The Museum of Hoaxes
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Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
The worms inside your face
The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Tube of liquor hidden in prohibition-era boot, 1920s
Mummified Mother Still Watching TV
Status: True
Big Gary forwarded me this urban-legendesque story about the mummified body of Johannas Pope, who was "found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death." Apparently she had been left there by her family, who were honoring her wish that she not be buried. They had kept the air conditioner running on full blast, thereby slowing the process of decay. Must have had a huge electricity bill.

Coincidentally, also in the news is the story of Mirko Sartori, who kept the mummified body of his mother sealed up in his bedroom wardrobe so that he could keep receiving her pension check. He evidently was a bad son, since he didn't let her watch TV.

Update: The story of Johannas Pope gets even weirder. Apparently she didn't want to be buried because she believed she was going to come back to life. And apparently her family agreed with her, because they honored her wish, to the extent of engaging in an elaborate deception for 2 1/2 years to prevent people from finding out there was a dead body upstairs in their house: "Friends and relatives who visited were told Pope was upstairs, ill, Owens [the county coroner] said. Some yelled "hello" up the stairs."
Categories: Death
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 11, 2006
Comments (9)
Isn't this what Psycho was about?
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  07:44 AM
What was she watching
Posted by booch  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  01:04 PM
Presumably not "Six Feet Under" (since she wasn't). Maybe "Tales from the Crypt."
Posted by Big Gary in the northern hemisphere  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Jan 11, 2006  at  06:08 PM
And were there pension or social security checks still coming in the Pope case?

I'm thinking maybe they say they thought she'd come back to life as a defense against possible prosecution for fraud.
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  02:33 AM
I'd like to see pictures!
Posted by not so big Gary  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  09:11 AM
http://www.sabah.com.tr/2005/03/12/gun101.html
A link to a Turkish newspaper article. A man, when she died, buried his mother's body in his house, and disguised to be able to continue to get her retirement salary. This is gone on for two years, and then this has been discovered as he forgot to change his voice at his last trial at the bank...
Posted by A.  in  istanbul  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:08 PM
My english teacher's sister is the relative who informed the police, and that's no hoax.
Posted by Madison Marbury  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  04:27 PM
I can do better, I guy where I am from kept his mom in the freezer so he could live off her ss check. They finally found out about it after a he shot at his neighbor. Strange folk
Posted by Giselle  on  Thu Jan 12, 2006  at  09:12 PM
OMg those are terrible storys, I heard of some little girl that kept her dead cat in the closet from her parents because she was scared they wouldn't understand. She said the cat was just taking a nap. Her parents found out after helping her clean the room.
Posted by terra  on  Sun Jan 15, 2006  at  07:05 PM
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