The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Dead Body of Loch Ness Monster Found, 1972
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
The worms inside your face
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
The Blair Witch Project, 1999
image In 1999 The Blair Witch Project became a multimillion-dollar box-office sensation. Much of this success owed to a clever marketing scheme centering around a website,

The premise of the site (and the movie) was that in 1994 three student filmmakers had disappeared in the woods near Burkitsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary about the local legend of the Blair Witch. Supposedly the Blair Witch was Elly Kedward, a woman who had been accused of witchcraft and child murder back in 1785 and had been banished from the town, left to die of cold in the woods. Her spirit was said to still haunt the area.

Visitors to could view detailed historical information about the legend of the Blair Witch, including old photographs, police reports, letters, and interviews with officials. It was all so convincing that many people were fooled into believing that Elly Kedward was a real historical figure, and that there really was a legend of a Blair Witch. There wasn't. The entire tale was fictitious.

The site revolutionized internet marketing. Movie studios started churning out hoax websites to accompany their movies, in the hope of generating the same kind of buzz that the Blair Witch Project enjoyed. But none of these efforts has yet matched the success of
(laughs) I was one of those people who believed it! I saw the movie BEFORE it was known that it was fake. That night, me and my boyfriend went to the mountains and as he was holding me, he said that I was shaking. I was literally shaking! That's how much the movie affected me when I thought it was true. Silly me!
Posted by Linda  on  Wed Mar 21, 2012  at  01:35 PM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.

All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.