The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Cursed by Allah

The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
The Sandpaper Test, 1960
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Fraud in Other Words
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
I've mentioned Larry Adams's book before, Fraud in Other Words, but I was reading through it again tonight and thought it deserved another mention. The book is an exploration of the language of fraud. Adams has collected together all the jargon and terminology of the culture of fraud, and as you flip through the book you come across one devious scam and ploy after another. For instance, I've always thought it was annoying how those subscription cards fall out of magazines when I'm reading them. I never realized that the cards are designed to fall out. They're called 'Drop Outs.' According to Adams: If the recipient has to bend...
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
Soy Circles
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Crop circles are appearing in soy bean fields in Adams County, Ohio.
Categories: Crop Circles Comments (0)
Crime Never Pays
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
An accountant fakes cancer in order to avoid a five-month prison term. Gets found out, and is now looking at the possibility of a 50-year term instead.
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
Bone Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Crawford County police were alarmed when they discovered leg bones sticking out of a pair of work boots that were standing on the bank of Lake Shepherd Springs in Arkansas. They launched a massive investigation, until they realized the bones came from an animal. They warn that whoever is responsible for the hoax will be prosecuted for committing a crime.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (2)
Crocodile Warning
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Croydon residents can rest easy. Signs alerting them to the danger of a crocodile inhabiting a local pond were just a prank.
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (0)
Indian Head Appears
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Here's one to add to the list of 'eerie patterns that people see in random objects' (already on the list would be the 666 forming on the Alamo, and the Virgin Mary appearing on a hospital in Boston). A woman who lives in Hertford County, North Carolina claims that an image of an Indian chief has appeared in her wooden door over the past three months (she's had the door for seven...
Categories: Paranormal Comments (0)
Would You Have Invested?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 05, 2003
Does this photo that's been circulating through email really show the management of Microsoft as they looked back in 1978?
Bleeding Napoleon, The Art of Johann Dieter Wassmann
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 04, 2003
Check out this site dedicated to the art of Johann Dieter Wassmann, a university lecturer/sewerage engineer/artist who lived and worked in Germany from 1841-1898. It's incredibly elaborate, including his life history and samples of his work. And nowhere on the site does it suggest that the entire thing is a hoax, that Johann Dieter Wassmann never existed. You only find this out if you click on the link at the bottom of the page that says 'Next Show: Melbourne International Arts Festival, 12-25 October, 2003.' This takes you to the website of the...
Categories: Art, Websites Comments (1)
The Real East Coast Blackout
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 03, 2003
A visitor sent me this photo of the Real East Coast Blackout of 2003. It definitely represents an improvement over that phony blackout picture that was circulating last week.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (1)
Elk Bath Picture
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2003
It's a spectacular (and by now quite famous) photo. Two elks stand in a river as an inferno rages behind them. But is the picture real?
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
The Phantom Game Console
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2003
Recently a company called Infinium Labs announced that it would soon be coming out with a high-powered game console called 'Phantom' that it promises will revolutionize the gaming industry. You can check out their very slick website to find out more about the console. But rumors have began to spread suggesting that there is no Phantom Game Console, that the whole thing is a hoax. The rumors started when someone paid a visit to the company's headquarters and discovered that the headquarters consisted of nothing more than a "100ft x 100ft room with a desk and...
Categories: Technology Comments (4)
Vote for the Vampire
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 24, 2003
Here's a guy that should be running for Governor of California. He's wasted on Crouch Hill ward.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
A Real What Is It?
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 23, 2003
When I first saw this picture I thought, 'that can't be a real animal, it's got to be a hoax.' But apparently it's real. It's an angora rabbit. What an odd-looking creature. More pictures can be found here. (link via Geisha asobi blog)
Categories: Animals Comments (4)
Thing in the Solar Light
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 22, 2003
A reader named Chelsea has shared a fascinating site. It's ThingInTheSolarLight.com. The story here is that a couple just bought a solar-powered light for their yard. They set it up, and then they noticed a strange shape appearing to move inside the light. They captured this strange movement on video, and dubbed the moving spectre the 'Wasist.' I think that should be pronounced Vas-Ist. It's german for 'What is it?' The whole thing is quite loony, of course, but oddly entertaining.
Categories: Paranormal Comments (1)
Lapdance Island
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 21, 2003
Britain's Channel 4 was flooded with applicants hoping to get a spot on the new Reality Show called Lapdance Island. In this show ten men would be on an island with forty lapdancers. The winner would be the one who could keep his hands off the dancers for the longest. But the show was a hoax. Details here.
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