The Hoax Museum Blog
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 16, 2004
Someone dressed in a gorilla suit has been jumping out from behind bushes and terrifying pensioners in Austria. At least, police assume it's someone in a gorilla suit, though I'm sure some would speculate that it could be a real creature. Commenting on the prank, one pensioner said, "It's really horrifying when a gorilla suddenly jumps out in front of you." Truer words were never spoken.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 13, 2004
This is one of those great pranks that only gets discovered a long time after the deed is done. Oklahoma State University officials realized that the letters 'OU' (the initials of their rival the University of Oklahoma) were gracing the side of their recently renovated stadium. Apparently one of the bricklayers working on the renovation project used darker bricks to spell out the initials of their rival. Unfortunately the officials are not taking the prank in very good humor. They've ordered that the offending bricks be replaced, at the expense of the contractor who did the work. Personally I can't see the initials that well in the picture that…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 26, 2004
The Washington Post reports on a growing epidemic of eggings. As they say, "Nationwide, there is evidence of eggings escalating into much more than a practical joke." The reporter, Mitra Kalita, actually called me up to get a quote about this issue, and so if you go to the very end of the article (on the second page) you'll be able to read my profound thoughts about the phenomenon of egging. To tell the truth, I've never egged anyone in my life, so I didn't feel like much of an expert on the topic. But I do run a website about hoaxes and pranks, so I guess that makes me as much of an 'egging expert' (or egg-spert)…
Car Filled with Gum Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 07, 2004
Magic Mackeigan decided to help his girlfriend quit smoking by filling her entire car up with gum. Valerie Karriman discovered the surprise when she walked out to her car in the morning. I guess she was late to work that day. Of course, gum melts in the sun, which is something that it doesn't sound like Magic thought about during his elaborate preparations. I'm assuming Valerie managed to clean the car out in time, but if she didn't I figure Magic would be out one girlfriend. (Thanks to Goo for the link)
Bus Shelter Prank
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 29, 2004
A bus shelter in Norfolk County, UK has become a favorite target for pranksters. Local residents woke to find the shelter transformed into a living room. "The culprits decked the shelter out with a comfy chair, a television, a lamp, a stereo system and even created a fake fireplace on the wall to complete the homely effect." This isn't the first time the pranksters have struck. Last month "a lawn appeared in the shelter, along with a gnome and a windmill." Unfortunately the article doesn't include a picture of the transformed shelter.
Christmas Party Prank Gone Awry
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 23, 2004
In an otherwise dull story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about local school-district politics, one bizarre passage caught my eye: The embattled Mento also sought to downplay his much-publicized conduct at last year's Christmas party, saying he blew up a bikini-clad doll as a harmless practical joke. An exact replica of the doll was displayed at the hearing, complete with the package labeled "Inflatable Fat Ass Party Doll"... All agreed that it took the superintendent about 15 minutes to inflate the doll and that many at the party were surprised at Mento's determination to finish the task. "It took a long time. Someone joked about needing an ambulance because he might pass out," recalled Scott.
Postcards for Mom
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 22, 2004
Here's a site that ingeniously exploits the power of the internet in order to play a prank. It's Postcards for Mom. Will Hanke created the site late last year in order to play a joke on his mother, Celeste. On the site he invited people to send letters to his mom (you had to email him in order to get her address). People thought it was a great idea, and soon Celeste was getting all kinds of mail, from all over the world. But she had no idea why these people were writing to her, nor could she figure out why they appeared to know personal details about her life. Finally she discovered what was going on when…
Free Groceries Giveaway
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 16, 2004
A crowd of hopefuls arrived at the opening of the new Kroger's in Churchill Downs, hoping to participate in the Free Groceries Giveaway that flyers left on their car had advertised. According to the flyers, you could just fill up your cart with groceries and then run straight out the front door of the store. The shoppers were disappointed to learn that the flyers were a joke perpetrated by some unknown prankster. The store was giving away free Rick Pitino bobble heads, but I would think that if you're expecting free groceries, a free bobble head somehow doesn't cut it.
Protection Package Senior Prank
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 11, 2004
It's prom time, and parents of seniors at Newfield High School all received a letter in the mail offering their child a free 'protection package' comprised of condoms and lubricant to help them celebrate the night in a fun, but safe, way. The letter was a prank, and a very successful one if judged by how much it managed to annoy school authorities. The School Superintendent fumed that the prank demonstrated "inexcusable and reckless behavior that diminishes every student in the senior class." I'm pretty sure that's exactly the reaction the pranksters were hoping for.
A Cat Named Killer
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 09, 2004
Digging through my harddrive, I came across this news item I saved at some time in the past and then forgot about. So here it is: A classified ad was placed in a New Zealand newspaper in July 2001. It read, "Where is Killer? We are missing our fat, furry, friendly cat. Killer is a marmalade-coloured tabby cat with a heart of gold and a hearty appetite. He's probably gone to your house to eat your food! If you've seen Killer please let us know. He has a missing right eye, a ripped ear, a limp, a scar down his spine. Please call Jim or June, or John or Joe." …
Senior Prank Time
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 09, 2004
It's senior prank time. Students at North Penn High School observed the tradition by sticking 35,000 plastic forks into the school lawn. Over at Niles North High School, they put their school up for sale on eBay, though most of the bids seemed to come from teachers in on the joke. I searched for the auction itself, but unfortunately it looks like eBay has removed it from the site.
Fake Bullet Holes
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 13, 2004
Lion on the Loose in Gahanna?
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 05, 2004
Residents of Gahanna, Ohio have worriedly been following reports about a lion loose in their vicinity. Police have fanned out to search for the creature, but with no luck. Now some are beginning to suspect that the lion sightings were just a prank, perhaps engineered by local college seniors. Ohio is, of course, no stranger to non-existent wild beasts on the loose. Those with a long memory might remember the Paulding County Hyena that terrorized people back in 1858. But the greatest escaped-animal prank of all time was the Central Park Zoo Escape of 1874. On the other hand, the Gahanna Lion might suddenly…
The Rogue Employee Tin
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 18, 2004
For almost a century Huntley & Palmers biscuit tins have been seen on the tea tables of well-to-do Brits. What few of those Brits realized is that the tins contained a surprise... not in the biscuits themselves, but in the illustration on the outside of the tin. Apparently a rogue employee, early in the twentieth century, hid various sexually explicit scenes in the illustrations. For instance, a tin now up for sale at Lawrences Auctioneers in Somerset shows two dogs having sex in the flowerbed, if you look very carefully. Reuters has rather pruriently prudishly blurred the cover of the tin in the picture accompanying their article, so you can't see the dogs, but luckily Lawrences' itself has a picture…
ID Sniper Rifle
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 12, 2004
The ID Sniper Rifle is a high-powered rifle, produced by Empire North, that supposedly can implant a GPS-microchip into a person, allowing the military to track them wherever they go in the world. Here's the description from Empire North's website: The microchip will enter the body and stay there, causing no internal damage, and only a very small amount of physical pain to the target. It will feel like a mosquito-bite lasting a fraction of a second. Given the low-tech feel of Empire North's website, I'd have to say this is a hoax. Plus, is it really possible to hit someone from a long-distance with a microchip and a) have the microchip survive the impact, and b) have the…