Hoaxes and Hexes
Daring Deceptions and Mysterious Curses
About the Book
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines hoax as a “humorous or malicious deception,” and hex as “a magic spell.” These stories of hoaxes and hexes illustrate our curious desire to believe in the impossible and explain the inexplicable. Portrayed here are accomplished hoaxers and swindlers, including the flamboyant 19th-century financier known as Lord Gordon-Gordon; David Walsh, author of the horrendous Bre-X gold-mine hoax of the 1990s; and the eccentric Josef Papp, who claimed to have crossed the Atlantic in a homemade submarine. The persistent power of hexes is recorded in stories of cursed places—including a strange haunting in the Cypress Hills and a deadly Lake Superior lighthouse—and weird coincidences, such as the legendary Hollywood hex on Oscar-winning actresses. Whether humorous or malicious, real or imagined, hoaxes or hexes have entertained and ensnared us throughout history.