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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Death
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)

Hitman Professional Killings — Status: Hoax website If you're ever shopping around for a contract killer, look no further than HITMAN, "The most trusted name in professional killings." They conveniently take Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Plus, they offer "discounts for packages of three hits or more, as long as the marks are all grouped together in one geographic location, and as long as our services have to be rendered all within the same timeframe." I'm impressed by their list of 'greatest hits' that…
Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2005.   Comments (37)

Sex, Death, and Maggots — I came across this story posted on LiveJournal. This may be an urban legend that's been around for a while, but I haven't heard it before: Subject: The most disgusting thing I've ever heard. Ever. So I know this girl. She has all these weird white things in the back of her throat, so she goes to the doctor thinkings she got some nasty STD of the mouth. Turns out its not an STD at all. She has f*****ng maggots growing in her throat. (I know this girl, this is not an urban legend) So…
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005.   Comments (30)

Fan Death and Tongue Cutting — Fan Death is "the belief that if someone is sleeping in a sealed room (windows and doors are closed) with an electric fan on, they could die." The theory is that either hypothermia will get you, or the fan breeze will somehow form a vacuum around your mouth and suffocate you. Apparently many people in Korea believe this is true. Or at least, this is what Robin, the creator of fandeath.net, has concluded after living in Korea for five years. He writes: When I first heard about fan…
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005.   Comments (55)

Do Dogs Commit Suicide? — In the past six months five dogs have fallen to their death off a bridge in Dumbarton, Scotland. This fact does not seem to be disputed. What is controversial is whether or not the dogs fell because they committed suicide. Or did they think they saw something and accidentally leapt? In the most recent case a woman claims that she was out walking her dog when it suddenly ran away from her "vaulted over the parapet and plunged 40ft to its death." Some animal behaviorists are dismissing…
Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2005.   Comments (96)

Sometimes Sweaty Statue Says Pope Will Live — A statue of Pope Sylvester II in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran is said to become damp when a Pope is about to die. The statue ain't sweating, so that means things are looking good for John Paul II. The accuracy of the statue as a medical diagnostic tool has been confirmed by "two elderly Italian nuns", so this is a pretty definite thing. (thanks to Gary for the link)
Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005.   Comments (8)

Hippo Eats Dwarf — I came across this peculiar news story about a hippo eating a dwarf. It's been floating around the internet for a while, though I'm not sure exactly how long. Google 'hippo eats dwarf' and you'll pull up a bunch of pages. There's even a band named Hippo Eats Dwarf. The article has been circulating as an image file of a scanned article (click the thumbnail), but here's the text of it: A hippopotamus has swallowed a dwarf in a circus accident in northern Thailand. "A dwarf, nicknamed…
Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2005.   Comments (61)

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