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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
Palm Leaf Mary — And now for your daily pareidolia. (Well, weekly pareidolia, at least.) Manny Duenas of Sacramento was cutting down some old palm leaves in his yard -- on Palm Sunday, no less -- when he happened to look at one of the leaves in his hand and saw an image of the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus in her arms. Duenas says: "God is out there and maybe these are one of the messages that they send." Actually, I don't so much see the Virgin Mary figure, but I definitely see an outline of the…
Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008.   Comments (7)

Jesus in the Door — Ten years ago Wendy Divock felt a touch on her cheek. She thought it was her husband touching her, but when she turned around, he wasn't there. What she saw instead was an image of a face in her closet door. Initially Wendy and her husband called the image the "guy in the door," but after doing some research on the internet they decided that it was Jesus. The pastor across the street assures them that the image is "very significant and that it's authentic." The Dovicks have created a…
Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008.   Comments (23)

Solar Mary — According to the website dnaindia.com, 50 people in the Kottayam district of India have lost their vision after gazing into the sun for hours trying to see an image of the Virgin Mary: Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’. St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has…
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (1)

St. Patrick’s Day Moved — Angela emailed me to ask if it's true that St. Patrick's Day has been moved this year, from March 17 to March 15. Yes, it's true. At least for the Irish. The problem is that Easter falls unusually early this year, which means that the traditional date for St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is going to land in the middle of Holy Week (the week immediately preceding Easter). To avoid this, Church authorities have ordered that religious celebrations for St. Patrick's Day occur instead on March…
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2008.   Comments (8)


Jesus (or a lobster) in a tree — Here's another "Jesus Image in a Tree" for my collection. This one was found by Pennsylvania resident Craig O'Connor. MyFoxColorado.com reports: By counting the tree rings, O'Connor believes the tree was at least 40-50 years old. As a furniture maker of 25 years, O'Connor has worked with wood and seen plenty of different stains and marks. He says this one is radically different from all the others. O'Connor is a Catholic and believes it's a sign from God. When asked what the message is,…
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008.   Comments (10)

Jesus Hides in Potatoes — Renee Brewster of Florida found Jesus while preparing potato salad. His image was clearly visible in the moldy rot that had formed in the center of the first potato she split open. She put aside the holy potato and finished making the potato salad, which reportedly tasted excellent. According to MyFoxOrlando, Renee and her husband feel that "the site of their savior in a potato has reinvigorated their faith." But Cranky Media Guy wonders if this is manufactured pareidolia, noting…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (7)

Brother Roshan Wants Your Donations! — Canadian police are searching for two men who "falsely represented themselves as a spiritual healer and his assistant." Which raises the question: what counts as a real spiritual healer? The healer guy advertised himself on the radio as Brother Roshan. He used a magic trick to con his victims out of money. CTV.CA reports: Roshan wrote the names of each of his client's family members on each egg. He then placed the eggs in a covered pot of boiling water. Once they were cooked, he took…
Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008.   Comments (2)

Is Bigfoot really Cain? — Here's a Bigfoot theory I haven't heard before. Apparently there are some in the Mormon church who hypothesize that Bigfoot may actually be Cain, condemned to walk the earth forever. Matt Bowman provides some scholarly elaboration on this theory on the Mormon Mentality blog. Apparently the Bigfoot-Cain connection traces back to a story told by an early leader of the Mormon church, David W. Patten. Patten claimed that in 1835 he encountered Cain walking along the side of the road. He…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (27)

Virgin Mary on Living Room Wall — A New Mexico family reports that an image of the Virgin Mary has appeared in the pattern of the texture of their wall. Their granddaughter says, "I think God is trying to tell us something, like a message from heaven." Maybe that message is, "Don't get a job applying wall texture." Is it just me, or are these Virgin Mary sightings getting harder and harder to see? I can barely make this one out at all. Bob forwarded me the link with the comment, "How ridiculous would a 'sighting' of…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (21)

Jesus X-Ray — A Florida man who recently had a chest X-ray says that he can see Jesus in it. Which raises the question, just what HAS that guy been smoking? Personally, I can't see it at all. (Thanks Joe and Bob)
Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007.   Comments (21)

Virgin Mary in Pancakes and Trees — We've got a pareidolia double feature. First up is an image of the Virgin Mary that some claim to see in a sycamore tree that was burned in the recent Southern California fires. The tree is located off the Sierra Highway in Los Angeles County. KNBC reports: Believers have left flowers and other offerings in front of the tree, turning it into a makeshift altar. Some also have left notes, hoping to be blessed after seeing the vision. Second up is a Jesus and Mary Pancake (which sounds…
Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007.   Comments (16)

Fake Stigmata Controversy — During the 20th century, Padre Pio was one of the most famous and popular Catholic monks. He died in 1968 and was made a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002. He was recently declared the Patron Saint of New Year Blues. Pio was particularly famous for the supernatural phenomena associated with him. In particular, stigmata were said to have mysteriously appeared on his hands and feet. But a new book argues that Pio faked his stigmata: a book called Padre Pio and the Italy of the 19th…
Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007.   Comments (72)

Towel Jesus — From Cranky Media Guy, with the comment, "New horizons in pareidolia": A Houston woman says the face of Jesus is a message sent straight from God and left on a bathroom towel... She says she used the towel to clean an air conditioner. "I guess it just got stained," she said. So Lucille washed it. And bleached it. Twice. And then her granddaughter used the towel. "It kind of scared me, because I was going to dry my hair," Desiree Ramos recalled. "But then I just threw it. And then I…
Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007.   Comments (12)

Fake Holy Water Warning — Health officers in Britain have issued a warning to consumers to be on the lookout for fake holy water. From the BBC: The water is advertised as coming from the sacred well of Zam Zam in Mecca, the most holy city in Islam, and demand increases during Ramadan. The warning does not cover genuine Zam Zam, which is sourced from the Well of Zam Zam, located within the Masjid al Haram in Mecca. Councillor Audrey Lewis was concerned Muslims may be exploited into buying counterfeit Zam Zam…
Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007.   Comments (7)

New From Elliot: Church of the SubGenius — In his new article in the hoaxipedia, Elliot gives some background info on the Church of the SubGenius -- the church which may represent a genuine religious movement, or may be just an elaborate joke. The Church of the SubGenius is affiliated with the Universal Life Church, "an organization that has been legally (in some states) offering tax-exempt ministerships to all who apply regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation." Years ago I sent away to become a Universal Life…
Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007.   Comments (16)

More Faces in Trees — At least two or three faces seen in trees seem to get reported a month, and I faithfully note them here. Here are the latest: Lodi, California: Emily West was doing some meditating over the weekend in her sister's backyard in central Lodi when something caught her eye. "I looked up and saw the face of Christ in the fence and I said, "Whoa," West said. She called her sister Ana over to ask what she saw. She too agreed, it was the Son of God. Cranky Media Guy forwarded me this story…
Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007.   Comments (16)

Best of the Forum - 24th August 07 — Due to personal circumstances, this week's Best of the Forum post is brought to you by guest writer and board moderator Madmouse. Unauthorised Reincarnation Banned in Tibet (MadCarlotta) China has banned Buddhists from reincarnating without permission, in an apparent attempt to have the next Dalai Lama chosen by the Chinese government. From the news article: "According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month…
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007.   Comments (11)

Angel Wings in a Texas Tree — A Texas woman thinks a pattern in the trunk of a tree in the parking lot of her local supermarket looks like a pair of angel wings. And, for good measure, she also thinks she might see Jesus there too. The woman, Gayle Griffin, says: "I was drawn to this tree. Something compelled me to take pictures. Something kept telling me to go back." Maybe that something was her need to buy groceries. So this is another tree to add to my growing list of images in trees. The wing pattern is…
Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007.   Comments (16)

Jesus appears in yet another tree — Here's yet another image of Jesus on a tree to add to my collection. Irma Lopez, of Moorpark, CA, was watering her front yard when, she says, "I noticed an area on the tree that resembles Jesus. I threw down the hose and told my daughter Lisa to come outside." Lisa happens to be pregnant, and neighbors are suggesting that the image and her pregnancy might somehow be related... i.e. that the sudden appearance of the image is a "sign of God," "a true blessing for her and her family."…
Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007.   Comments (14)

New Last Supper Theory — An Italian scholar, Slavisa Pesci, claims to have uncovered new secret images hidden in Da Vinci's Last Supper by superimposing the painting on to its mirror image. When you do this you can supposedly see a woman holding a child, as well as a goblet in front of Jesus. Personally, I can't see anything at all. It all looks like a blurry mess. But Pesci seems to feel that Da Vinci intended for his painting to be viewed this way. He says, "from some of the details you can infer that we are…
Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007.   Comments (9)

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