The Hoax Museum Blog
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…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 01, 2004
Restaurant Strip-Search Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 30, 2004
According to the Wall Street Journal a strange prank is becoming a real problem for restaurants throughout America. A phone prankster calls up a restaurant, pretending to a police officer, and asks the manager of the restaurant to strip search the store's employees. The reason given is usually that the police are searching for stolen money or drugs. And time after time the store managers comply with the request. I've seen cases of this prank reported in the news before, and I assumed they were unrelated to each other. But police suspect that all the cases might be the work of one guy, operating out of North Florida. Tom Briggs, of the National Food Service Security Council, notes that…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 25, 2004
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 23, 2004
Garden Ornaments Mystery
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 04, 2004
They're popping up all over the place in Acle: huddled under bus shelters, lined up at the bank. They're garden ornaments (gnomes, Grecian figures, etc.), and no one knows who or what is responsible for their mysterious movements. Let's hope it's not Travelocity.
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 08, 2004