Museum of Hoaxes

This very large site covers numerous types of hoaxes, including fake photographs, hoax websites, tall-tale animals, publicity stunts, forged documents and books, faked deaths, forged paintings, fake news reports, fictitious people, scams, pseudoscience, fake UFOs, and urban legends.

The section on fictitious people includes an article about Debbie Swenson, a forty year old woman who in 2001 started an online diary in which she pretended to be a nineteen year old girl dying of leukemia. Thousands of people visited her website daily to read the latest entry about her struggle to survive. Concerned people communicated with her by email, chatted with her in online chatrooms, and even phoned her. Finally after more than a year, an entry by her “mother” reported that she had died, causing many people to become distraught. Suspicions began to arise when people wanting to attend her funeral couldn’t find any information about it. The hoax was finally revealed after an extensive investigation.

An article about fake religious relics says that many churches and monasteries still display fake artifacts that were purchased during the Middle Ages. Examples include the milk of the Virgin Mary, the preserved brain of Saint Peter, and pieces of wood from the true cross. The article mentions that three different churches claim to have the skull of Mary Magdalene.

To visit this site, go to Museum of Hoaxes.

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