fiji mermaid hoax

The Most Shocking Paranormal Hoaxes In History

Conspiracy, E.S.P, Entertainment, Ghosts, Paranormal, Unexplained
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by Anna Olvera

As far as we know there’re millions of supernatural occurrences out there that we cannot explain for sure (unless you’re a skeptic). Day in and day out we find something new mostly around the web or by someone claiming to have had some sort of experience. Whether it’s big foot making a comeback for the thousand time, maybe it’s aliens or anything remotely ghostly caught on tape, as much as we want to believe we don’t know for sure if it’s the real deal or someone hoaxing it in order to get their 15 minutes of fame. Some of the cases down below are notably known for fooling a lot of people, while some believers still claim that they are nothing but true.

1. The Cottingley Fairies


Between the months of July and September of 1917 in Cottingley, West Yorkshire England, two young girls Frances Griffiths (12) and her cousin Elsie Wright (16) claimed that were able to interact, play and even take pictures of real life fairies and a gnome (who didn’t like photographs). The young duo produced a total of 5 photographs claiming the existence of the benevolent beings, dressed in Paris fashion gowns and green, mauve and pink transparent wings. These pictures along with the girls became an overnight sensation, thanks in major part to writer and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes). Being a big supporter and believer in the spiritual world, he fell for the scam and even went as far as to write a book about it (The Coming of the Fairies 1922) and soon thereafter he left to Australia for a lecture tour. When he came back, he was the laughingstock of the press. Conan Doyle couldn’t believe that such scheme had been fabricated by two young girls, but most importantly why?

In regards to the well-documented evidence that proved that the images were nothing but a fabrication of the girls, Mr. Doyle was still a firm believer of the existence of the beings. It was long after his death when the pair decided to come clean about their hoax and explained the reason behind it, which was to get back at adults for laughing at them in the first place when they had mentioned they really had encountered fairies. They also mentioned they didn’t admit this to Doyle to avoid embarrassment. Until his death, he was still a firm believer in the spiritual world.

2. Ghostwatch

ghost watch

Before the big hype of found footage films and documentaries such as the famous Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, back in 1992 a documentary/film entitled ‘Ghostwatch’ premiered on BBC  for a special Halloween night only. Now referred to as a reality horror/mockumentary, the film revolves around a team of BBC reporters performing a live, on-air investigation of a house said to be inhabited by a ‘poltergeist’ in  Northolt, Greater London. The premise of the show was that like of any other current ‘ghost show’ on TV: Go inside the house, investigate, interview neighbors and the family that lives there, try to make contact etc.

While getting to know the house, its tenants and the backstory of it all, they stumble upon the ‘ghostly’ presence of a malevolent spirit that goes by the name of ‘Pipes’ (the children often asked their mother, what the noises were and she always replied ‘oh it’s the pipes,’ hence the name). As the program goes on, viewers learn that the spirit belongs to a psychologically disturbed man called Raymond Tunstall. He believed he was being disturbed by the malignant spirit of a “baby farmer” turned child killer from the 19th century. Almost at the end, the reporters suddenly realize that the program might be working as some sort of ‘seance’ and things start to go awry. Finally, the spirit decides to unleash its power by dragging the host behind a door, then setting himself free and taking control over the BBC studios and transmitter network along with possessing the other host in the process.

The whole thing turned out to be fake when they led people to believe that it was being recorded live and all the occurrences going on were real when in actuality they had filmed on set locations and used FX weeks in advance. The people were clamoring and eager that night to try to figure out what in reality was going on. The BBC switchboard received an estimated 30,000 calls in a single hour, and let’s just say people weren’t too fond of the hoax.

3. The Fox Sisters


You could say that the Fox sisters initiated the spiritualism craze back in the 1800’s. Maggie, Katie and Leah Fox, discovered they were able to communicate with the dead thru a series of ‘rappings’ (communication between the living and the dead by tapping out messages on a table, board, or any firm material). They became such a sensation that they started to tour around the country (despite there being many non-believers) led by big sister Leah. Their seances grew more elaborate with objects moving, tables flying and even the spirit of Ben Franklin joining them at times.

But with fame and fortune also came alcoholism for two of the sisters. It got to the point where they started to scheme against one another and even went as far as Leah (the manager) reporting one of her sisters to the Prevention of Cruelty for Children. Thereafter, Katie’s kids were taken away. After their tumultuous meltdowns, the sisters’ careers came to an end when in 1888, Maggie and Katie decided to go public to debunk their gift. Maggie confessed that they learned to ‘rap’ by flexing their muscles and she demonstrated in front of an audience, while Katie stayed quiet and watched. Their stellar performance came to an end and many people were furious to find out the truth, while others till this day believe that the sisters were the real deal.

4. Alien Autopsy Footage

Everyone has heard of Area 51 and, of course, the infamous crash of a “flying disc” near Roswell, New Mexico on June 2, 1947. But did you know that they found an alien in the craft and actually filmed his autopsy?? NOT! Well, that’s what London-based entrepreneur Ray Santilli made us believe. The 17-minute black and white film titled “Alien Autopsy” caused shock among viewers who actually thought they were watching a real Alien dissection on film. When asked how he had obtained such film, he replied by saying the film was supplied by a retired military cameraman who wished to remain anonymous.

In 2006, sixteen years later Santilli finally admitted that the film was a hoax, but not before he sold it to television networks and broadcasted it in over 33 countries. He openly admitted that the film was a fake, but it had a “few” real scenes of the actual autopsy but never specified which ones.

5. The Fresno Nightcrawler

A couple from Fresno, California had found several things out of place in their driveway so they decided to install a security system in order to catch anything fishy. But what they found on the footage was by far not what they were expecting, so they called upon a mutual friend, a paranormal enthusiast to assist them with their discovery. Upon reviewing the tapes, the man discovered two humanoid looking unidentified figures that seemed to be walking across from the driveway.

While the couple still claims that the video is legit and unedited in any way, the YouTube channel “ParaBreakdown” and its video analyst and debunker, Phil Poling, claim that this could easily be replicated.  This video has not been debunked 100% and, it should be noted, there are still people out there that claim to have encounters with these “beings.”

6. The Fiji/Feejee Mermaid

fiji mermaid hoax

I, for one, DO believe in mermaids (don’t judge me). So did P.T. Barnum (owner and founder of Barnum and Bailey circus) so when he “supposedly” rented one for $12.50 a week, his pockets got even deeper. American sea captain Samuel Barrett Edes bought Barnum’s “mermaid” from Japanese sailors in 1822, and had it on display thru several outlets. The proposed origin was off the coast of Fiji.

According to Barnum, the mermaid was 100% authentic, while close sources stated it wasn’t. The authenticity of the mermaid was debunked when a naturalist told him it was nothing but the head of a monkey attached to the body of a fish. Despite what he was told, Barnum had already prepared a show with “fake” advertisements showing a half woman, half fish on the covers to attract attention. The depictions looked nothing like the mermaid he had on display. He then hired a phony naturalist to vouch for his backstory of the mermaid being real. Barnum fooled millions of spectators.

No one really knows what happened to the Fiji mermaid, since Barnum’s museum caught fire multiple times, and people say it was destroyed along with other countless artifacts. The Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology has a “similar” mermaid called “The Banff Merman” said to highly resemble the Fiji mermaid, so through the years there’s been speculation and questions about whether it’s the same artifact or not.

7. The Highgate Vampire


England seems to be a mecca for paranormal hoaxes, and here’s yet another. Back in the 1970’s when cemeteries were a major target of vandalism, a group of misfits decided to break into Highgate cemetery in London. It was a cold December night right before Christmas when one of them decided to sleep the night away. The following day, he went to newspaper outlets claiming he had seen a grayish tall dark figure of a man who was stalking him around the cemetery and even put him in a trance.

This is how the controversy started and millions of people were drawn by the phenomenon. Soon thereafter, witnesses claimed to have seen the same figure roam near the gates of the cemetery at night, along with a woman with super white skin and long gray hair. Some people still believe there’s a vampire roaming Highgate, so if you’re ever in England, don’t forget to visit the spot and let us know if you get stalked by a vampirish creature.

8. The Well to Hell

Known as a creepypasta or urban legend now, the Well to Hell didn’t quite start out that way. A team of Russian engineers drilled a hole in an unknown part of Siberia. The hole, according to them, was deeper than what they had expected and seemed to reach temperatures of 2,000 °F (1,090 °C) deep within. Finding this strange — while others claimed they were “hearing” strange sounds — they decided to send down a heat tolerant microphone along with other sensory equipment into the well. When they brought the equipment back up, the crew was shocked by what they heard in the recordings.

They were listening to strange noises, screams of agony and what sounded like people being tortured. The whole crew was in a state of panic, thinking they had actually discovered a portal to Hell. The story of the discovery hit the news and made major headlines. It even caused spiritual organizations to pray and preach. But everything came to an end when they realized that the actual recording was nothing but fake. They did, in fact, drill a hole, but no screams of agony ever came out of there. In actuality, it was a recording of the 1972 movie “Baron Blood” in a time loop.

9. Crop Circles

crop_circles hoax

We’ve all known and seen at some point crop circles around the country. Supposedly they are areas of flattened form that make different circles or patterns and are associated with alien visitations. Most people believe these are true signs of alien life forms, while so many of them (actually most of them) have been proven to be man-made. The latest crop circle sighting? Just a few days ago in Holland. But now they are not also appearing in your normal cornfield area – now you can even find them in ice and sand.

There are many UFOlogists who believe some crop circles are made by actual beings not from this world.

10. Teleporting Guy/Girl

Four years ago in a China, a CCTV camera caught an unusual scene. The video shows a man/woman saving a guy riding a bike thru an intersection right before he was about to get hit by a delivery truck. How is this strange, you might ask? Well, this all happened in a matter of a few seconds — basically, the “superhuman” goes from one side of the screen to the other in a flash, then as just quickly as it appeared it disappears, leaving the man behind safe and sound. Some people thought this was an angel in disguise while others claimed to have witnessed teleportation.

The video in question is extremely entertaining, and at first hand, it looks 100% authentic. But as it turns out, this was nothing more than a publicity stunt. The video was released to promote the Chinese RPG “Jade Destiny” or “Zhu Xian 2”. The makers of the game still deny having any association with the video in question.

What do you think? Does teleportation really exist?

Have a scary/creepy experience?  Please share with us on the comment section down below. In the meantime don’t forget to LIKE and FOLLOW ME! On my social media pages for more creepy and scary content and until next time… Sweet Screams.

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Sources: Youtube, Wikipedia Io9

Ghostwatch Movie on Youtube:

Fresno Nightcrawler Original Video:

Fresno Nightcrawler Debunked Video:

Well to Hell Audio on Youtube:

Teleportation Video on Youtube:

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