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The Famous Paranormal Hoaxes Quiz
by Staff
Are ghosts and psychic powers real? Hoaxers go to great lengths to make you think they are. See how much you know about these frightful frauds with this quiz about famous paranormal hoaxes.

The Fox sisters claimed they could communicate with spirits, who replied by making rapping or knocking sounds. What was the real source of the sounds?

  • The sisters cracked their joints or knocked their feet against wood floors and tables.
  • The sisters tossed heavy ball bearings onto the floor.
  • A confederate nearby would tap a small hammer on a wooden box.

The Cardiff Giant purported to be a petrified 10-foot tall man, but it was really carved out of what?

  • salt
  • gypsum
  • wood

Uri Geller claimed to have numerous psychic abilities, including the power to bend spoons. On what TV show was he infamously unable to perform any psychic feats?

  • "Face the Nation"
  • "The Dukes of Hazzard"
  • "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson"

What hoaxerrific haunted house tale was set in the house where Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his family in the 1970s?

  • "Hell House"
  • "The Amityville Horror"
  • "The Haunting of Hill House"

It's probably just a clever painting, but plenty of people believe the Shroud of Turin carries the post-mortem image of who?

  • Jesus Christ
  • Julius Caesar
  • Tutankhamun

It wasn't aliens who made those elaborate designs in a wheat field, it was…

  • a flock of geese being psychically controlled by Uri Geller
  • a team of math professors with a laser and a snow plow
  • a couple of friends with a wooden board and some rope

In the early 1970s, two men overly interested in occult tales and superstitions competed with each other to defeat what nonexistent creature in a London neighborhood?

  • the Highgate Vampire
  • the Ghost of Jack the Ripper
  • the Mersey Devil

Photographs of the Enfield Poltergeist suggest that claims of ghostly levitation were really produced by…

  • magnets
  • girls hopping and leaping around their bedroom
  • an elaborate system of harnesses and ropes

The Cottingley Fairies, which were simple paper cutouts of fairy drawings photographed in a garden, fooled what famous author?

  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Stephen King
  • Arthur Conan Doyle

Rudolph Fentz, who supposedly appeared in Times Square and was immediately killed by a car, was an enigma because people believed he was what?

  • an extraterrestrial
  • a living ghost
  • a time traveler

A famous photo of what legendary monster turned out to be a model attached to a toy submarine?

  • Ogopogo
  • the Loch Ness Monster
  • Mokele-Mbembe

One of the most widespread paranormal hoaxes was the practice of spirit photography, which supposedly allowed dead family members to appear alongside living loved ones in photographs. How was it accomplished?

  • matte paintings
  • Photoshop
  • double exposure of the photographic negatives

In 1995, Fox aired a "documentary" that coincided with the popularity of "The X-Files" but was really the work of a special effects artist. What was it called?

  • "30 Seconds in Hell"
  • "Alien Autopsy"
  • "Chupacabra Speaks"

The 1967 Patterson-Gimlin footage of what creature was reportedly a fur suit built by a costume maker?

  • Mothman
  • Bigfoot
  • the Beast of Bray Road

What crystal objects were touted as pre-Columbian artifacts with paranormal powers, but turned out to be made by 19th century jewelers?

  • crystal skulls
  • crystal saucers
  • crystal swords

Tibetan mystic T. Lobsang Rampa turned out to be Englishman Cyril Henry Hoskins, who wrote a book claiming he'd undergone a special surgery. What was the purpose of the surgery?

  • to unleash the psychic energy of his pituitary gland
  • to give him wings that had been cut from an actual angel
  • to open his third eye

The vague prophecies of what famous prognosticator have been used in countless hoaxes by those seeking to profit from seemingly accurate interpretations of his quatrains?

  • Screaming Lord Sutch
  • Nostradamus
  • Nosferatu

Psychics used muslin, cheesecloth, doll heads and faces cut from magazines to produce what mysterious paranormal substance during séances?

  • stardust
  • cytoplasm
  • ectoplasm

Psychic surgery might be the most harmful paranormal hoax, convincing people they were receiving actual medical help. It was all accomplished how?

  • by cutting into cadavers
  • with X-ray machines and darkened rooms
  • with sleight of hand

Thoughtography, which has experienced several periods of popularity both in the U.S. and Japan, is the supposed ability to do what?

  • change the contents of letters in sealed envelopes
  • write messages using a distant typewriter
  • imprint an image on film with psychic powers

In the case of the Columbus poltergeist, video showed that the ghostly phenomena were the result of…

  • the Highgate Vampire
  • magnets
  • a teenager throwing things when no one was looking

The PEAR Lab found statistically significant evidence of psychic abilities that was possibly the result of fraud or bias. What prestigious university was the lab part of?

  • MIT
  • Oxford
  • Princeton

Some hoaxes are put on to show that paranormal phenomena are easily faked, such as Project Alpha, which was orchestrated by what well-known skeptic and former escape artist?

  • Penn Jillette
  • Harry Houdini
  • James Randi

A rash of Jersey Devil sightings in 1909 was the result of a hoax in which some fake wings were attached to what kind of animal?

  • a horse
  • a hippo
  • a kangaroo

What was the Crewe Circle?

  • a crop circle that turned out to be part of an ad campaign
  • a group of spirit photographers based in Crewe, England
  • a circle of ancient stones that turned out to be Styrofoam fakes

The Bélmez Faces were mysterious images of human faces that appeared where in a Spanish home beginning in the 1970s?

  • in a mirror
  • on a ficus plant
  • on the kitchen floor

Who supposedly showed up to protect British soldiers at the World War I Battle of Mons?

  • Hannibal
  • angels
  • Richard the Lionheart

A supposedly cursed doll kept in a museum by Ed and Lorraine Warren has inspired several films. What is its name?

  • Annabelle
  • Steeeeve
  • Mona

In the 1600s, young girls were accused of witchcraft in what New England town?

  • Salem
  • Worcester
  • Hartford

A TV host was told the detailed and tragic history of George Bull by three separate psychics. Why didn’t this prove they had psychic powers?

  • A producer was feeding the information about Bull to the psychics via a hidden earpiece.
  • Bull was still alive.
  • Bull was a completely fictional character.