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 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.
Other titles by Barbara Smith
Ghost Stories of Washington
Campfire Stories from Coast to Coast
The Famous Five
Canada’s Crusaders for Women’s Rights
Great Canadian Ghost Stories
Legendary Tales of Haunting from Coast to Coast
Ghostly Campfire Stories of Western Canada
The Valiant Nellie McClung
Selected Writings by Canada's Most Famous Suffragist
Campfire Stories of Western Canada
True Canadian Crime Stories