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list price: $9.95
also available: Paperback
category: History
published: Mar 2011
publisher: Heritage House Publishing

Hoaxes and Hexes

Daring Deceptions and Mysterious Curses

by Barbara Smith


The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines hoax as a “humorous or malicious deception,” and hex as “a magic spell.” In Hoaxes and Hexes, Barbara Smith explores these intriguing reflections of human nature, showing our curious desire to believe in the impossible and explain the inexplicable.

Here are tales of swindlers, charlatans and imposters, among them 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 you believe in the power of hoaxes or hexes or not, these bizarre stories show them to be a fascinating part of our history.

About the Author

Barbara Smith

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