The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Paranormal
Portable Ghost Detector — Status: Paraphenalia for the superstitious A Japanese company is selling a portable ghost detector that fits on a keychain. I can't really understand the machine-translated text, but it looks like the detector glows red in the presence of a ghost, and glows blue otherwise. It costs 2,079 Yen, which is about $18. Not too bad. Compare this to the ghost detectors sold by Abate Electronics which start at $93 (and they don't even fit on your keychain!). It goes without saying that I'm sure…
Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2006.   Comments (16)

Global Spell Casting Day — Status: Publicity stunt/superstition An organization named witchschool.com has announced that on May 5th, 2006 an experiment in global spell casting will take place: Hundreds of participants around the world will focus their energy to manifest love, peace, prosperity and hope for the world. With this unified act of will, they anticipate that magic energy will fill people with personal power and create events that will lead to a better world. "We need no longer wait to see if magic is…
Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2006.   Comments (10)

Ghosts at Roadblocks — Status: Fake I've come across two different videos on Youtube that show night scenes of roadblocks in Singapore. I don't have that much information about either video, but stylistically and thematically they're very similar (and very low quality). People are clowning around at a roadblock in the middle of the night, when suddenly (at the end of each video) they see a ghostly white figure. Screaming ensues. (Warning, in case you're watching these at work: The one on the right contains…
Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2006.   Comments (9)

Clairvoyant Gets Message From Woman Buried Alive — Status: Almost definitely an urban legend The Leicester Mercury has printed a spooky story that sounds very much like an urban legend. (Though I know some people say that true urban legends don't involve the supernatural, so I guess it would be a ghost legend.) Since I don't believe in ghosts, I'm assuming that the story is mostly b.s. But I'm curious if any parts of it are true. The story goes like this: In 1950 Dr Guiseppi Stoppolino of Camerino University was testing an Italian…
Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006.   Comments (31)


Spooky Images — Status: Photographs with blurry objects in them Edna Barrie sent me this series of images that's circulating around. It's accompanied by the caption: If You Don't Send This to at Least ten People in the Next 2 Hours You will Forever have Bad Luck.....If You do...Something Good Will Happen to you in the Near Future!!!! Good Luck. What I can't understand is why over-exposed and double-exposed images would cause anyone bad luck. But as it is, I'm slated for permanent bad luck because I…
Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005.   Comments (29)

The Curse of Saint Edmund — Status: Unlikely A group of anti-development activists calling themselves the Knights of Saint Edmund have hit upon an unusual way of stopping a shopping center from being built in their hometown, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. They're threatening to unleash the ancient Curse of St. Edmund upon the developers. Their website states that: On St Edmund's day, the 20th November 2005, a formal and public cursing ceremony will take place at Bury St Edmunds to once again summon the avenging saint…
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005.   Comments (18)

Ghost Found in Gloucester Store — Status: Unlikely The BBC has video footage, taken by a security camera at night, of a (supposed) ghost haunting a store in Gloucester, England. What you see is a blurry image in which a pile of boxes falls down followed by a scene in which a figure might be sitting in a chair. The audio interview with the manager of the store, Sue Cooper, is also worth listening to, if only for its entertainment value. Sue and the BBC reporter go into the basement of the store, whereupon Sue claims to…
Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005.   Comments (11)

The Barton Mansion — In September of 2001 four people entered the Barton Mansion, which is billed as being one of the most haunted houses in California (it's in Redlands, east of LA). What happened to them is described in great detail on the Barton Mansion website that they created a couple of years later. Included is a videoclip of their supposed encounter with a ghost (the clip looks staged to me). I'm not sure what the purpose behind the creation of the site was. They do sell a Barton Mansion dvd, but…
Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005.   Comments (108)

Outbreak of Zombie Virus — A fake BBC news page has been doing the rounds that describes an outbreak of 'zombism' in a small town in Cambodia: After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of it’s victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believe to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.” It's a pretty decent looking fake news page, although the url is a dead…
Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2005.   Comments (61)

Springtime in Arkham — This should appeal to all H.P. Lovecraft fans. It's Springtime in Arkham, a collection of scents inspired by the world of Lovecraft. For only $155 you can buy the entire set, sold together as the 'Gibbering Madness Pack: More eternal evil than you can shake a stick at'. The fact that these are only available from April 1 to June 1 makes it all seem a little like an April Fool's day joke, but I think they're quite real. I'm actually tempted to buy the CTHULHU scent: A creeping, wet,…
Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2005.   Comments (20)

The Carlisle Cursing Stone — In 2001 artist Gordon Young placed a block of sculpted granite in Carlisle's Tullie House Museum. The granite is inscribed with an ancient curse against local highwaymen and robbers. But some people in the city feel that ever since the 'cursing stone' was placed there, bad luck has plagued the city. "Livestock herds around the city on the border with Scotland were wiped out by foot-and-mouth disease, there has been a devastating flood, factories have closed, a boy was murdered in a…
Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005.   Comments (11)

The Tape — She-is-here.com and its companion site, the-tape.com, seem to be fairly obvious marketing attempts to 'blairwitch' the upcoming sequel to the horror movie, The Ring (i.e. to create hoax websites to generate interest about it). But still, I've received a couple of worried emails from people who have watched 'the tape' and are a little concerned, so I thought I should post something about it. As far as I know, no stringy-haired decomposing girl is going to crawl out of a well and kill you…
Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005.   Comments (60)

LA Times on Ghosts and eBay — The LA Times has just discovered something that I've been saying for ages: haunted stuff sells well on eBay. As they put it: "Having exhausted bad taste and banality, it appears EBay sellers have moved on to a new marketing strategy — the paranormal. Everything "haunted" is so hot, EBay could launch a new category." But still, the LA Times is only seeing half the story here. What's interesting is not just that people are selling lots of haunted things on eBay. After all, there's always…
Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2005.   Comments (16)

Toma Sota Balcu — The latest craze sweeping through LiveJournal, Xanga, and other blogging communities involves people posting this message on their blogs: A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she…
Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005.   Comments (409)

A Christmas Ghost — Here's a new ghost photo that's begun to do the email rounds. To me it looks like a simple double exposure... but maybe it really is the ghost of Mary's Grandfather. In which case, sell him on eBay!! Here's the text that accompanies the photo. Click photo to enlarge (thanks to Jennifer for sending this to me): This picture is soo freaky..... My co-worker Mary that lives in stockton bought her sister a digital camera for X-mas. Her sister took a picture of their niece and if you look…
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (37)

Imagine John Lennon Singing Pro-War Songs in Heaven — Ever wondered how John Lennon is getting along in Heaven? According to 'internationally known' psychic Linda Polley he's doing very well. She's been channeling his spirit and reporting on what's going on with him. You can read all the latest news on the John Lennon and George Harrison's Official Website from the Afterlife. The biggest surprise is that John has "officially divorced his former partner Yoko Ono Lennon for her support of homosexuality" and decided to marry a dancer named…
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004.   Comments (36)

Prebirth Experiences — At RoyalChild.com Sarah and Brent Hinze investigate Prebirth Experiences. They define these as when "a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent, etc., receives communication from a child before she is born, or in many cases, before he was even conceived." I hadn't heard of this particular variety of psychic (or spiritual) phenomenon before. It seems like a strange offshoot of past-life communication... except that instead of talking with people who once existed, you're communicating…
Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2004.   Comments (173)

Grandfather’s Ghost on eBay — Yet another ghost is up for sale on eBay. This one has received huge amounts of media attention (stories about it on CNN, MSNBC, etc.) thanks to a sob story that goes along with it. Last year this woman's father died. Now her eight-year-old son Collin thinks that the ghost of his grandfather is still living in the house. So the highest bidder will get the ghost of the grandfather (plus the grandfather's walking stick). The one condition is that the winning bidder has to write a letter…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (12)

The Boston Superboy — The Leicester Mercury has a short article on the strange case of seven-year-old Stephen O'Hara, the 'Boston Superboy' who was able to bend forged steel and break wood with his mind. His case attracted a lot of attention back in 1920, and was widely suspected to be a hoax, though he was examined by a professor from New York University who seemed convinced of the reality of Stephen's powers, stating that "the boy is surrounded by an extraordinarily strong magnetic field" (kind of like a…
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004.   Comments (3)

Santa Rosa Institute — I came across the LiveJournal page of Chris (corourke), on which he ponders the reality of the Santa Rosa Institute of Advanced Genetics. Upon checking it out, the site had me confused for a while also. At first glance it appears to be a legitimate biotech company with two products in development: Genuflex (an anti-aging drug), and Envigor (a drug that decreases the need for sleep). So far, so good. I know there really are companies developing products like this. But then if you do a…
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004.   Comments (27)

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