Ronald Wayne Blankenship hasn't followed that advice. Instead, after allegedly faking his death backin 1990, he's now decided to run for sheriff in Jefferson County... which is a good way to bring himself to the attention of the police who now want him to come in and have his fingerprints checked. Blankenship, meanwhile, is maintaining his innocence,…
Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2006.   Comments (11)

Real Body Found At Fake Crime Scene — Status: Strange but true Here's the scene: a high school criminology class on a field trip to the local park. Their teacher has created fake bodies for them to find. But wait a second. One of those bodies looks awfully real. The AP reports: Truth proved to be stranger than fiction for a high school criminology class investigating a fake crime scene after students discovered a real dead body on a field trip. Teacher Sue Messenger has been planting cardboard skeletons with bullet holes,…
Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2006.   Comments (3)

Jaleel White Commits Suicide — Status: Hoax The latest false celebrity death rumor going around concerns Jaleel White (best known for playing Urkel on Family Matters). Supposedly he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. This rumor is old. It was first posted on my site over half a year ago (in the comments to my post titled 'Is this Jaleel White?'). It's no truer now than it was then. I have no idea why it's begun circulating again, but here are the main highlights from the hoax AP report: LOS ANGELES,…
Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006.   Comments (237)

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