Urban Legends: Most Popular Articles
Real or Fake? Take the quiz and see if you can tell the hoax photos from the real thing!
Viral image of a deadly 'snow snake,' whose bite, for which there is no known antidote, can freeze your blood and kill you!
Gather 'round the digital campfire to enjoy the Top 20 Scariest Stories we know. You'll be sore afraid!
Did Russian researchers conduct an experiment in which five prison inmates were kept awake for 15 days straight, driving them to insanity and cannibalism?
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 dark and deserted...
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.
A babysitter calls the parents who hired her to ask if she can cover up the scary, life-size clown statue in the living room.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Warning: If you read these terrifying stories about travel and vacations you may never leave home again!
Also known as 'The Licked Hand.' A popular tale from the oral tradition recast as a spooky -- if not quite believable -- Internet chain letter.
Was children's TV show host Mr. Rogers formerly a tattoo-wearing Marine sniper or Navy SEAL with dozens of confirmed kills to his credit?
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!
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.
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends iq
The Licked Hand - An urban legend. Page 2.
They picked the worst possible night to go necking on Lovers' Lane. Find out why... if you dare!
Apocryphal versions of A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas), one of the most parodied poems in the English language.
That the Doberman seemed to be choking to death was scary enough. Then they discovered what he was choking on...
AVOID CLICKING on blurbs touting 'shocking videos' like this one. They're scams that could expose you to a malware attack.
Drivers beware - that person following you on the highway may actually be trying to save your life!
Trending urban legends, online rumors and hoaxes
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 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.
Say what you will about her, Marie Antoinette never actually uttered the words 'Let them eat cake.'
Viral message claims placing raw onions on the bottoms of your feet overnight will take away illness. Be skeptical!
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.
Honeymooners notice a strange odor in their hotel room and decide to peek under the mattress, only to find... The Body Under the Bed!
Viral photo of a huge dog named Hercules, purportedly the Guinness Record holder for Biggest Dog in the World.
Is there any truth to the claim that Snopes.com is a liberal front organization?
Need a laugh? Sit back and enjoy this collection of funny stories from our archive. Sixteen urban legends with a punch line!
A teenage babysitter frantically phones the police after seeing a strange man approaching the sliding glass door near where she's watching TV.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Allegedly written
A viral hit since 1990, here is the funniest 'college application essay' ever written.
The Internet boogeyman known as Slender Man (aka Slenderman) is best described as a crowdsourced fiction.
Website purports to offer free, easy access to personal information contained in state driver's license databases
Viral text purports to compare the salaries of top executives of U.S. and Canadian charitable organizations.
Quiz: Christmas traditions, history and folklore: christmas folklore christmas history history traditions quiz test test your knowledge
Viral rumor warns of a new carjacking scheme involving the placement of a flyer or piece of paper or currency on the victim's rear window to trick them into exiting the vehicle.
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.
Girl with a 'beehive' hairdo dies a horrible death after a spider crawls inside and lays eggs. Legendary proof that vanity can kill!
Who or what is Slender Man, and why is everyone so afraid of him? All your questions answered here!
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?
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.
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.
Satirical article claims billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates offered hip hop recording artist Young Thug $9 million to stop making music. Not even remotely true.
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?
About those rumors that fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger made racist statements on the Oprah Winfrey Show...
Viral message purports to divulge various tips and tricks for cell phone use, including dialing 112 to access a worldwide emergency network. Be skeptical!
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?
Viral messages warn that a directory of cell phone numbers will be published and instructs users to dial 888-382-1222 to add mobile numbers to the Do Not Call Registry to prevent calls from telemarketers.
A new world record? Viral images allegedly show a 412-pound deer killed by a hunter in Nebraska (or Clarion County, Pennsylvania, depending on version).
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.
Is it true that a 19th-century British plumber named Sir Thomas Crapper (aka John Crapper) invented the flush toilet?
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!
Fake news article claims the earth will experience six days of total darkness in December 2014 due to dust and space debris from a solar storm.
FALSE: Online rumor claims SpongeBob SquarePants will be canceled by Nickelodeon on Jan. 28, 2014.
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.
Viral video purports to show an endless 'Escherian' staircase at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. True recursive phenomenon or hoax?
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?
Hoax alert warns of 'the worst virus ever' circulating in the form of an email attachment labeled 'POSTCARD' or 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK.'
Myth Busted: The earwigs is so named because it crawls into sleeping people's ears and eats their brains.
Viral message claims raw sliced onions will 'collect' or 'absorb' any flu virus present in a home and protect household members from influenza.
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?
Find info on the latest Internet hoaxes, rumors, and the most popular stories circulating today.
In which it is claimed that the quack of a duck, unlike every other sound known to man, does not echo. Humbug!
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.
Circulating virally, the text of a speech allegedly given by Bill Gates setting out 11 Rules of Life kids won't learn in school.
Is it true that male reindeer lose their antlers by December, therefore all of Santa's reindeer - including Rudolph - must be female?
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...
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!
Modern lyrics compared with older variants of the traditional Christmas song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas.'
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.
Viral message purports to share instructions from a U.S. government Peace Corp manual on what to do if an anaconda or python attacks you in the wild.
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.
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!
Altoids lore: Does chewing mints before performing oral sex really enhance the pleasure?
Internet text purports to explain the 'origin and secret meaning' of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas,' describing it as an 'underground catechism song' for Catholics who endured religious persecution in Protestant England.
Internet rumors claim Ciara was born male and is either a secret transvestite or underwent a sex-change operation to become a transsexual.
Viral images of giant specimens of Birgus latro - the coconut crab - named for its preferred diet of fallen coconuts and said to be the world's largest land-dwelling arthropod.
Viral image purportedly shows a full-grown 'work moose' being harnessed to haul wood in a logging operation. Stated location varies.
Purportedly written by Brad Pitt, this viral essay extolls the 'secret of love,' namely that given enough hugs, kisses, and compliments a woman will 'blossom' and become 'the reflection of her man.'
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to recognize and avoid social media clickjacking scams.
Email alert warns of alleged health hazards of the artificial sweetener aspartame
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.
Viral alert claims people have been killed by electrocution or explosion when they answered a cell phone while it was charging.
I can read your mind! Don't believe me? Here, I'll prove it...
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.
What IS the correct name of Santa's seventh reindeer? Is it Donner, Donder or Dunder? We've gone back to the original sources to find an answer.
Viral rumors warn of criminals using business cards impregnated with a drug called burundanga (scopolamine) to incapacitate victims before attacking them. Are they true?
Who wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and why? A viral text claims Rudolph was created by Montgomery Ward copywriter Bob May to console his 4-year-old daughter after her mother succumbed to cancer.
Urban Legends Quiz: Test your urban legends IQ!: urban legends level test iq
Pepsi contaminated with AIDS? Online rumor claims a worker tainted Pepsi products with HIV-positive blood.
Viral warnings claim a provision in Obamacare requires all Americans to receive RFID chip (microchip) implants for government tracking.
Circulating via email, pictures of a woman being smuggled into the U.S. crammed inside the dashboard of a vehicle
Forwarded email claims leftover onions are 'poisonous' because they're 'a huge magnet for bacteria' and especially prone to spoilage.
Is the administration building at Culver Studios -- known on the lot as 'The Mansion' -- haunted by the ghost of Thomas Ince?
Circulating via social media, this viral image appears to show a puppy being forced to drink vodka from a bottle. Appearances can be deceiving.
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 images, cont. Urban Legends.
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.
According to her caretakers at Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Hawaii, Zoe was born with a condition known as amelanosis, a melanin pigment deficiency.
I can read your mind!: card trick cards
True: Online petitions accuse rogue fishermen on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean of using live dogs, puppies and cats as shark bait.
Scam posts purport to link to a video showing the 'world's biggest snake,' a python, found in Iran. No such snake exists. If the video exists, it's a hoax. Users should beware of prompts to download potentially dangerous software.
Viral message claims that halal meat products being sold in U.S. supermarkets are processed in plants 'notorious' for 'filth and uncleanliness.'
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.'
Online rumors claim the popular smartphone app 'Talking Angela' is a threat to kids' privacy and safety. Not true.
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.'
Chain letter claims 16-year-old David Gregory was found dead in a sewer after failing to repost it. Did Carmen Winstead do it?
0809 Area Code Scam - Viral messages warn consumers not to comply with telephone, pager, or email requests to dial phone numbers beginning with area code 809, 284, or 876.
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.
Emailed image shows an unfortunate moose accidentally strung up on power cables by a utility crew near Fairbanks, Alaska.
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.
Shoefiti: Are sneakers dangling from power lines a sign of gang or drug activity?
Two people injured in gerbilling mishap (another insult to the reputation of gerbils everywhere).
What we know (and don't really know) about the history of Halloween, its origins, and how modern Halloween customs and traditions evolved.
The tag belongs to former USMC Platoon Sgt. Lanny Martinson of Sugar Land, Texas.
Self-described 'spectacularly beautiful' woman posts online personals ad stating her wish to pair off with a marriageable 'rich guy' in New York. Wall Street banker responds that offer is 'plain and simple a crappy business deal.'
Full text of purported CNN news story reporting the 'resurrection' of Tupac Shakur. This is an Internet hoax perpetrated on April Fools' Day 2005.
Unsettling viral image of a creature that appears to be a human-dog hybrid suckling her offspring.
Viral images purportedly taken in 1911 offer postcard views of Niagara Falls completely frozen over.
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.
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.
Viral text claims Christmas cards can be sent to wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center by addressing them to 'A Recovering American Soldier.'
Our handpicked selection of the funniest urban legends online.
Is it true that the Target Corporation insulted former military personnel by refusing to make a donation to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall?
(Updated 5/12/14) DON'T CLICK on video posts about a giant anaconda swallowing a zookeeper in South Africa.
Depending on which version you receive, the caption accompanying this emailed photo claims this poor patient was impaled on a fencepost after losing control of his motorcycle or boat. Page 31.
Dear Urban Legends: Is it true that Jennifer Lopez insured her butt for a billion dollars?
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.'
Emailed pictures purport to show the progressive deterioration of a necrotic wound caused by the bite of a poisonous brown recluse spider.
Did you know there are giant albino alligators living in the sewers of New York City? No, really! They started out as pets, then got flushed down the toilet when they grew too large for their owners to handle. Or so they say.
Online rumor alleges that Barack Obama is a Muslim and lied to the American people when he claimed to be a devout Christian.
Did the bloodcurdling scream in the Ohio Players song 'Love Rollercoaster' come from a woman who was murdered in the recording studio?
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?
'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.
Viral image purports to show a mountain lion (cougar) silently stalking a hunter posing with a freshly-downed elk in North Dakota.
This parody of 'My Favorite Things' was allegedly sung by Julie Andrews at an AARP benefit on her 69th birthday.
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!
Viral images purport to show the world's tallest woman at 7 feet, 4 inches tall and 320 pounds, in Holland. Real or hoax?
'News article' shared via social media claims conservative pundit Ann Coulter refused to board a commercial airline flight after learning the pilot was African American.