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Sexy Keepers of Death is a blog which curates the paranormal and creepy whether it's fictional, debatable or real. Unsolved mysteries, antiquities, strange creatures, unbelievable events, historical hoaxes, urban legends, unnerving art and more!
posted by codacorolla on Aug 6, 2014 - 16 comments

Mad Science Museum: you'll be living on a diet of exclamation points

Alex Boese is interested in hoaxes, as you can tell from his Museum of Hoaxes website (lots previously), but he also enjoys tracking down weird science stories like Evan O'Neill Kane's self-appendectomy and Allan Walker Blair's black widow bite experiment on himself, as collected at the Mad Science Museum online.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 3, 2014 - 3 comments

The hottest prospect in Mets history is a lifelong Cubs fan

"I called Joe," Stewart remembers, "and asked if he wanted to come to spring training with me. I said, 'The Mets have this pitcher they picked up. They got him pitching in secret, under a big tarp. He has a 168 mile an hour fastball and he plays the French horn and went to Harvard and he was raised in Tibet by Buddhist monks and he pitches with one foot bare and one foot in a boot. And guess what? You're going to be him.'" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2013 - 23 comments

The "50 Shades" of 1969. Except this one was intentionally bad.

Naked Came The Stranger was a collaborative work of terrible erotica released as a satire of the all too American love for stories of bored suburban women getting their freak on. Perhaps surprising no one, it became a huge hit anyways. Released as the work of a single female author, the ruse of it being written by a large pool mostly male journalists coming out some time later spurred further sales and cemented its place in the annals of literary hoaxes.
posted by mediocre on Mar 1, 2013 - 12 comments

The Man Behind The Brilliant Media Hoax Of "I, Libertine"

"In the 1950s, a DJ named Jean Shepherd hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. 'There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here,' he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. 'Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion.' Shepherd's approach was summed up by his catchphrase: a mock-triumphant 'Excelsior!', followed by an immediate, muttered 'you fathead ... '" (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Feb 15, 2013 - 24 comments

This post is just in time for the annual spaghetti harvest.

In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 20, 2012 - 22 comments

S03E23: Comparative Hoaxology

A woman opens an old steamer trunk and discovers tantalizing clues that a long-dead relative may actually have been a serial killer, stalking the streets of New York in the closing years of the nineteenth century. A beer enthusiast is presented by his neighbor with the original recipe for Brown's Ale, salvaged decades before from the wreckage of the old brewery--the very building where the Star-Spangled Banner was sewn in 1813. These stories have two things in common. They are tailor-made for viral success on the internet. And they are all lies.
posted by Sebmojo on May 15, 2012 - 203 comments

The Curious Case of the "Livre des Sauvages"

Circa 1850. A curious document that had been filed away in a box for over a century. Hundreds of pages of strange, crudely drawn figures, resembling stick figures, many of them appearing to be urinating, copulating, whipping each other, and displaying enormously swollen genitals. An extremely important document that revealed much that was previously unknown about Native American history and culture?? The scribbling book of a German child, "the leisure pencillings of a nasty-minded little boy"?? We may never know. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Jul 28, 2011 - 44 comments

The Other Birthers; or, Trig Trutherism

Palin, the Press, and the Fake Pregnancy Rumor: Did a Spiral of Silence Shut Down the Story? Kentucky journalism professor Brad Scharlott makes a case. Reporter (and former Palin communications director) Bill McAllister, mentioned by name in Scharlott's article, says 'If we ever meet, I'll slap you.' Scharlott writes an op-ed in response. [more inside]
posted by box on Apr 16, 2011 - 232 comments

The Fortsas Bibliohoax

In 1840, book collectors from around Europe flocked to the Belgian town of Binche hoping to buy at auction the late Jean Nepomucene Auguste Pichauld, Comte de Fortsas's collection of one-of-a-kind books. Unfortunately for them, neither the man nor his collection ever existed. More recently, librarian and bibliophile Jeremy Dibbell posted the contents of the Fortras Catalogue to LibraryThing with English translation as well as an introduction to the collection. Scans of the original catalogue can be found on Google Books. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Dec 8, 2009 - 10 comments

Richard Whitehurst's Rape Tunnel

An article in an art-related blog recently mentioned a new installation by a Columbus, Ohio conceptual artist named Richard Whitehurst: an exhibit reachable only by a tunnel, growing progressively narrower, with the artist waiting to rape anybody who attempted to pass. [more inside]
posted by acb on Oct 1, 2009 - 41 comments

Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

The Art of the Prank offers insights, information, news and discussions about pranks, hoaxes, culture jamming and reality hacking around the world. Includes topics such as The History of Pranks, The Prank As Art, and the Sociology and Psychology of Pranks. Get pranking. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 24, 2009 - 16 comments

"There was nothing in the rules of the competition to say that rigged photos were banned. We pushed the clichés to the limit."

This year's winner of the Grand Prix Paris Match du Photoreportage, a stark B&W expose of student poverty in Strasourg, is a hoax.
posted by grounded on Jun 26, 2009 - 31 comments

(I'm her husband)

John J Marley (Gloria's husband) is Northern Ireland's answer to Lazlo Toth -- writing actual posted mail from his home at Comfydown Cottage, Carryduff, Belfast, to correspond with a variety of corporations and heads-of-state. Whether it's asking Irwin's Bakery to employ his wife Gloria (he's her husband), asking Virgin Atlantic if Gloria could take one of their 747's for a spin, or petitioning Kellogg's for adult-themed cereals, he always (well, almost always) receives an appreciative reply to his polite yet bizarre correspondence. [via cjorgensen; previously]
posted by not_on_display on Mar 10, 2009 - 21 comments

"I knew that the cello comes nowhere near one’s scrotum.”

'Cello scrotum' is a hoax. So was 'guitar nipple'. Baroness Elaine Murphy, a physician, member of the House of Lords and contributor to the Lords of the Blog blog, fesses up after 34 years. But other instrumental infirmities appear to be real, as catalogued in the recent paper titled A symphony of maladies.
posted by grounded on Jan 27, 2009 - 43 comments

The Obama-Bigfoot Connection

In 1996 a man known only as "Bugs" rocked the cryptozoology world with the claim that during the 1970s he was part of a hunting party in the Texas panhandle that shot, killed & buried two adult Bigfoots. Bugs turned over a copy of his map to radio talk show host Art Bell & was never heard from again, despite pleas to step forward from prominent members of the Bigfoot community. All that changed a few days ago when somebody recognized Bugs's voice while listening to political muckraker Ed Hale's Internet radio show. Ed's current cause is uncovering documentary evidence that President-Elect Barack Obama is not a "natural born citizen" and therefore is ineligible for office. Currently Ed claims to be in possession of Obama's parents' divorce decree. Although Ed has not made an official comment on the matter, a commenter claiming to be Ed has posted a short defense that admits he was the infamous "Bugs". (via)
posted by scalefree on Jan 6, 2009 - 100 comments

Avast ye!

Professor Mills Kelly of George Mason University had his History 389 class spend the fall semester on a class project about the intriguing figure of Edward Owens, the "Last American Pirate". They blogged about their research, made videos for YouTube, and gave Owens a Wikipedia entry. The story even got some media attention. There was just one problem: History 389 was a class on historical hoaxes, and Edward Owens was their fictional creation. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 4, 2009 - 47 comments

Do You Believe?

Do you believe in ghosts on film? The history and controversy of spirit photography.
posted by amyms on Mar 21, 2008 - 41 comments

It is not actually reality, but my reality, my way of surviving

"I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed." A Belgian writer has admitted that she made up her best-selling memoir and that she did not trek 1,900 miles as a child across Europe with a pack of wolves in search of her deported parents during World War II. More at Slate. Here's an excellent portal about feral children. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 2, 2008 - 63 comments

Showing for one weekend only!

If you watched a lot of television in the 70's, you'll recognize this ad. An authoritative baritone informs us of a startling new motion picture about psychic phenomena, the Bermuda Triangle, near death experiences (with fittingly, a sequel), Bigfoot, the Shroud of Turin, the Lincoln Assassination, or Noah's Ark. "Showing for one weekend only!" (More beyond the door...)
posted by McLir on Jul 16, 2007 - 26 comments

Helen Duncan was the last woman to be convicted of witchcraft in Britain. This was in 1944.

Helen Duncan was the last woman to be convicted of witchcraft in Britain. This was in 1944. British authorities "were alarmed by reports that she had disclosed - allegedly via contacts with the spirit world - the sinking of two British battleships long before they became public." Her descendants still smart from the trial and there is a campaign to pardon Mrs Duncan, who some consider a martyred medium who could regurgitate ectoplasm out of her mouth. More than a decade before her trial legendary psychic researcher Harry Price exposed Mrs Duncan as a fraud in his essay The Cheese-Cloth Worshippers. If you want to judge for yourself you can take a look at the photographs Mr Price took of a séance performed by Mrs Duncan.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 5, 2007 - 75 comments

Congratulations!

Clive James on Scams and Hoaxes. "If the flim-flam man is sensible enough to offer you a return of only twice as much, the scam might even work. I was once defrauded of a heartbreakingly-large sum by a fellow writer who was smart enough to offer no return at all. True to her word, she didn't return my money either."
posted by Blue Stone on Apr 9, 2007 - 18 comments

Don't get fooled again

What are the greatest hoaxes in rock history? [MP3 links] They Might be Giants' John Flansburg tells John Schaefer what he knows, and Rolling Stone readers weigh in as well. Was it Mama Cass choking on a sandwich? Jack and Meg White as siblings? Paul dead (again)? Keith Richards getting his blood replaced? Or snorting his father's ashes? Oh, wait, that last one was true.
posted by psmealey on Apr 4, 2007 - 59 comments

Burnd down Wharton's house. PSYCHE!

The missive, on paper decorated with roses and butterflies addresses a Mr. Pulsifer, and implores him to "burn down Edith Wharton's house." Algonquin press goes just a touch overboard in their publicity for a new novel.
posted by Lentrohamsanin on Mar 6, 2007 - 9 comments

Praising Abel, Raising Cain

Alan Abel is a self-described "professional hoaxer" active since 1959. His classic hoaxes include the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, the 1964 presidential campaign of Jewish housewife Yetta Bronstein, a topless string quartet (slightly NSFW), and the wedding of Idi Amin. He also released two mockumentaries long before Spinal Tap was a gleam in Christopher Guest's eye. Now Abel's daughter Jenny has released a documentary tribute to her father, Abel Raises Cain, which has some great You Tube clips, including 1970s talk show staple, Omar's School for Beggars. (some clips may be NSFW)
posted by jonp72 on Aug 14, 2006 - 15 comments

A Swift Bickerstaff, sir!

Jonathan Swift and April Fool's. In March of 1708 Swift published a pamphlet (under the name Isaac Bickerstaff) predicting the death of a popular astrological charlatan (John Partridge) who had predicted the demise of the COE. On March 29th, Swift published an account of the fulfillment of the prophecy and of the man's death, convincing people, despite Partridge's protestations, that the man claiming to be Partridge was an imposter. The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers.
Ben Franklin used a similar prank when he started Poor Richard's.
HP Lovecraft used the name Isaac Bikerstaff Jr., in 1914, when attacking "a quack named Hartmann, a devotee of the pseudo-science of Astrology."
posted by OmieWise on Apr 1, 2005 - 7 comments

Scifi hoax and print on demand

PublishAmerica is having a rough month. After being sued by 150 authors who felt they were deceived by the company, and taking a beating a couple of days ago at the hands of the Washington Post, PublishAmerica has become the object of an elaborate hoax perpetrated by a group of science fiction writers, a novel called Atlanta Nights, by one Travis Tea. [more inside]
posted by mathowie on Jan 27, 2005 - 23 comments

elegant universe

Yikes! In light of approaching finals do you find yourself excogitating WTHHIBD (what the hell have I been doing) over and over, and wondering if your lost time may have been due to circumstances beyond your control? While the vindicating qualities (obviously you would have been more productive if you hadn't been somebody else's science experiment) of this alibi are usually ephemeral, it is still curious to think is all this talk of sightings/abductions/misplaced keys just a hoax, an elaborate cover up, or some yin yang amalgamation of the two? Is the mystery surrounding Area 51 nothing more than conspiracy, (even if well positioned)? To what extent are we inexorably skeptical or prepared to sort through the overflowing, spooky coffers of galactic mystery?
posted by superposition on Dec 7, 2004 - 6 comments

Ruptured?

Any experts out there? Have you been asked to do a show, called "The Debate Show" on "an MTV network"? Well look out: IT'S A TRAP! "The Debate Show" is actually a new Comedy Central program called Crossballs, a "smart, comedic spoof of programs such as Crossfire, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and the entire Fox News Network..." A second amendment activist emerged from a taping with extremely twisted knickers, whilst a privacy advocate barely escaped (this account via bOINGbOING). I'm torn: part of me wants to see the show, and part of me wants to see if enough attention on the web can ruin it...
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Jun 21, 2004 - 62 comments

sniggle: to fish for eels by thrusting a baited hook or needle into their hiding places

sniggle.net :: calls itself a 'Culture Jammer's Encyclopedia' -- its a fabulous compendium of forgeries, fakes, hoaxes, counterfeiting, spoofs, pseudoscience, and just plain weird stuff. Perfect fodder for killing time on a Friday afternoon.
posted by anastasiav on Apr 23, 2004 - 6 comments

Am I real or not?

Hot Abercrombie Chick? Maybe not, "Something was amiss, and I had to prove that Hot Abercrombie Chick was either a) a totally different girl, b) a guy or c) some team of people creating an identity. And I was devoted to outing this fraud."
posted by cedar on Apr 21, 2004 - 51 comments

A fool and his money are soon scammed out of it

There's a lot of scammin', griftin', and chicanery going on in the world and Snopes has always been there, but they usually take some time to do their investigations. But for the quick hit, they've just launched a new daily scam page carrying just that day's latest scam news from around the country. It's really amazing how many major scams take place every day, and it helps to know how to spot a scam when you hear about it.
posted by mathowie on Apr 10, 2004 - 4 comments

Onion photo used as propaganda

This would be funny... if it weren't so very, very sad.
posted by pizzasub on Apr 8, 2004 - 25 comments

April Fools

Top 100 April Fools Hoaxes of all time. Also, April Fools on the Net - a history of newsgroup April Fools posts.
posted by badstone on Apr 1, 2004 - 3 comments

Can you spell Innuendo, children?

Rainbow Innuendo Episode Evidentially Rainbow was a children's show in Britain (Canada?) in the Late 70's - early 80's. (I never heard of it till now here in Ohio.) Anyway, wether this went on the air or whether it was just a gag reel for the cast and crew... I doubt anyone will know. I went out and found the full 16MB MPEG version for downloading, because I love ya. Must be seen to believed. Possibly NSFW. Maybe. Can't believe your ears/eyes? Want to see the script? Here ya go.
posted by Dome-O-Rama on Feb 26, 2004 - 11 comments

Punk the National Review

Punk the National Review - a potentially-petty exercise in journalistic credibility. The National Review has recently engaged in printing anonymous e-mails from readers who "used to know" the Democratic candidates and just happen to have damaging stories about them. Blogger Ted Barlow is offering a $10 Amazon gift certificate to anyone who can get their anonymous story published. "If you possess an email address and an eye-opening story, you've passed the rigorous fact-checking that has made National Review and the Penthouse Forum world-famous."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Feb 3, 2004 - 26 comments

Indian Rope Trick

Up, up and away... the mysterious Indian rope trick.
posted by moonbird on Sep 17, 2003 - 14 comments

Who was that masked man?

Who was that masked man? A bunch of friends decide to fool their local paper into thinking there is a real-life superhero in Tunbridge Wells. Local paper falls for it hook line and sinker. Swiftly followed by national media. This thread on a Divine Comedy discussion board describes the whole dastardly plot unfolding. The fun starts on page 2.
posted by salmacis on May 27, 2003 - 13 comments

April's Fools day, and the origins thereof.

Anybody know the origin of April Fool's day? We already have a post about the greatest hoaxes of all time, but doesn't anybody know WHY we hoax and trick? I won't tell you why here....but I find it funny, what with the current jingoism and all, that it comes from France...after you digest that first link, read more at urbanlegends.com.
posted by taumeson on Apr 1, 2003 - 8 comments

Pay no attention to the shooting.

As a brief distraction from all the death and destruction, let's head over to the museum of hoaxes, where we'll find the top 100 April Fool's day pranks of all time. Good luck with your own respective hoaxing.
posted by jonz on Mar 31, 2003 - 5 comments

Yellow Bamboo

How would you like to control the entire universe, both what goes within you and what happens with others? As you can imagine when you can knock down attackers from 10 feet away or heal someone dying from something just using your own energy- that is true personal power! Others are skeptical. I think I will hold on to my $19.99. The movies are entertaining, though.
posted by hockeyman on Feb 15, 2003 - 19 comments

Genomic Art.

Genomic Art. This lies somewhere on an interface between science and art that most never suspected existed. Check out the gallery.
Oh, and don't forget to visit the Randolph Y. Teasely Hospital - Dwayne Medical Center and it's current projects: male pregnancy, designer babies and Clyven, the world's first talking transgenic mouse.
posted by talos on Jan 22, 2003 - 3 comments

This news item turned out to be a hoax. Has Reuters been fooled again? I certainly smell a rat... (I know the original mefi link pointed to the BBC, but the BBC picked it up from Reuters)
posted by titboy on Oct 19, 2002 - 10 comments

It starts with Delaware... Over at Google Answers, a Microsoft Games Studio employee has posted a most interesting puzzle to solve. Over the course of the last twenty months a list of states has been gradually revealed by his boss, but under what criteria are they listed? He's giving $200.00 to the winner; just think of what you could buy. The fine folks at the Straight Dope are already on the case. To the Googlemobile! [via Cardhouse]
posted by thewittyname on Aug 22, 2002 - 75 comments

For anyone in "the know," it's no secret that Jack + Meg White are not brother and sister but actually are a divorced couple posing as siblings. Glorious Noise has posted a copy of their marriage certificate.

But aren't we all brothers and sisters in rock n' roll?
posted by modularette on May 26, 2002 - 31 comments

How is this possible?

How is this possible? I know there must be a sensible explanation for why this 'ESP experiment' works every time, but I certainly can't figure it out. Anyone? Other 'ESP' tests and the like leave me a bit cold, but this made my brain hurt, and that can't be all bad.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on May 3, 2002 - 30 comments

Are You Ready For April Fool's Day?

Are You Ready For April Fool's Day? Better read the Museum of Hoaxes's March Newsletter to find out. Certain pranks are already in progress, while other recent hoaxes - of which at least one was seriously discussed here on MetaFilter - remain fresh in our minds. Real aficionados and sleuths, of course, will head straight for the hoax websites pages, where some seem too good - or too awful - not to be true. In Southern Europe, April Fool's Day is known as Liars' Day and everyone is entitled - nay, compelled! - to invent at least one big whopper. Any ideas?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 30, 2002 - 35 comments

Police Arrest an allegedly Fake Nun.

Police Arrest an allegedly Fake Nun. But really, is she any more dishonest than a regular church is? "Say, why is that priest driving a Porsche?"
posted by kingmissile on Feb 10, 2002 - 10 comments

Just a follow-up

Just a follow-up on this MeFi thread, because the link has been making its rounds around the Internet. It's a hoax, folks. Sorry.
posted by PWA_BadBoy on Jan 30, 2002 - 17 comments

Fake or Foto?

Fake or Foto? Try to guess which are photographs, and which have been cleverly computer-generated. Sure it's a game, and it's interesting on that level, but I was wondering if anyone was seeing any patterns in the kind of objects they were able to recognize as one or the other. I know I did.
posted by Hildago on Nov 14, 2001 - 33 comments

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