Hoaxes and Hexes: Daring Deceptions and Mysterious Curses

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Heritage House Publishing Co, Mar 1, 2011 - Social Science - 143 pages
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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 swidnlders, 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.

 

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Contents

prologue
7
introduction
9
Famous Hoaxes
11
Great Frauds and Swindlers
33
Daring Imposters
47
Spiritualism
67
Out ofThis World
84
No Hex Like an Old Hex
96
Spooky Spots
110
Sports and Entertainment Hexes
125
bibliography
137
index
140
acknowledgements
143
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Barbara Smith was born and raised in Toronto and lived most of her life in Edmonton before settling in the Victoria area in 2006. Barbara is a full-time writer whose work is inspired by a love of mystery combined with her lifelong interest in social history. She has published over thirty books, twenty of which are collections of true ghost stories, including Campfire Stories of Western Canada, The Mad Trapper and perennial bestsellers Ghost Stories of Alberta, Ghost Stories and Mysterious Creatures of British Columbia, Ghost Stories of the Rocky Mountains and Canadian Ghost Stories. Barbara was also featured on the Discovery Channel's Hunt for the Mad Trapper.

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