Modern Scary Stories That Turned Out To Be The Dumbest

Some paranormal hoaxes get way more attention than they deserve.
Modern Scary Stories That Turned Out To Be The Dumbest

If there's one thing absolutely flooding the internet, it's niche pornography for emerging fetishes. If there are two things, another is obviously staged "evidence" of spooky happenings. Though we're all about the former, this article is sadly about the latter. Most amateur paranormal hoaxes are quickly dismissed. A few commenters will respond with cries of "Fake!" or perhaps "The pixelz!" and everyone moves on. But sometimes they get way more attention than they deserve. Look at ...

The Family That Was Chased By "200 Demons," Then Signed A Movie Deal

In 2011, the home of an Indiana family was infested with what could only have been described as "a grip of ghosts." Seriously, paranormal investigators hired by matriarch Latoya Ammons estimated that the house was haunted by 200 different demons. That is easily 192 more demons than you want in a property. It's probably no surprise that the demons began forcing Ammons' children to speak in ghoulish voices, growl, levitate, lash about, and generally wig out spiritually.

Modern Scary Stories That Turned Out To Be The Dumbest
Freestyle Releasing
Just what every parent needs: fits and manifestations of unholy power.

It was enough to spook police officers who visited the home, and more than enough to earn the family international media coverage. But social workers and other professionals who took custody of the children in the aftermath offered a different, much sadder explanation. Ammons' own doctor chalked up her reports to "delusions" and "hallucinations," and the children seemed to be playing along to placate her.

A team of psychologists noted that the children tended to display "demonic behavior" only when they were asked questions they didn't want to answer, or if things weren't going their way. In other words, they were tantrums, not possessions. This also provided the family with a convenient excuse for their landlord when they fell behind on rent, and the children's school when they failed to show up.

After the family moved out and the next tenant experienced no spiritual weirdness, Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans bought the house to make a very spooky-looking documentary. Immediately after filming wrapped, he had the house demolished so it couldn't torment anyone else, and definitely not to thwart any naysayers trying to debunk the tale. Meanwhile, Latoya Ammons and the priest who attempted to exorcise the spirits both signed movie deals with Evergreen Media Holdings. Thank you, Satan.

Related: 15 Famous 'Paranormal' Photos (Explained By Science)

The Woman Who Married A Pirate Ghost

Ah, the promise of new love. You want to shout it from the rooftops, write it in the sky, or at least carve it into the bench outside Carl's Jr. It was no different for Amanda Teague when she met her one true love in 2016; it's just that he happened to be a Haitian ghost pirate.

Normally when people make such claims, we just try not to make eye contact with them on the bus. But for some reason, the media leapt on Teague's story. Outlets like The Independent, The Washington Post, and People followed Teague's love story, from their meet cute during a meditation session through her discovery of his true identity: the pirate who inspired Captain Jack Sparrow. (A claim which The Independent reported with a comically straight face that "experts have challenged.") The media was with them all the way up to their fairy tale wedding.

Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. After writing a novel about their love story and enduring a ghost pregnancy scare, Mrs. Teague discovered that her ghost husband shared more than a passing resemblance with Johnny Depp when he got ghost-violent with her. She soon announced to the world that their marriage was over.

Interestingly, their relationship first began to deteriorate when she put a halt to sexual activity, believing that she was suffering from health problems caused by ghostly marital relations. She didn't say exactly what she believed the cause was, so we're gonna go ahead and assume ghost-herpes.

Related: 5 Famous 'Paranormal' Phenomena (Easily Debunked By Science)

"Real-Life" "Vampires"

Recently, the media has become obsessed with "real-life vampires," the most famous of whom are the New Orleans Vampire Association. They're led by one creepy-looking fellow calling himself Belfazaar Ashantison, who claims his body can't create "enough of the essential daily energies to get through even the basic tasks." Now, you might recognize this as a condition called "Thursdays," but Ashantison says he must drink the blood of consenting followers to remedy it.

We'd point out it's a bit sunny for most vampires, but that might be extending more thought than this deserves.

At this point, most people would wish Ashantison a good day and go about their business, but reporters insisted on asking him a bunch of questions, the answers to which have made nobody happier. How does he drink blood? Usually in a glass, sometimes via X-Acto knife. What does he do for a living? He's a "spiritual consultant" at a voodoo shop, because the undead have pretty limited career options. What does he call non-vampires? "Mundanes." (Ugh.) Vice even sat down with him for a meal of (pig) blood sausage, apparently just because they could (which is basically their motto at this point).

Related: 7 Famous 'Unsolved' Mysteries (Science Solved Years Ago)

The "Archaeologist" Who Keeps Conveniently Finding Alien Remains

In 1927, a famous archaeologist named Julio Tello discovered the remains of an ancient necropolis that belonged to the indigenous people of Paracas in Peru. Using his scientific training, he determined that they were ... pretty dang weird. It turned out that their culture used ropes, cloth, and wooden planks to elongate the skulls of babies, resulting in some Conehead-looking skeletons. Pretty questionable, yes, but thoroughly Earth-bound ... unless you ask Brien Foerster.

Brien Foerster
He has the marginally fuller skull in this picture.

In 2011, Foerster -- a self-proclaimed expert in ancient elongated skulls and us-proclaimed expert in strange vowel placements -- took DNA samples from the remains to be analyzed by a geneticist, who reported that the samples were definitely otherworldly. It so happens that this geneticist also believed she was in possession of Bigfoot DNA, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't trust her findings. Wait, no, that's exactly what that means.

Still, it was enough for Foerster to kick-start a lucrative career writing weird books, giving expensive tours, and appearing on TV shows like Ancient Aliens. (You know, the one with the guy with the hair.) In 2017, right as he'd milked those skulls for all they were worth, he miraculously discovered what he claimed was a mummified alien hand, also in Peru.

Modern Scary Stories That Turned Out To Be The Dumbest
Brien Foerster
Man, they get all the aliens.

Related: The 6 Most Eerily Convincing Ghost Videos On YouTube

The Illegal Fireworks Enthusiast Who Claimed To Work On Flying Saucers From Area 51

In 1989, Bob Lazar appeared on a local Las Vegas news program with an incredible claim: He had been hired by a facility related to Area 51 to reverse-engineer a flying saucer. Because this took place long before Google shattered the public's innocence, Lazar became a media sensation. But his story quickly fell apart when further research revealed that he'd never gone to MIT (as he'd claimed), and didn't even have a good grasp of physics.

His reputation among the military surplus crowd has been kept afloat by two FBI raids on his house. After all, why would they bother unless he was on to something, right? But it turned out the first raid concerned Lazar's business, United Nuclear Scientific Equipment and Supplies, through which he sold chemicals that could be used to make illegal fireworks. It's a pretty safe bet that the more recent one in 2018 was also, uh, "terrestrial" in nature.

Lazar has faded into obscurity , but public interest in his story has been revived a bit by a 2018 Netflix documentary. Just keep in mind it was made by a guy whose credits include Nano Man: Utility Fog and Hunt For The Skinwalker. So, you know, maybe take it with a Big Gulp of salt.

Related: 6 Things I Learned Owning A 'Haunted House' On Reality TV

The Cowboy Who Fought Aliens With A Samurai Sword

Like a lower-budget but equally ridiculous version of Cowboys & Aliens, Arizona man John Edmonds claims his ranch was the site of a death match between himself and 18 little grey aliens. He says that after his wife was almost abducted, he armed himself with a samurai sword and decapitated them aliens. (The decapitation was necessary, he says, because it stops them from calling for backup with their antennae.) He even posted a photo on Facebook as proof, which depicts his sword covered in "residual tissue and fluid," which is both disappointingly and alarmingly human-looking.

"Crazy guy is crazy on Facebook" isn't usually a scoop that reporters fight over, but for some reason, Edmonds' story made him a darling of the paranormal community. Investigators who visited his ranch claim to have found "irrefutable" evidence of alien contact, like this weirdly carved stone that they saw an alien drop ... right after they'd set down their camera, darn the luck! However, the biggest push came from the Travel Channel, which sent Zak Bagans to the ranch to film an episode of Ghost Adventures.

It's not clear why Edmonds would fabricate such a story. He and his wife have no apparent history of conning people. In fact, they run a horse rescue center, and the only reason they're moving is to start another horse rescue property. Someone should probably look into where all that blood came from, though.

For more, check out the 6 Most Eerily Convincing Ghost Videos On YouTube - The Spit Take:

Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.

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