The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Folklore/Tall Tales
The Science of Jackalopes — As part of its coverage of the debate in Wyoming over whether to make the jackalope the state's official mythological critter, the Casper Star-Tribune profiles Prof. James Holliday, emeritus professor of biology at Lafayette College, who's perhaps the foremost expert on the biology of jackalopes. Scientific basis for the myth of the jackalope trib.com "There is a virus that causes growths on the jack rabbit," Holliday said. The virus is called Shope papillomavirus. Growths can come out…
Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013.   Comments (1)

Ithamar Sprague, a 19th Century Mormon Bigfoot Hoaxer — I've previously noted a connection between Mormon folklore and Bigfoot — namely that some Mormons believe Bigfoot to be the Biblical figure Cain, condemned to walk the earth forever (and apparently grown big and hairy). But I recently came across another Mormon/Bigfoot connection. Back around 1870, there was a Mormon settler named Ithamar Sprague who lived in the town of Washington, Utah. He terrified his fellow town's folk by creating giant wooden feet, three-feet long, that he used…
Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Annual Overland Whale Migration — I received an email from Peter Barss recounting a 1985 April Fool's Day hoax he was involved in. It's a great story, so I'll let him tell it in his own words: In 1985 the Bridgewater Bulletin had an April Fool's front page. Turn over the bogus page and there was the true front page with the day's news. One reporter created an image of a twelve foot starfish climbing out of the sea and up the side of a fisherman's building. Another wrote a story about an international airport that would…
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012.   Comments (3)

The Nullarbor Nymph Comes To The Big Screen — I posted a brief description of the Australian legend of the Nullarbor Nymph back in 2004. This is what I wrote: Thirty-two years ago the tiny town of Eucla, Australia, on the edge of the Nullarbor plain, became famous when a few of its residents first sighted the Nullarbor Nymph. The Nymph was a blonde, feral, half-naked woman who lived in the bush and ran wild with kangaroos. News of this wild woman quickly spread around the world. Now filmmaker Matthew Wilkinson has brought the…
Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012.   Comments (1)


Give Grand Marais the Bird — A fake seagull perched on a billboard outside the town of Grand Marais, Minnesota recently went missing. Residents suspect it was stolen, and they want it back. So the town has organized a "give us the bird" campaign, in which they're offering a free vacation in Grand Marais in return for information leading to the safe return of the seagull. The best story wins. A strict adherence to the truth, in this case, would seem to be irrelevant. [upi.com]
Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009.   Comments (2)

Jackalope Sausage — From Cabela's you can buy actual Jackalope Sausage: The jackalope is nearly impossible to find, yet, we've successfully located the elusive animal and captured its wonderful flavoring. Jackalope (i.e. antelope, rabbit and beef) are mixed together and smoked slowly for mouth-watering results. An amusing gift for the skeptic and believer alike. Contains three 6-oz. "jackalope" summer sausages. Eating this would be kind of contrary to the idea of trying to Save the Jackalope.…
Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008.   Comments (2)

World’s Biggest Cat — Meet Angie from Chernobyl. She's the biggest cat in the world. She belongs to Dr. Maricek, who's a radiation scientist. Angie's missing a gene that controls her growth. As a result, she just keeps growing and growing (and growing!). She currently weighs about 800 lbs and eats 60 lbs of food a day. Despite her size, Angie behaves like a normal cat, though she is extremely shy with people. Angie's very cute (and looks a bit like my cat Boo), but if she ever curled up on someone's lap, I…
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (8)

The Coleman Frog — The Coleman Frog, explains a recent article on Canada.com, is an enormous stuffed frog -- it weighs 19 kilograms, or about 42 lbs -- on display in the York-Sunbury Museum in Fredericton, Canada. According to legend, the frog originally belonged to Fred Coleman, who owned a lodge near Fredericton back in the 1880s. He used to feed it whiskey and whey, causing it to grow to its enormous size. After it died, he had it stuffed. It sat in the saloon of a hotel for a while before coming into…
Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2007.   Comments (10)

Speaking of urban legends in the Third World… — A young Indian boy is claiming to be the reincarnation of an American scientist. According to the article linked below, he speaks mostly gibberish with a few "scientific" words mixed in. Proof enough for me! I especially like the next-to-last paragraph of the article. [Thanks to the reader who submitted this story] Indian boy claims to be reincarnation of American scientist
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007.   Comments (18)

Chinese man cooks fish with his bare hands, cures arthritis — I guess with over one billion people, it's inevitable that China would produce its share of kooks, quacks and crazies. This 71-year-old man who claims to let 220 volts flow through his body as a form of exercise and says he can cook fish in his bare hands in two minutes fits into at least two of those categories. Oh, he can cure arthritis, too. I just upped him to all three categories. Chinese man cures arthritis with electricity
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007.   Comments (7)

JT LeRoy, phantom author (Updated!) — This is a weird one. A book allegedly written by a young man, JT LeRoy, made a sensation recently. JT was a truck stop hooker, got involved with drugs, was possibly transgendered and generally had a pretty screwed-up life. The book was billed as non-fiction, supposedly the true story of JT's life. Naturally, it sold very well. Oprah loved it, the movie director Gus VanSant and other Hollywood types were interested in it. Then the JT LeRoy saga started coming apart. Funny story,…
Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007.   Comments (11)

The Legend of Deerman — A series of articles by Dave Clarke of the Star Courier has revived interest in the legend of the Deerman. The legend is local to Kewanee, Illinois. It tells of a creature, with the upper body of a deer and the lower body of a man, that lurks in the woods, occasionally popping up to scare lovers parked on moonlit nights or people wandering around alone. Supposedly if you see Deerman three times you die. Clarke credits Jerry Moriarity, the editor and publisher of the Star Courier during…
Posted: Fri May 25, 2007.   Comments (19)

Japanese Poodle Scam Revealed as Hoax — The Japanese poodle scam - wherein thousands of gullible buyers were sold lambs instead of the dogs they were expecting - was first reported in UK Sun newspaper. The story went that rich women were buying cut-price poodles from a company named Poodles For Pets, and were astonished to find later that they were sheep. The story itself was immediately dubious (aside from being in The Sun, which tends to be somewhat lax in the fact-checking department), when you consider snippets like:
Posted: Wed May 02, 2007.   Comments (5)

Tall-Tale Postcard Gallery — The Wisconsin Historical Society has just posted a large collection of tall-tale postcards online, along with some accompanying history. Definitely worth checking out. Highlights include galleries devoted to two early masters of the tall-tale genre, William H. Martin and Alfred Stanley Johnson. It's also possible to buy reproductions of these prints through their website. The only thing I find regrettable is that their site is full of all kinds of warnings threatening people not to…
Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006.   Comments (13)

Museum of Hoaxes Christmas Tree — We set up the Christmas tree in the house a few days ago, and in a flash of inspiration I figured, why not have some hoax-themed ornaments. So I created a few. All that was required was printing the pictures on card paper and cutting them out. I created a whole bunch. (I was procrastinating.) Pictured below (clockwise from top left) are the jackalope, fur-bearing trout, Bigfoot, Cottingley fairy, Nessie, and Touristguy. Nessie and Bigfoot kept fighting, so I had to move them apart. Now…
Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2006.   Comments (15)

Tall-Tale Creature Haiku — A few months ago one of the site-related projects I was working on was revising the Tall-Tale Creature Gallery. Before I got totally sidetracked by having to focus on my next book, I managed to add quite a few new creatures to it. I also added a feature allowing people to post haiku about the creatures, thus returning to the theme of hoax haiku first seen here two years ago. I didn't expect to get many haiku contributions. After all, I hadn't told anyone that I had updated the…
Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006.   Comments (16)

Quick Links: Banana Phone, etc. — Banana Phone Disguise your mobile phone as a banana. Admittedly a pretty stupid product, and yet I want one. Too bad I'm one of the last people on Earth not to own a mobile phone. (via OhGizmo) 5Lb Fat Replica Amazon is selling a "A grossly dramatic replica of 5 lbs. of fat." However, gift wrapping is not available for this item, so you can't send it as a mean gift to someone you don't like. The one reviewer for this item gives it "Bonus points for the realistic blood vessels!" I…
Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006.   Comments (12)

Long Live The Hodag — Status: New Book Kurt Kortenhof has sent word that his new book, LONG LIVE THE HODAG — The Life and Legacy of Eugene Simeon Shepard is now in print. For anyone interested in hoaxes, tall tales, and folklore, I figure it should be interesting. I've already ordered a copy. For those who don't know what the Hodag is, it's a creature native to Wisconsin. It's said to have the head of a bull, the back of a dinosaur, and the leering features of a giant man. You can still find it featured on…
Posted: Wed May 10, 2006.   Comments (2)

The Boonville Beer — Status: Tall-tale creature I've found another beer to add to my list of hoax-themed beers: Boonville Beer. Its label shows a picture of a bear with antlers. I was having a bottle of this beer (the outmeal stout) out on the patio this afternoon, saw the antlered bear, and got curious. A quick internet search revealed that the creature isn't actually a bear. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company website explains: It's not a bear. Bears don't have antlers. Of course not. Who ever heard…
Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006.   Comments (2)

Leprechaun Loose in Alabama — Status: Undetermined Some residents of Mobile, Alabama are claiming that a leprechaun is loose in their neighborhood. It shows up in the branches of a tree at night. Apparently it can't be photographed, but the thumbnail shows an "amateur sketch" of what people say it looks like. The NBC 15 news broadcast that covered this interesting phenomenon reports that: "eyewitnesses say the leprechaun only comes out at night. If you shine a light in its direction, it suddenly disappears." Make…
Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006.   Comments (51)

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.