Hoax Museum Blog: Gnomes

Gnome sighting in Pennsylvania —
Author Keith Sniadach set up a camera in the woods behind his summer cabin in western Pennsylvania, programming the camera to take photos when it detected heat or motion. And recently he found something unusual in the photos it took — a creature that appears to be a "gnome, troll or brownie of some sort."

When I first saw the headline for this story on Cryptozoology News I thought it was meant to be a joke. But no. I think Sniadach genuinely wants people to believe that he photographed a gnome. As in, not a garden gnome statue that you might buy from a garden supply store, but a living, breathing gnome. He's provided more details about his gnome photos to Linda Howe of earthfiles.com.

Could it be that someone (perhaps Sniadach himself) simply put a gnome statue where it would be photographed by the camera? For whatever it's worth, Sniadach says, "I believe this creature is a real one and not a hoax."

Sniadach also says that he frequently hears Bigfoots screaming in the woods behind his cabin. So that place seems to be quite a hotspot for paranormal activity.
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014.   Comments (7)

A Gnome in Danger! — British teenager Kyle Smith has been charged with reckless behavior for placing a gnome on the edge of a shop roof. Firefighters had to come and rescue the gnome. For some reason the firefighters were more concerned about the safety of the people below than about the gnome. I wonder if anyone has ever been killed by a falling gnome?
Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2009.   Comments (2)

Mysterious Creepy Gnome — A "creepy gnome" was recently captured on film by teenagers in Argentina. The Sun reports:
Teenager Jose Alvarez - who filmed the gnome - yesterday told national newspaper El Tribuno that they caught the creature while larking about in their hometown of General Guemes, in the province of Salta, Argentina.
He said: “We were chatting about our last fishing trip. It was one in the morning.
“I began to film a bit with my mobile phone while the others were chatting and joking.
"Suddenly we heard something - a weird noise as if someone was throwing stones.
"We looked to one side and saw that the grass was moving. To begin with we thought it was a dog but when we saw this gnome-like figure begin to emerge we were really afraid."
Jose added that other locals had come forward to say they had spotted the gnome.
He said: “This is no joke. We are still afraid to go out - just like everyone else in the neighbourhood now.
"One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital.”

This smells like a prank to me. Kind of a like a smaller version of the Winsted Wild Man. Why did the teenager just happen to be filming with his mobile phone? He and his friends probably got a local dwarf to dress up in a pointy hat and hop sideways. Either that, or there's a little person down in Argentina who likes to scare people. (Thanks to Scott Lunsford for the link)
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (18)

Gnome goes to Antarctica — Jerome Angus Graham III, a 25-centimeter-tall garden gnome, has been all around the world. But he hasn't been to Antarctica. Nor apparently, has any other gnome. But that's about to change. Jerome is heading to Antarctica, thanks to an invitation from Belgian travel firm Asteria Expeditions. Jerome will become "the first gnome to set foot on the frozen continent." The adventures of Jerome can be followed at travellinggnome.net.

Earthtimes.org also reports that last year Jerome become politically active when he launched a petition against a Belgian brand of pate called "Gnome Pate": "However, he closed the petition once the pate's producers - a firm called "The Hobbit" - provided proof that the pate was vegetarian and contained no gnome parts, his website explained."
Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008.   Comments (3)

Quick Links: Dec. 4, 2007 — Tickle Me Counterfeit
Authorities are warning consumers to be on the lookout for fake Tickle Me Elmos showing up on store shelves this Christmas. How can you tell the difference between the real and the fake? For a start, the fake Elmo is called "The Laughing Doll." Also, oddly enough, the fakes are more expensive than the real thing.

Phony Doo-Wops
Doo-wop groups from the 1950s and '60s, such as the Drifters, Coasters and Platters, are complaining that they're going broke. They can't compete against all the phony groups pretending to be them who perform for less.

Underwater Scottish Gnomes
At the bottom of Loch Fyne can be found a secret garden inhabited by 40 gnomes. Apparently underwater gnome gardens are popping up all over the world. I last posted about one at the bottom of Wastwater in the Lake District.

Ingenious Disguise
After police pulled Robert Sadlon over for a broken taillight, Sadlon fled the scene on foot. He later reported his truck as stolen. The same cop who had pulled him over went to his house to investigate. There he found Sadlon, who now claimed to be a different man. He had disguised himself by shaving his mustache and changing his clothes.

Climate Change Culture Jamming Hoax
It appeared that a group of major corporations, including Chrysler and Dow Chemical, had gotten together to pledge to eliminate all their emissions in the next 50 years. It turned out that the pledge was an elaborate hoax engineered by a grassroots activist group called the International Rising Tide Network.
Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2007.   Comments (0)

75 Homeless Gnomes — Last month 75 gnomes suddenly appeared on the front lawn outside of a house in Springfield, Oregon. The police don't know where the gnomes came from, but they assume they were gnome-napped from other houses around town. It is one of the largest cases of gnome-napping anyone can remember.

The gnomes are currently being housed in the police station, although the police have warned that can only be a temporary arrangement:
“We need to get them out of here,” Springfield Capt. Richard Harrison said. “Every time I leave my office they’re sitting in my chair, working on my computer. I can’t seem to get rid of the darn things.”

The police urge anyone who is missing a gnome to come and claim it at the station. All the gnomes that don't get claimed will be put up for auction.
Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2007.   Comments (6)

Gnome News — Some gnome stories that have been in the news lately:

image Gnome Abuse
On April 13 more than twenty gnomes were found around the town of Seaford, taped to lamp-posts, covered in fake blood, with macabre messages written on them, and some with forks and axes embedded in their heads. Police have now identified those responsible for this gruesome scene. The police sergeant said, "We have established that the little fellows were bought by some high spirited youngsters who disfigured them with some rather gruesome messages before attaching them to posts around the town. We are attempting to re-gnome them in the hope that they will recover from their ordeal and strike a more traditional pose with fishing rods, ponds and flowers."

Derby Gnome
The Queen of England recently attended the Kentucky Derby. And so did the Derby Gnome. Here his Myspace page. But I don't think the gnome got invited to the White House Dinner.

Gnome-Napping Catches On In U.S.
Police in the U.S. are reporting a steady increase in gnome-nappings. For instance, Chicago Ride, Illinois recently experienced its first kidnapped gnome. The Police Chief there said, "The truth is, it's a crime, a felony actually. We're gonna take it seriously."
Posted: Tue May 08, 2007.   Comments (7)

Traveling Baby Jesus Prank — Last year a plastic baby Jesus was stolen from the nativity scene outside the home of the Leising family in Buffalo, New York. The Leisings were devestated, feeling that Jesus should have been off-limit from pranks. But recently Baby Jesus reappeared on their doorstep, along with a book titled "Baby Jesus Chronicles" that showed all the adventures he had been on during the past year. He had been camping, made brownies, went on a bike ride, had a few drinks, etc. Mrs. Leising commented, "They didn't go anywhere real expensive and spend a lot of money on Jesus, but they showed him a really good time." So now all is forgiven. This year Jesus is back in their nativity scene.

image image

Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006.   Comments (6)

Quick Links: Liberated Gnomes, Robocalls, etc. —
Gnome Liberation Front Strikes Again
On Nov. 1 79 garden gnomes were liberated by the Garden Gnome Liberation Front in France. The gnomes were later found along the bank of a stream "in some underbrush with a banner that read, 'gnome mistreated, gnome liberated.'"

Fake Priests in Japan
The BBC has an article about the growing popularity of using fake priests at Japanese weddings: "The fake Western priests are employed at Western-style weddings to give a performance and add to the atmosphere. These are not legal ceremonies - the couples also have to make a trip to the local registrar." Apparently it's becoming quite a big business. I also wrote about this in Hippo Eats Dwarf, so it's not exactly new news.

New Kidney Turning Man into his Wife
Ian Gammons received a kidney transplant from his wife. Now he claims that the kidney is slowly causing him to adopt her personality traits: "Now the 51-year-old Briton is never happier than when baking scones or "wandering round the shops and looking for bargains", he says. He has even begun to share his wife's love of dogs, an animal he despised before receiving the kidney a year ago."

Uri Geller Claims Remote Viewing Helped US Find Hussein
Of course, we all know how credible Uri Geller is, so when he says something like this it immediately commands our respect. Remember his appearance on the Tonight Show?

New Political Dirty Trick: Robocalls
The GOP is being accused of making robocalls: tape-recorded phone messages that appear to be made by their Democratic rivals. The strategy is to make voters so disgusted by getting all these automated calls, often receiving them late at night, that they'll decide to switch their vote to the candidate not making those calls, i.e. the GOP.
Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006.   Comments (13)

Quick Links: Eating Sand, etc. —
Woman eats 1.5kg of sand daily
Ram Rati, 80, credits her good health to her sand-eating habit. I'm amazed she's still alive if she really eats that every day. Sounds to me like she may have the eating disorder pica.

A case of gnome-icide
Store causes controversy by selling "stabbed" gnomes. "Shelly Oldfield, of Wakefield, was shopping with her elderly mother at Tong Garden Centre, Bradford, when they stumbled across the lifeless bodies – on sale for £9.99 each – and raised the alarm."

Hamster grounds airplane
A plane is forced to land to search for a passenger's escaped hamster. Big Gary notes: "New terrorist weapon-- hamsters."

Telepathic Chiropractor loses his license
James Burda claimed that "he possessed the power to heal clients via techniques he dubbed "Bahlaqeem Vina" and "Bahlaqeem Jaqem," made-up terms that he said described his ability to go back in time to the date of an injury and realign bones and joints using telekinetic vibration." Now he's lost his chiropractor's license. (But do chiropractor's even need a license to practice?) Check out his website if you're interested in how to do a Vibrational Vina on your weyzic.

Viagra Fish
Tiny Ayrai Kunchu fish have become all the rage in India, thanks to a rumor spread by fishermen that the fish have a Viagra-like effect (i.e. they cure impotence). However, "While it is believed that the fish can cure male impotency, those who sell it are not able to say what quantity of the fish must be consumed to achieve the Viagra-like effect." Sounds like the perfect recipe for a scam. If it's not working, they'll tell you it's because you need to eat even more.
Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2006.   Comments (12)

Quick Links: Gnomes and Gropers —
Yet Another Traveling Gnome
Back in the Spring Allen Snyder's gnome disappeared from his garden. Now he's learned that it's been attending Pittsburgh Steelers' games. Next stop an airplane to somewhere far away. Submitted by Big Gary who notes: "Predicatable, but I thought you'd want to keep your gnome section up-to-date."

Pretends to be mentally ill to get a grope
This is pathetic. William Mucklow has been accused of pretending to be mentally ill so that he can hire nurses to take care of him. He then grabs their breasts as they try to do their job. A pretty elaborate strategy to get a grope.

Jigsaw Prodigy
3-year-old "Mikey" Lorhan can put together "300- to 500-piece puzzles in less than 30 minutes or less -- and sometimes with the pieces flipped over, working blind." If this is real, he evidently has some kind of savant abilities.

image Man Shows Back of Head For Obituary
Jim Schinneller's death notice in the Sunday paper included a photo of the back of his head. Why? Because "He liked to buck the system. He enjoyed showing people how absurd life was." This would be an even better idea for a high-school yearbook photo, if you could get away with it.

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006.   Comments (5)

Quick Links: Police Threaten Arrest Over Gnome, etc. — Police Threaten Arrest Over Gnome
Police are unamused by Gordon MacKillop's glowing garden gnome. Apparently it is offensive to his neighbours.

Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad
A joke site that has pretty much what the title suggests.

Priest Confesses to Madonna Threat
"A 63-year-old Dutch priest has confessed to calling in a phony bomb threat last week before a pair of Madonna concerts in Amsterdam in a last-ditch effort to stop the singer from staging her mock-crucifixion act, officials said Friday."
Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2006.   Comments (7)

Quick Links: Giant Gnome, etc. — Giant Gnome
Maria Reidelbach's Gnome Chomsky is aiming for a Guinness record for tallest gnome, at a whopping 13 feet, 6 inches tall.

Woman Finds Husband's Secret - Female Hormones
Catherine Everett was surprised when she walked into the bathroom, only to find her husband admiring his new breasts.

Coming soon, allegedly...

Teenager Sends his Ex-company 5 Million Hoax Emails
David Lennon was annoyed when he was fired from his job. So he sent 5 million hoax emails over the course of a week, quoting The Ring. He was given a two-month curfew order and fitted with an electronic tag.
Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006.   Comments (6)

Gnome On A Pole —
Status: Weird News
Mrs. Broomfield of Colchester has a serious problem. Her neighbor, Gnome Magic, has placed a gnome on top of a pole so that it stands higher than the hedge dividing their property. Mrs. Broomfield feels that the gnome is "peering" at her, and she's filed a complaint. EADT reports:
Tourism attraction Gnome Magic, which features 750 of the ornaments in various scenes, created some heightened debate when it raised one of its characters up on a pole to attract visitors.
Following an objection, a Colchester Borough Council planning officer decided the display needed planning permission and the Dedham-based attraction submitted an application to keep the gnome on high...
Yesterday Peter Chillingworth, chair of the committee, said: “The gnome, which is on a pole, was put up without planning permission and one of our officers decided it needed to be considered formally.”
"There were speakers for and against the gnome. A neighbour objected and was really quite rude about it. She said it peered over her hedge and spoiled her view."
I know how she feels. There's a jackalope head hanging on my wall that's giving me funny looks right now.
Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006.   Comments (9)

Circle of Gnomes Found in Forest —
Status: Prank
The Garden Gnome Liberation Army has been in the news recently:

Twelve garden gnomes kidnapped in western Sweden a month ago have been found in a snowy forest, standing in a ring beside a lighted bonfire and a small hut, Swedish news agency TT reported. "It looked very cozy," Bo Larsson, a police officer in the town of Kil, near Karlstad, told TT on Friday. The gnomes mysteriously vanished from their gardens just before Christmas. A letter from the "Garden Gnomes Liberation Army" later claimed responsibility for their disappearance, explaining that the dwarfish figures had pined for freedom.

The gnomes were returned to their former owners.
Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006.   Comments (8)

Australian Gnome Convention —
Status: Gnome News
image On January 26th, the second Australian Gnome Convention will be held in Glenbrook Park. Gnomes and their carers are invited. The gnomes can socialize in the Gnome Dome, while the humans converse elsewhere. Why Australia? The site explains: "Whilst not native to Australia, Gnomes are reportedly migrating from Europe and Britain to make a new start in 'new lands' where the impact of pollution is less." So if you've lost a gnome recently, maybe it's headed for Australia.
Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2006.   Comments (5)

The Traveling Gnome Prank —
Status: Prank
Wayne Johnston's garden gnome disappeared. Then he began receiving letters from it posted from all corners of the world. Being a police officer, Johnston launched an unofficial investigation into who was responsible for his gnome's abduction. It turned out almost all his friends were, including those who had been helping him with his investigation.

So this is another instance of the traveling gnome prank. I know that this prank was featured in the 2001 French movie Amelie. It was also further popularized by a Travelocity ad campaign about a traveling gnome. But what I'm not sure about is whether this prank was popular even before Amelie. Have people been sending gnomes around the world for decades?

I should also note that I've finally gotten around to creating a category for gnomes.
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2005.   Comments (21)

Why did the gnomes cross the road? —
Status: Prank
Eighteen garden gnomes were found lined up in the Australian town of Warrnambool, waiting to cross a road. The police stated:

"Right on the crossing, there was some on one side and some on the other side patiently waiting for the traffic to stop," he said. "At this stage we believe it's just a school prank but obviously the owners of the garden gnomes wouldn't appreciate their property being stolen from their gardens. They're just gn-one (gone)."

The gnomes were taken to the police station where they were given a cup of tea. However, the police were unable to fingerprint them. (One of these days I really need to create a separate category just for gnome stories.)
Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005.   Comments (10)

Gnome Defense — Big Gary sent me this story, knowing that it would be a suitable contribution to the fast-growing Garden Gnome Wing of the museum (one of these days I'll actually get around to creating a gnome category):

LONDON - A grandmother stopped an intruder from entering her home by lobbing a heavy garden gnome at him, police said Friday. Jean Collop was woken early on Tuesday morning by the sound of an intruder on the roof of her home in Wadebridge, southwest England.
"I grabbed the first thing that came to hand — one of my garden gnomes — and hurled it at him, and hit him," she recalled.
"He lay there and I began to scream. I went back into the kitchen and found a rolling pin in case he came down. I didn't want to break another gnome."
A neighbor alerted police who arrived shortly afterward and arrested the intruder.

Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (10)

Garden Gnome Liberation Front — image Wikipedia has a brief blurb about the Garden Gnome Liberation Front. This is a political movement dedicated to liberating gnomes from the gardens in which they are imprisoned. Members of the liberation front remove gnomes from gardens and either take them out to the woods to set them loose, or smash them to set their spirit free (personally I think taking them out to the woods sounds like the more humane option). I wonder if they've ever considered taking them to the underwater gnome garden. Anyway, this is an international movement. The American group calls itself Free The Gnomes. The Italian group calls itself MALAG, or the Independent Movement for the Liberation of the Garden Gnomes. One of those days I'm probably going to have to create a new category for gnomes.
Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2005.   Comments (40)

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >