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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Pranks
Where is my pond? — At 9 a.m. George Terry Dinnie left his house to walk Buckley, his bouvier des Flandres. When he returned, an hour-and-a-half later, he discovered that his 2500 gallon pond had disappeared. He figures someone took it, though he doesn't know why or how someone removed that much water: "They pumped the water out faster than I can fill it up again. It's as weird as weird can be." Something fishy is going on. That's for sure. [morning call]
Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2009.   Comments (7)

Pranksters move Loch Ness signs — Pranksters in Inverness have made it even more difficult to find Nessie by moving the road signs for Loch Ness so that they point in the wrong direction. The leading suspects are concert-goers attending the RockNess music festival. But here's the part of the article I found interesting. One resident "likened the alterations to World War II, when the authorities removed signs to prevent German soldiers from navigating their way round the country if they invaded." I didn't know that had…
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009.   Comments (12)

The Jiffy Prank — Apparently there's a tradition of past employees of Jiffy Lube breaking into the store and stealing the bleeder valve on the compressor, thus rendering the machine useless. It's called the "Jiffy prank." At least, that's the excuse Paul Marvella is giving to explain why he took the valve. He later returned it, but nevertheless the store is charging him with felony commercial burglary. [Hernando Today]
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (3)

The Barrel Monster — Proof that the art of the student prank hasn't quite died. N.C. State University student Joseph Carnevale has been arrested and is facing misdemeanor charges for damage to property after creating a "barrel monster" that menacingly pointed its finger at motorists on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. The creation of the monster is documented at nopromiseofsafety.com. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Its that itch, that need to make real an idea that has rolled around in one’s head for…
Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009.   Comments (8)


Sprinkler System Activated — A telephone caller, posing as a representative of a fire alarm company, convinced employees of a Comfort Suites Hotel to activate the sprinkler system, which resulted in thousands of dollars worth of damage. (tricities.com) This type of prank is definitely a recurring theme (see the rectal exam prank call, strip-search prank call, and satellite medical exam call), but I'm not sure what to call it. Maybe the "manipulative phone call prank," though that's not very catchy.
Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009.   Comments (5)

The South American Reetsa Expedition — If you're well-versed in hoax lore, you might have heard the story of the South American Reetsa Expedition. It's a hoax attributed to the New York City prankster Brian G. Hughes, who was active as a hoaxer from around 1895 to 1910. (He died in 1924.) He pulled off quite a few hoaxes. Around 1895 he submitted a cat to the New York cat show, claiming it was a rare breed known as the Dublin Brindle. After it won a prize, he revealed it was just an alley cat. A few years later he tried a…
Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009.   Comments (6)

Are senior pranks a disappearing tradition? — The Dallas Morning News worries that in many Texas schools the senior prank is a fast disappearing tradition. The reasons for its departure: high-tech security and stricter discipline standards. One senior is quoted as saying, "Maybe we'd do something if there weren't cameras everywhere and punishments weren't so crazy." Well, it's not disappearing everywhere. This year students at Fort Walton Beach High School slipped the "F word" into the yearbook by spelling it out in red letters…
Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009.   Comments (7)

Welsh road signs — The BBC reports that Welsh-language road signs mysteriously appeared on the Longthorpe Parkway in Cambridgeshire. They suspect it was the work of a practical joker. Presumably a Welsh practical joker.
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009.   Comments (2)

What Students Want — Scottish high school students were given a survey to find out what resources they would like to see in the area to help it develop. The answer: fast-food restaurants, cinemas, and a brothel. [BBC]
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (14)

Car Wrapped Around Flag Pole — Students at Fruita Monument High School in Colorado welded an Eagle hatchback around the school's flag pole as a senior prank. It took them an hour and 15 minutes of welding to do it. Now this is more like what a prank should be... not like that garden-planting prank from a few weeks ago. [KITV]
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (7)

Domino’s Video Prank — One of the mysteries of law enforcement in the age of YouTube: Why do people proudly post videos of themselves engaged in illegal acts? They're just begging to have the police come knocking on their door. So anyway, the latest example of video self-incrimination involves two Domino's employees who created a prank video showing one of them farting on the food and sticking it up his nose as the other one laughed and egged him on. They posted the video on YouTube and it promptly went…
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009.   Comments (4)

Is it really a prank? — Seniors at Westlake High School in Texas are being praised. For their senior prank, they chose to build a garden in a traffic island. Hmm. I think it's a nice gesture, but is it really a prank? At my High School I think the senior class all chipped in to donate a bench, but we never called it a prank. However, if the Westlake seniors surreptitiously planted seeds in their garden that will sprout a year from now, spelling a rude message, then I'll be impressed. [wlfi.com]
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009.   Comments (9)

Never Gonna Pay You Anything — Pete Waterman wrote the song Never Gonna Give You Up, which is the focal point of the massively popular Rickrolling prank. But he's now complaining that, despite the millions of times that video has been viewed online, he's earned only £11 from Google for all those views. He earns more from his local radio station playing the song than he does from YouTube. Welcome to the internet economy, Mr. Waterman! [Telegraph]
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (6)

Neighborhood dispute gets ugly — The term Neighbor From Hell seems an appropriate one for Julie Rank-Earley. Her neighbor once filed a police complaint about her, resulting in a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Instead of letting the issue drop, Rank-Earley decided to up the ante by subscribing to hundreds of dollars worth of pornographic magazines in the name of her neighbor. Her neighbor simply complained to the police again when she started getting all the bills. Now Rank-Earley is sitting in jail. [Dayton…
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (1)

Bottle Caps For Charity — The latest victims of the decades-old trash-for-charity hoax are the students of PS 46 in Staten Island. They were collecting plastic bottle caps in the belief that for every 1000 caps collected a child with cancer would get chemotherapy. Finally one of the students did an online search for "bottle caps" and "charity" and figured out it was a hoax. [silive.com]
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (7)

Don’t Smash Out The Window! — Yet another example of the "manipulative phone call" prank. A man staying in a Best Western hotel in Jamestown, NY received a call telling him that the fire department and HAZMAT were in the hotel investigating a gas/carbon monoxide leak. The caller advised the man to smash out a window to avoid injury or death. The man then proceeded to do this. According to the article, "The Jamestown Police Department is advising the public and businesses to be aware of this type of scam, and to…
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (6)

Enforcer Skunks — There's a lot of speculation in the town of York, New Hampshire Maine about the skunk signs that were placed on many traffic-enforcement signs on April 1st. The signs feature hand-painted, smiling skunks wearing yellow sashes with the word "Enforcer" painted on. The signs also have a drawing of a zebra with the statement, "Whoever says they did it, didn't do it." When asked if the police were going to be contacted, Community Development Director Steve Burns said, "They're our No. 1…
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (4)

Mystery Lamb Prank — Why did pranksters steal a lamb from Jim Dufosee's field on Salisbury Plain and leave it on a doorstep of a house in Pound Street. Nobody knows. However, the picture of the lamb being held by the farmer should provide you with your daily dose of cuteness. [wiltshire.co.uk]
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (0)

Fake Parking Tickets — • People are angry at a bar in New Zealand for placing fake parking tickets on thousands of cars in Auckland as an April Fool's Day prank/promotional stunt. The thing is, these fake tickets weren't like the typical ones that, upon examination, are obviously fake. These were exactly identical to real tickets in every detail except for listing a different website and phone number. As a publicity stunt, I'd say it crosses the line. [stuff.co.nz]
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009.   Comments (1)

Fake Grave — Deacon Freeman Moore doesn't think that the fake grave someone dug behind his church was a funny prank. It had a black, wooden cross at one end, with the name "Eli" on it. He called the police, who did a bit of digging before deciding it was a hoax. [ajc.com]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (1)

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