Urban Legends: Most Popular Articles
Real or Fake? Take the quiz and see if you can tell the hoax photos from the real thing!
Gather 'round the digital campfire to enjoy the Top 20 Scariest Stories we know. You'll be sore afraid!
DO NOT CLICK on Facebook posts touting videos claiming Miley Cyrus died of a drug overdose.
Satirical article claims a group of teens reenacting violent scenes from 'The Purge 2: Anarchy' murdered 112 people in Chicago.
Ladies, wash your underwear in boiling water! Viral image and video purport to document a case of larvae infestation of the human breast.
Fake video supposedly reveals hideous skin condition resulting from use of Head & Shoulders, Dove, or other name-brand shampoo. Don't click. It's a scam.
Viral message claims placing raw onions on the bottoms of your feet overnight will take away illness.
DO NOT CLICK on Facebook posts touting videos of a girl who killed herself live on cam. It's a scam.
Warning: If you read these terrifying stories about travel and vacations you may never leave home again!
Legend has it that if you stand before a mirror in a darkened room and chant 'Bloody Mary' again and again, a terrifying ghost will appear.
Satirical article claims 'hot convict' Jeremy Meeks was killed by his own wife one hour after he was released from prison.
Internet chain letter tells the story of Carmen Winstead, a 17-year-old girl supposedly pushed down a sewer and killed by a gang of girls from her school.
(Updated) 'Money Bags' chain letter says a particular month will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, a configuration that supposedly only happens once every 823 years.
Also known as 'The Licked Hand.' A popular tale from the oral tradition recast as a spooky - if unbelievable - Internet chain letter.
Longstanding (and unproven) rumors claim actress Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite, or was born intersex and underwent surgery as a child to become female.
Several years ago, 'they' say, actor Richard Gere was admitted into the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital with a foreign object lodged in a bodily orifice.
DON'T CLICK on 'shocking video' posts claiming a bunch of people died in a roller coaster accident at Universal Studios in Florida. It didn't happen.
A babysitter calls the parents who hired her to ask if she can cover up the disturbing, life-size clown statue in the living room.
A teenage babysitter frantically calls the police after receiving prank calls from a stranger who repeatedly inquires after the welfare of the children she's supposed to be taking care of.
Thirteen of the creepiest stories ever told. Read them if you dare.
Was children's TV show host Mr. Rogers a tattoo-wearing sharpshooter with dozens of kills to his credit?
Viral text claims spraying an outside area with Listerine mouthwash repels and/or kills every mosquito in the vicinity.
Myth Busted: The earwigs is so named because it crawls into sleeping people's ears and eats their brains.
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends iq
Tired of people sharing fake news stories as if they're true? Point them to our checklist of satire sites on the web. Guaranteed 100% effective!
After coming home late and getting ready for bed in the dark, a college coed wakes up the next morning to receive the shock of her life...
The Choking Doberman, a classic urban legend retold
In which we're asked to believe that the word 'fuck' originated as the acronym of 'Fornication Under Consent of the King,' 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,' or some variation thereof.
Bottled water cancer danger? Viral text warns against drinking bottled water left in a warm car because the heat may cause cancer-producing toxins to 'leak' from the plastic into the water.
Satirical article claims inspectors found human meat stored in a McDonald's meat factory.
Supposedly, the heat from a backyard barbecue can melt plastic contact lenses and fuse them to the eye, causing severe injury and blindness.
Trending urban legends, online rumors and hoaxes
Drivers beware - that person following you on the highway may actually be trying to save your life!
Viral text claims Tom Hanks' dad was an original member of the vocal quartet The Diamonds.
After a lavish wedding in a stately mansion, members of the wedding party play a game of hide-and-seek. It isn't long before everyone is found... everyone except the bride.
The Internet boogeyman known as Slender Man (aka Slenderman) is best described as a crowdsourced fiction.
They picked the worst possible night to go necking on Lovers' Lane. Find out why... if you dare!
Is it true that KFC can't legally use the word 'chicken' in ads because its products are made from genetically manipulated organisms instead of real chickens?
Satirical article claims 'Orange Is the New Black' has been canceled by Netflix because CEO Reed Hastings objects to its portrayal of women.
Viral message purports to divulge various tips and tricks for cell phone use, including dialing 112 to access a worldwide emergency network. Be skeptical!
About those rumors that fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger made racist statements on the Oprah Winfrey Show...
Online hoax claims Frooti products have been contaminated by a worker with HIV-positive blood. It's false.
A classic urban legend. Honeymooners notice a strange odor in their hotel room and decide to peek under the mattress, only to find... The Body in the Bed!
The Hook: A teenager drove his date to Lovers' Lane for a make-out session before it was time to take her home. The place was very dark and deserted...
Don't buy the new Pepsi can? Baseless email campaign protests the alleged omission of the words 'under God' in an excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance on new Pepsi cans.
Is it true that the popular American soft drink Mountain Dew can lower a male's sperm count and be used as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy?
Is there any truth to the claim that Snopes.com is a liberal front organization?
Einstein's proof of God? In this viral anecdote of unknown origin, a university student named Albert Einstein humiliates his atheist professor by proving that God exists.
Decades-old urban legend says innocent people who flash their headlights at oncoming cars are being chased down and killed by gang members.
Social media prank claims the U.S. legal drinking age will change to 25 in August 2014. Not true.
Girl with a 'beehive' hairdo dies a horrible death after a spider crawls inside and lays eggs. Legendary proof that vanity can kill!
A teenage babysitter frantically phones the police after seeing a strange man approaching the sliding glass door near where she's watching TV.
Viral alert claims people have been killed by electrocution or explosion when they answered a cell phone while it was charging.
Circulating via social media, this viral image appears to show a puppy being forced to drink vodka from a bottle. Appearances can be deceiving.
Viral image purports to show a larvae infestation of the human breast. It's a hoax.
WARNING: Some viewers may find these images unnerving or offensive. A gallery of viral images notable for their 'ick' factor. Some are authentic, others not. As you'll see, it's not always easy to tell which is which!
Satirical article claims a 'Hispanic militia' consisting of illegal immigrants has forcibly occupied Sarita, Texas.
Satirical article claims Phillip Morris plans to introduce a new product called 'Marlboro M' marijuana cigarettes.
HOAX: Viral image purports to show wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Online rumors claim the popular smartphone app 'Talking Angela' is a threat to kids' privacy and safety. Not true.
A duck's quack doesn't echo. Myth or fact?
Did Germans really chuckle with embarrassment when John F. Kennedy uttered the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner' during a speech at the Berlin Wall in 1963?
Circulating via email, the text of a speech allegedly given by Bill Gates in which he sets out 11 rules of life kids won't learn in school.
Here's a 'true story' almost everyone has heard by now: the infamous $250 Cookie Recipe, most recently associated with the Neiman Marcus company, but previously (during the 1980s) the bane of cookie diva Mrs. Fields.
Female college student pursued by cop impersonator is rescued by a real police officer after dialing 112 (or *112, or #112) emergency number on her cell phone.
An apocryphal footnote to the history of Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 lunar landing and moonwalk.
Viral photo of a huge dog named Hercules, purportedly the Guinness Record holder for Biggest Dog in the World.
In which we attempt to nail down the source of a quotation attributed to the irascible Hunter S. Thompson.
Forwarded email claims leftover onions are 'poisonous' because they're 'a huge magnet for bacteria' and especially prone to spoilage.
In which we are told, and with a straight face, that the word 'shit' originated as the acronym of 'Ship High in Transit' (or 'Stow High in Transit'), a supposed nautical phrase.
I can read your mind! Don't believe me? Here, I'll prove it...
After consenting to give a ride to a good samaritan who helped her fix a flat tire, a female driver suddenly remembers she has a very important appointment and races off without him. Later, she finds he left his briefcase in her back seat. She opens it.
According to this viral message, a typical blue whale produces over 400 gallons of sperm when it ejaculates. And you wonder why the ocean is so salty!
Once upon a time, before modern embalming techniques were developed, people were indeed found on very rare occasions to have been buried alive.
Hoax images, cont. Urban Legends.
Urban Legend: A scanned letter from Chubb Electronic Security warns drivers not to flash their headlights at oncoming cars.
Website purports to offer free, easy access to personal information contained in state driver's license databases
Is it true that a 19th-century British plumber named Sir Thomas Crapper (aka John Crapper) invented the flush toilet?
Satirical article claims U.S. students will be required to receive RFID chip implants to help reduce gun violence.
Viral images, cont.: flesh eating disease underwear photos graphic images original source caution
Find info on the latest Internet hoaxes, rumors, and the most popular stories circulating today.
Dear Urban Legends: I received an email last week which was quite disturbing. It is about dead babies that can be bought from hospitals in Taiwan to meet the high demand for grilled and barbequed babies!
I can read your mind!: card trick cards
Emailed images purport to show the progressive deterioration of a necrotic wound caused by the bite of a poisonous brown recluse spider.
Internet rumors claim Ciara was born male and is either a secret transvestite or underwent a sex-change operation to become a transsexual.
A reader writes: 'I absolutely recall hearing these comments on the radio, in 1995, as told by Armstrong following the press conference. Either what I heard was an audio hoax, he was just kidding, or it is the truth. Are you SURE it was a hoax?'
Need a laugh? Sit back and enjoy this collection of funny stories from our archive. Sixteen urban legends with a punch line!
Where did the rumor come from that you could get a free Tootsie Roll Pop (or a whole bag of them) if you found a star (or an Indian, or both) on your wrapper?
Forwarded email claims potentially hazardous products made in China can be identified by examining the first three digits of the bar code on the packaging, which supposedly indicate the country of origin.
Viral message claims that taping a copper penny over a bee sting (or hornet sting) will provide overnight relief from redness and swelling.
Doctors looking for the cause of severe headaches and facial itching in a young child discover that ants have crawled in his ear and infested his brain.
Unreported airline incident? Viral email by Tedd Petruna purports to be an eyewitness account of a Muslim terrorist 'dry run' aboard AirTran Airways Flight 297 from Atlanta to Houston on November 17, 2009.
If you don't mind my falling back on a gut feeling, I'd rather be French-kissed by a human being than a dog any day.
Locked out of your automobile? According to this forwarded email, you can have someone transmit a signal from your spare remote key via cell phone and unlock your car door in a pinch.
Altoids lore: Does chewing mints before performing oral sex really enhance the pleasure?
Shoefiti: Are sneakers dangling from power lines a sign of gang or drug activity?
Viral alert claims major-brand lipsticks contain 'cancer-causing' lead, which consumers can test for by scratching the surface of a product with a 24K gold ring.
A young bride-to-be decides she needs a tan, so a week before her wedding day she visits a tanning salon. Then another. Then another...
In a story supposedly told by actor Lee Marvin on The Tonight Show, he served in the military with fellow U.S. Marine Bob Keeshan ('Captain Kangaroo').
Pepsi contaminated with AIDS? Online rumor claims a worker tainted Pepsi products with HIV-positive blood.
Hoax List from About.com: Current Internet hoaxes, email rumors and urban legends debunked - your resource for information on all the latest misinformation on the Net.
A family receives a cactus as a gift and gives it place of honor in their living room. Weeks later, someone happens to notice that it's... quivering?
Our handpicked selection of the funniest urban legends online.
Viral message claims coughing in children can be stopped '100% of the time' by applying 'Vicks Vapor Rub' to the bottoms of their feet at bedtime.
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends level test iq
Online rumor alleges that Barack Obama is a Muslim and lied to the American people when he claimed to be a devout Christian.
Chain letter claims 16-year-old David Gregory was found dead in a sewer after failing to repost it. Did Carmen Winstead do it?
Viral image purports to show a 'real panda' flying on a plane, calmly gnawing on bamboo shoots while lounging in business class next to a human passenger. The Chinese call this 'Panda diplomacy.'
Hoax article claims McDonald's uses worm meat as filler in its hamburgers.
Viral image shows a restroom urinal in Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport with a fly etched in the porcelain to improve users' aim and reduce 'spillage.'
During a stately wedding ceremony, the groom interrupts the proceedings to reveal a shocking secret about the bride and the best man.
Circulating online, fictitious statements attributed to President Obama explaining his 'refusal' to salute the flag and national anthem.
This image purports to document the medical case of a female anthropologist who failed to seek treatment for a skin rash and wound up with an infestation of larvae in her breast. Not a pretty picture. Page 4.
Viral text purports to compare the salaries of top executives of U.S. and Canadian charitable organizations.
People say you shouldn't throw rice at weddings because birds will eat it, the grains will expand in their stomachs, and they will explode. Not true.
As folklorists, we may not be able to cure paraskevidekatriaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th), but we can at least lend its sufferers a few good excuses.
Two moons? Online rumor claims 27 August will bring the 'closest encounter between Mars and Earth in recorded history,' resembling two moons in the night sky.
Statements falsely attributed to Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard advise Muslim immigrants to learn English and adapt to Australian culture or leave the country.
DON'T CLICK on scam postings touting a video about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 being found. You'll regret it.
Say what you will about her, Marie Antoinette never actually uttered the words 'Let them eat cake.'
Egg whites as a burn remedy? Viral text touts coating burned skin with raw egg whites as a 'miracle healing' home remedy. Doctors not so much.
Did U.S. Gen. 'Black Jack' Pershing rid the Philippines of Islamic extremism by executing Muslim terrorists and burying them with pig's blood and entrails?
Viral message contends that the word 'picnic' originated in southern 'family outings' during which white people lynched African Americans.
Viral video claims teenagers are getting high by smoking bed bugs, which supposedly give off a hallucinogenic substance.
Viral images allegedly show the carcass of a dead mermaid found washed up on a beach near Chennai, India during the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004.
Viral message claims raw sliced onions will 'collect' or 'absorb' any flu virus present in a home and protect household members from influenza.
Viral rant falsely attributed to Bill Cosby condemns lazy poor people, Muslims, global warming believers, programs to help drug addicts, and 'the world these people made.'
Viral article claims the humble lemon is a 'miraculous product' that kills cancer cells and is '10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.' Is it true?
Internet rumors claim French seer Nostradamus predicted the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon 500 years before they happened.
Quiz: Urban Legends about romance, sex, and scandal
Viral rumor claims the Obama administration started a program whereby taxpayer money is being 'redistributed' to provide free cell phones ('Obama phones') to welfare recipients.
Viral hoax claims an 'Asian/Chinese restaurant' in Atlanta was closed by authorities for serving rats, mice, kittens, and puppies as food.
Giant Skeletons? Forwarded email claims recent gas exploration activity in the southeast region of the Arabian desert uncovered skeletal remains of 'a human of phenomenal size.'
Have you heard the one about Rod Stewart passing out on stage? Seems he was rushed to the emergency room, where a pint (or quart, or gallon, depending on version) of semen was pumped out of his stomach!
Our very favorite, absolutely 100% true (not!) tales. Each and every story below is guaranteed to disgust.
Viral photos of a man whose brain allegedly became infested with maggots (or was it tapeworms?) as a result of an ingrown hair (or was it eating sushi?).
Proposed 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: 'Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives.'
AVOID THIS SCAM: Social media blurbs tout video supposedly showing a great white shark attacking the captain of a fishing vessel.
Rumors can spread like viruses, and are sometimes just as lethal. Case in point, 'The Kidney Thieves.'
Viral rumors warn of criminals using business cards impregnated with a drug called burundanga (scopolamine) to incapacitate victims before attacking them. Are they true?
Chain letter tells the story of Clarissa, a little girl imprisoned in a mental hospital for killing her mother and father. That was just for starters.
HOAX: Viral images show an unbelievably large snake found and killed in the Red Sea by Egyptian scientists and military.
A viral hit since 1990, here is the funniest 'college application essay' ever written.
Viral image purportedly shows the young Frances Bavier (the actress who played Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show) as a pin-up model.
Two people injured in gerbilling mishap (another insult to the reputation of gerbils everywhere).
Q: Why did the U.S. government recently purchase 30,000 guillotines? A: It didn't. You've been hoaxed.
Viral image purports to show a rare, all-black lion discovered in Africa. (P.S., it's fake.)
DO NOT CLICK on posts touting a 'shocking video' of the largest, scariest snake ever discovered. It's a scam.
Viral images of an enormous, 1,600-pound, man-eating grizzly bear supposedly killed by a hunter in Alaska.
What we know (and don't really know) about the history of Halloween, its origins, and how modern Halloween customs and traditions evolved.