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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Death
Dog Leaps From Overpass — Status: Possible canine suicide? Charles G. Jetchick was driving along, minding his own business, when suddenly a dog crashed through his window. It had fallen from an overpass. Police don't think it was thrown. Instead, they speculate the dog fell by accident while trying to avoid a car. The police officer commented: ""We've had rocks and other stuff like that fall off of overpasses. This would be the first dog we've had." The Anomalist, however, speculates that it might be another…
Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006.   Comments (5)

Mummified Mother Still Watching TV — Status: True Big Gary forwarded me this urban-legendesque story about the mummified body of Johannas Pope, who was "found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death." Apparently she had been left there by her family, who were honoring her wish that she not be buried. They had kept the air conditioner running on full blast, thereby slowing the process of decay. Must have had a huge electricity bill. Coincidentally, also in the news is the story of Mirko…
Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2006.   Comments (9)

‘Who Wants To Die’ Talking Elmo — Status: Either a prank or a manufacturing defect When Angela Bolls bought an interactive Elmo book for her young daughter, Miranda, she had no idea what she would be exposing her daughter to: Family members said 16-month-old Miranda Boll's new book, "Potty Time With Elmo," was supposed to teach an interactive lesson using voice commands. However, when the book's buttons are pressed, it reportedly says something it is not supposed to -- "who wants to die?" ... Bolls said she checked…
Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2006.   Comments (52)

La Pascualita, the Mexican Corpse Bride — Status: Urban Legend This has already been posted in the hoax forum, but it's too good to ignore. Reuters has reported on a Mexican urban legend concerning a mannequin in the window of a bridal gown store in the city of Chihuahua. Local rumor has it that the mannequin is really the embalmed body of the former store owner's daughter. The former store owner was called Pascuala Esparza. La Pascualita means 'Little Pascuala' (i.e. her daughter). According to the legend her daughter died…
Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005.   Comments (46)


Man Fulfills Short Life Prediction — Status: Self-fulfilled prophecy When Sandeep was born, an astrologer predicted that he would have a short life. Recently another astrologer, on TV, seconded this prediction. In despair (whether because of the second prediction, or for some other reason, is not clear), Sandeep took his own life, thereby fulfilling the prophecy. This isn't the only self-fulfillment of a death prophecy that I'm aware of. The more famous case was the prediction of the 16th century astrologer Girolamo…
Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2005.   Comments (5)

Xenacate — This is a request for help. The proofreader has been going through the manuscript of Hippo Eats Dwarf looking for errors. This is the final check that the book receives before it goes to print. After this, nothing can be changed. Anyway, in the final chapter of the book (about death), I include the following definition: Xenacate, v.: To kill a TV or movie character off so completely that no chance remains of bringing her back from the dead. Inspired by the TV show Xena: Warrior…
Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005.   Comments (88)

Hippo Eats Dwarf Sighting — Status: Dwarf-eating hippo sighting Peter Mount sent along a sighting of the Hippo Eats Dwarf story. (Not my book, the story itself.) It's turned up in a new book titled The World's Stupidest Deaths. I haven't seen the book, but this Australian review of it lists the tale as being among the stupid deaths it describes: Other "stupid deaths" include: AUSTRIAN dwarf and circus acrobat Franz Dasch, who was killed when he bounced on a trampoline into the yawning mouth of a nearby…
Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005.   Comments (8)

Who Buried Paul McCartney? — Status: Documentary A Dutch TV station, omroep.nl (I think it's a TV station), has an interesting documentary online about the Paul Is Dead hoax. The documentary is in English, but with Dutch subtitles. I had to select the Real Player option to get the video to play. The documentary contains interviews with many of the key players in the events of 1969, including Russ Gibb (the Detroit DJ whose broadcast about the Paul is dead rumor brought it to the attention of a national audience),…
Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005.   Comments (9)

The Silent Movie Actress Archive (Corporeal Memorabilia) — Status: Art Project The website of the SMA (Silent Movie Actress) Archive claims that: We are a small and dedicated organisation based in Baltimore, USA. Our aim is the ‘resurrection’ of actresses from the Golden era of silent cinema. To do this we are securing a large body of quality genetic material from a variety of sources which is subjected to rigorous testing to ensure its validity. Samples range from small tissue and blood samples to full bones and several preserved organs. Is…
Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005.   Comments (4)

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: Thu Sep 29, 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: Fri Jun 03, 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: Thu May 26, 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: Thu Apr 28, 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: Fri Apr 08, 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)

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