The Hoax Museum Blog
Oscar, the death-predicting cat
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2007
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 the time the dying patients are so sick they don't even know he's there. The article in the NEJM…
Paris Hilton Lives!
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 13, 2007
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 suicide" one disguised itself as Australia's ABC. I'll have to add these to my page about celebrity death hoaxes.
Mayor Appears on Tree
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 07, 2007
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 late mayor…
Psychic Photographer Takes Pictures of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson
Posted by Boo on Sun Nov 26, 2006
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 perhaps a psychic “lightening rod” for anomalies, since he has filmed Nessie, filmed UFOs at Area…
Quick Links: Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos, etc.
Posted by Boo on Thu Sep 21, 2006
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, sand, and recycled newspapers/magazines, which can be used as a building material."…
Quick Links: Gnomes and Gropers
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 21, 2006
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 care of him. He then grabs their breasts as they try to do their job. A pretty elaborate strategy to get a grope.
Quick Links: Pregnant Man, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 30, 2006
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 Eats Dwarf tale (minus the dwarf and hippo), particularly the way the audience thinks the accident is all part of the act:…
Quick Links: Taco Sauce Pranksters, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 11, 2006
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 open what police believe was a rocket-propelled grenade with a sledgehammer in a mechanical workshop on the outskirts of Rio de…
Thief Plays Dead To Avoid Arrest
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 02, 2006
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 not responding to their commands, so they called an ambulance. Only after…
How To Fake Your Death On The Internet
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 19, 2006
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 which you're posting (measured in LJs or LiveJournals). "The higher the I value, the more ego strokage you'll get from faking your death."
Did Ken Lay Fake His Death?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 09, 2006
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…
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 07, 2006
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 that bad an idea. They're better than many alternatives. For…
The Frosties Kid Is Dead
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 07, 2006
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 Body On A Highway Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 21, 2006
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 Saturday. Being in a very good mood, the two decided to play a…
Candidate Accused of Having Faked His Death
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 15, 2006
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, insisting that he's not the same Blankenship who once faked his death:Ronald Wayne Blankenship,…