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!
Tired of people sharing fake news as if it's true? Point them to this checklist of satire sites on the web. Guaranteed 100% effective!
Beware of scam posts purporting to link to a video about two 12-inch-tall human-like creatures supposedly found in the USA.
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.
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?
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 bullies from her school.
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.
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.
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.
Also known as 'The Licked Hand.' A popular tale from the oral tradition recast as a spooky -- if not quite believable -- Internet chain letter.
In the 1940s, Russian researchers conducted an experiment in which five prison inmates were kept awake for 15 days straight. To say it didn't go well is an understatement.
Was children's TV show host Mr. Rogers a tattoo-wearing sharpshooter with dozens of kills to his credit?
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.
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.
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.
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 Internet boogeyman known as Slender Man (aka Slenderman) is best described as a crowdsourced fiction.
Fake news article claims that meteorologists predict a record-shattering snowfall this winter. Consider the source, a 'satirical and entertainment website' called Empire News.
The Licked Hand - An urban legend. Page 2.
Trending urban legends, online rumors and hoaxes
Did a brave guide dog named Daisy lead her blind master, James Crane, and 900 other people out of the burning World Trade Center on 9/11?
'Medical study' supposedly published in the New England Journal of Medicine claims staring at women's breasts improves heart health and lengthens lifespan in men.
They picked the worst possible night to go necking on Lovers' Lane. Find out why... if you dare!
A viral image supposedly showing Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson with a broken eye socket is actually of deceased motocross driver Jim McNeil. It was taken in 2006.
Viral images purport to show an unbelievably large snake found and killed in the Red Sea by the Egyptian military.
Ladies, wash your underwear in boiling water! Viral image and video purport to document a case of larvae infestation of the human breast.
Drivers beware - that person following you on the highway may actually be trying to save your life!
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends iq
Is there any truth to the claim that Snopes.com is a liberal front organization?
Honeymooners notice a strange odor in their hotel room and decide to peek under the mattress, only to find... The Body Under the Bed!
That the Doberman seemed to be choking to death was scary enough. Then they discovered what he was choking on...
Some TV viewers were convinced they saw the face of Satan in clouds of smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a hijacked airliner on September 11, 2001.
Circulating via social media, this viral image appears to show a puppy being forced to drink vodka from a bottle. Appearances can be deceiving.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >A viral article
A duck's quack doesn't echo. Myth or fact?
Viral message claims placing raw onions on the bottoms of your feet overnight will take away illness.
Circulating via email: A sign posted on the door of a shop in Houston's Harwin Central Mall says the store will be closed on September 11 to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Ali, purportedly a 9/11 terrorist.
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.
Myth Busted: The earwigs is so named because it crawls into sleeping people's ears and eats their brains.
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, that is, except the bride.
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.
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.
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.
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?
What we know (and don't really know) about the history of Halloween, its origins, and how modern Halloween customs and traditions evolved.
Fake video supposedly reveals hideous skin condition caused by use of Head & Shoulders, Dove, Garnier, or other name-brand shampoo. Don't click. It's a scam.
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...
Circulating virally, the text of a speech allegedly given by Bill Gates setting 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.
Viral photo of a huge dog named Hercules, purportedly the Guinness Record holder for Biggest Dog in the World.
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?
The Tourist Guy (aka Tourist of Death, Accidental Tourist of 9/11): A snapshot purportedly taken atop one of the World Trade Center twin towers seconds before the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
Text of April Fools hoax featuring a fake CNN news story claiming that rapper Snoop Dogg is converting to the Mormon faith.
Viral message purports to divulge various tips and tricks for cell phone use, including dialing 112 to access a worldwide emergency network. Be skeptical!
A teenage babysitter frantically phones the police after seeing a strange man approaching the sliding glass door near where she's watching TV.
Girl with a 'beehive' hairdo dies a horrible death after a spider crawls inside and lays eggs. Legendary proof that vanity can kill!
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.
AVOID CLICKING on blurbs touting 'shocking videos' like this one. They're scams that could expose you to a malware attack.
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.
A collection of funny stories from the Urban Legends archive. Some of the funniest urban legends are in fact jokes retold convincingly enough to seem true.
Scary six-legged creatures are described as giant spiders released from a government DNA laboratory.
About those rumors that fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger made racist statements on the Oprah Winfrey Show...
Once upon a time, before modern embalming techniques were developed, people were indeed found on very rare occasions to have been buried alive.
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?
Online rumor claims news video shows First Lady Michelle Obama whispering 'All this for a damn flag' during a flag folding ceremony on the anniversary of 9/11.
Satirical article claims health inspectors found human meat in a McDonald's meat factory.
Is it true that a 19th-century British plumber named Sir Thomas Crapper (aka John Crapper) invented the flush toilet?
Decades-old urban legend says innocent people who flash their headlights at oncoming cars are being chased down and killed by gang members.
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.
Refuse new dollar coins! Online rumor claims the motto 'In God We Trust' was (or will be) intentionally omitted from new one-dollar U.S. coins.
Viral text purports to compare the salaries of top executives of U.S. and Canadian charitable organizations.
Viral alert claims people have been killed by electrocution or explosion when they answered a cell phone while it was charging.
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.'
Statements falsely attributed to Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard advise Muslim immigrants to learn English and adapt to Australian culture or leave the country.
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!
One rumor circulating after the collapse of the twin towers held that someone on the 82nd floor survived by 'surfing' or 'riding' the rubble all the way to the ground.
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.
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').
Say what you will about her, Marie Antoinette never actually uttered the words 'Let them eat cake.'
Does verse 9:11 of the Qur'an (Koran) predict that the 'wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah,' a coded reference to America's response to 9/11?
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!
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!
Urban Legend: A scanned letter from Chubb Electronic Security warns drivers not to flash their headlights at oncoming cars.
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.
Find info on the latest Internet hoaxes, rumors, and the most popular stories circulating today.
Emailed report citing predictions by security consultant Juval Aviv warns that multiple terrorist attacks will occur in U.S. cities 'within the next few months' and offers emergency preparedness advice.
Viral message claims raw sliced onions will 'collect' or 'absorb' any flu virus present in a home and protect household members from influenza.
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.
Online rumor claims 27 August 2014 will bring the 'closest encounter between Mars and Earth in recorded history,' during which it will supposedly appear as if there were two moons in the night sky.
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...
Full text of purported CNN news story reporting the 'resurrection' of Tupac Shakur. This is an Internet hoax perpetrated on April Fools' Day 2005.
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?
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.
A viral hit since 1990, here is the funniest 'college application essay' ever written.
Internet rumors claim Ciara was born male and is either a secret transvestite or underwent a sex-change operation to become a transsexual.
Online rumors allege that Barack Obama's birth certificate is either forged or an abbreviated 'short-form' document which fails to establish his status as a U.S. citizen.
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.
Website purports to offer free, easy access to personal information contained in state driver's license databases
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.
'I want to stay privately connected...' Viral message purports to explain how Facebook members can protect the privacy of their comments and likes.
Viral warnings claim a provision in Obamacare requires all Americans to receive RFID chip (microchip) implants for government tracking.
I can read your mind! Don't believe me? Here, I'll prove it...
Online rumor alleges that Barack Obama is a Muslim and lied to the American people when he claimed to be a devout Christian.
Forwarded email claims leftover onions are 'poisonous' because they're 'a huge magnet for bacteria' and especially prone to spoilage.
Satire website claims slain rapper Tupac Shakur is alive and has finally come out of hiding after nearly 18 years.
DON'T FALL FOR IT! Viral post purports to protect the privacy and intellectual property rights of Facebook members who copy and paste it to their walls. Not true.
Altoids lore: Does chewing mints before performing oral sex really enhance the pleasure?
Unsettling viral image of a creature that appears to be a human-dog hybrid suckling her offspring.
Viral hoax claims President Obama plans to celebrate the 4th of July at a mosque with Muslim leaders.
Social media rumor claims Tom Hanks' dad was an original member of the vocal quartet The Diamonds. Not true.
Online rumors claim the popular smartphone app 'Talking Angela' is a threat to kids' privacy and safety. Not true.
Emailed images purport to show the progressive deterioration of a necrotic wound caused by the bite of a poisonous brown recluse spider.
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.
Is it true you can balance eggs (or brooms!) on end during the spring (or fall) equinox?
Satirical article claims teens reenacting violent scenes from 'The Purge 2: Anarchy' murdered 112 people in Chicago. Not true.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >LONG AGO and far
Longstanding rumors claim the secret ingredient responsible for the boost you get from Red Bull and other energy drinks is bull semen.
I can read your mind!: card trick cards
Viral message claims that halal meat products being sold in U.S. supermarkets are processed in plants 'notorious' for 'filth and uncleanliness.'
(Updated May 21, 2014) Contrary to online rumors, it isn't true that ATM users can contact police by entering their PIN number backwards.
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?).
POP! goes the Pillsbury Dough Boy in the backseat of the car - and the driver thinks she has been shot. Also known as 'The Killer Biscuits.'
Online rumor warns that criminals are distributing free key rings, key fobs, or key chains equipped with a tracking device that enables them to follow potential robbery victims.
Forwarded email makes much of the 'interesting' results obtained by typing 'Q33 NY' or 'Q33 NYC' into Microsoft Word, and converting the font to Wingdings.
Viral text claims baby carrots pose a consumer health risk because they're processed in chlorine.
Chain letter claims 16-year-old David Gregory was found dead in a sewer after failing to repost it. Did Carmen Winstead do it?
Rumors can spread like viruses, and are sometimes just as lethal. Case in point, 'The Kidney Thieves.'
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.'
Pepsi contaminated with AIDS? Online rumor claims a worker tainted Pepsi products with HIV-positive blood.
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 rumor accuses Starbucks of refusing to donate coffee to U.S. Marines on the, uh, grounds that the company has taken a stand against the Iraq war 'and anyone in it.'
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.'
A brief history of the jack-o'-lantern and how carving faces on pumpkins became a Halloween tradition.
Hoax images, cont. Urban Legends.
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 image showing President Obama holding a White House press conference with no U.S. flags on display claims he is the first president to do so.
Urban Legends FAQ: What is an urban legend?
Viral 'news article' says a young Christian boy died briefly on the operating table and claimed he met Allah in heaven after doctors revived him.
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.
Viral messages warn that a directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published and tells users to dial 888-382-1222 and add mobile numbers to the Do Not Call Registry to prevent telemarketing calls.
Viral text claims spraying an outside area with Listerine mouthwash repels and/or kills every mosquito in the vicinity.
Viral rumors warn of criminals using business cards impregnated with a drug called burundanga (scopolamine) to incapacitate victims before attacking them. Are they true?
Close-up photo of President Obama's wedding ring shows no visible indications of any writing at all, much less the Arabic phrase 'There is no God but Allah.'
Shoefiti: Are sneakers dangling from power lines a sign of gang or drug activity?
Is Megan Fox a man??? Internet rumors claim voluptuous actress Megan Fox is actually either a man in drag (transvestite), a transsexual, or was born a hermaphrodite and underwent surgery to become a woman. What's the truth?
This shocking image, origin unknown, purports to show a weightlifter suffering from a prolapsed rectum after attempting to lift more weight than his innards could bear. Page 30.
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.'
SCAM: Viral Facebook message purports to link to a video showing the discovery of an unidentified sea monster. Don't click!