Category:
Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators

Aleister Crowley on Wax



The famous evil mage Aleister Crowley can be heard via a wax cylinder recording.

Listen to his chants--if you dare!





Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 21, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Eccentrics, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, 1910s, United Kingdom

Petrarch’s Cat

If you make a visit to Italy and visit the museum-home of the author Petrarch, you will get to see the mummified body of his adored cat.

Or so the legend goes. Actually, the cat corpse is a mere four hundred years old, created by the person who owned the house in the 1600s.

Read about it here.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 12, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Historical Figure, Cats, Europe

Perkin Warbeck, Pretender to the British Throne




Essay here.

Dealing with Warbeck cost Henry VII over £13,000 (equivalent to £10,301,000 in 2019)


Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 26, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: History, Historical Figure, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Royalty

St. Rumwold—the youngest saint

Due to the vagaries of medieval spelling, Rumwold is also known as Rumald, Rumbold, Grumbald, Rumbald, etc. The story goes that Rumwold was born in 662 and only lived for three days. But during that brief time he demonstrated the ability to speak and recited the Lord's Prayer. So, after his death, he was made a saint.

image source: .johnsanidopoulos.com



While a three-day-old saint is, on its own, odd enough, my favorite part of his story involves the picture of him that later hung in Boxley Abbey in Kent. It was used as a test of a woman's chastity. Those who were chaste would easily be able to lift the picture. But if a woman was not chaste, the picture would mysteriously become so heavy that she wouldn't be able to lift it.

The secret, unknown by those trying to lift the picture, was that it could be held in place (or not) by a wooden rod concealed behind it.

The story of the unliftable portrait is told by Sidney Heath in Pilgrim Life in the Middle Ages (1911):

At Boxley also was a famous image of St. Rumald, Rumbold, or Grumbald, the son of a Northumbrian king and of a daughter of Penda, King of Mercia. He died when three days old, but not before he had repeated the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed in Latin, a feat for which he gained canonisation.

His image at Boxley is said to have been small, and of a weight so light that a child could lift it, but that it could at times become so heavy that it could not be moved by persons of great strength.

Thomas Fuller, the quaint old divine, tells us that "the moving hereof was made the conditions of women's chastity. Such who paid the priest well might easily remove it, whilst others might tug at it to no purpose. For this was the contrivance of the cheat — that it was fastened with a pin of wood by an invisible stander behind. Now, when such offered to take it who had been bountiful to the priest before, they bare it away with ease, which was impossible for their hands to remove who had been close-fisted in their confessions. Thus it moved more laughter than devotion, and many chaste virgins and wives went away with blushing faces, leaving (without cause), the suspicion of their wantonness in the eyes of the beholders; whilst others came off with more credit (because with more coin), though with less chastity."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 01, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Babies, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Religion, Medieval Era

California Soap Mine

Was the 1855 Soap Mine tale just a prank or hoax? What about the 1901 article, in third place, which sounds a little more scientific?




Source.





Source.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 16, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Humor, Hygiene, Regionalism, Natural Wonders, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Banvard’s Folly

I am halfway thru reading this book and can testify to its greatness, and to its allure for all WU-vies. I have already learned about so many hoaxes, weirdos and charlatans I never knew about before.

Here's how the book opens:




Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 01, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, History, Historical Figure, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Inventions, New Age, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, Books, Goofs and Screw-ups

Fake Disco Moves










Source: The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan) 04 Apr 1979, Wed Page 1

I love the names of these moves, especially "Funky Elbows" and "Shoulder Sniff."

For some reason I am reminded of this classic video.








Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 04, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Self-help Schemes, 1970s, Dance

The Revlon Fingernail Rumor

For decades, beginning around World War II and persisting until at least the 1980s, a rumor circulated alleging that Revlon was willing to buy people's fingernails "for experimental cosmetic purposes" as long as they were over an inch long. The going price was said to be around $10 per nail.

Revlon repeatedly denied the rumor. Nevertheless, it continued to circulate.

I wasn't able to find any references to the rumor online. So it must have finally faded away.


The Miami Herald - Jan 18, 1969


---




The Indianapolis News - June 18, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 19, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Body, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Myths and Fairytales

My Old Flame

A song that goes rapidly off the rails around the one-minute mark, with some Halloween relevance.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 25, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Horror, Music, 1940s, Parody

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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