The Top 25 Urban Legends

1. Is Hobby Lobby Really Closing 500+ Stores?

The headline of a viral article attributed to Hobby Lobby CEO David Green misleadingly suggests the company is closing more than 500 stores. Status: Misrepresented

2. Can YOU Spot the Fakes?

Can you tell a fake image from the real thing? Take our hoax quiz and find out!

3. The Russian Sleep Experiment

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.

4. The Clown Statue

A babysitter calls the parents who hired her to ask if she can cover up the disturbing, life-sized clown statue in the living room.

5. The Dead Boyfriend

Wouldn't you know it, they picked the worst possible night to go necking on Lovers' Lane.

6. Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?

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.

7. Bloody Mary

Urban legend says if you stand in front of a mirror and chant "Bloody Mary" three times, a terrifying ghost will appear.

8. Are Terrorists Sending Poisoned Perfume Samples in the Mail?

Viral warnings claim perfume samples received in the mail have proven to be poisoned and are responsible for the deaths of at least seven people.

9. Carmen Winstead Was Pushed Down a Sewer

Chain-letter-style Internet postings tell 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.

10. The True Origin of the F-Word

In which we are asked to believe that the word "fuck" originated as the acronym of "Fornication Under Consent of the King," "Fornication Under Command of the King," "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge," or some variation thereof.

11. Is This Obama Praying at a Mosque?

Viral image purports to show President Obama kneeling at a "mosque prayer session" on the White House grounds in Washington, DC.

Have we been lied to?

12. Donald Trump and the Good Samaritan

Have you heard the viral story about Donald Trump (or some other celebrity) richly rewarding a good Samaritan for helping him fix a flat tire?

13. The Knife in the Briefcase

A female driver agrees to give a ride to the good Samaritan who helped her fix a flat tire. Turns out he's not such a good Samaritan after all.

14. The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

A babysitter receives harassing phone calls from a stranger who keeps telling her to "check the children."

15. Richard Gere and the Gerbil

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.

15. Premature Burial

A long time ago, before adequate technology for detecting patients' critical life signs existed, people were sometimes buried alive. That's a fact.

16. 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. They were just getting started when an announcement came over the radio that sent them scurrying.

17. The Vanishing Hitchhiker

The honeymooners came upon a young woman hitchhiking on a deserted road in the middle of the night.

It proved to be an encounter they'd never forget.

18. Humans Can Lick, Too

Home alone, but there's nothing to fear with your trusty dog keeping watch under the bed. Or is there?

19. Black Lion Photo

Circulating via social media, this viral image supposedly documents the existence of a "melanistic" or black lion on a game refuge in Africa.

20. What Does "420" Have to Do with Smoking Weed?

Notwithstanding the many and various urban legends that have grown up around the meaning of "420" and its connection with marijuana, the true story behind that connection is surprisingly prosaic.

21. Why Is the Ocean Salty?

According to Internet lore, a typical blue whale produces over 400 gallons of sperm when it ejaculates... and you wonder why the ocean is so salty!

22. AriZona Tea Contains Human Urine

A viral "news story" claims that products manufactured by the Arizona Beverage Company contain human urine as an "active ingredient."

23. Jamie Lee Curtis Is a Hermaphrodite

Dear Urban Legends: I've heard from a few places that Jamie Lee Curtis is genetically male.

24. The Killer in the Window

A 15-year-old girl was babysitting her little sister while her parents were out at a party. She had just curled up on the couch to watch TV when she noticed a wrinkled old man approaching the sliding glass door.

25. Was Kids TV Show Host Mr. Rogers a Military Sniper?

Rumor has it that children's TV show host Mr. Rogers was a tattoo-wearing Navy SEAL or Marine sniper with dozens of kills to his credit.