Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by a lookalike

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The rumor that Sk8er Boi singer Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by a lookalike named Melissa Vandella first surfaced in 2011, with a Brazilian blog post entitled Avril Está Morta, or Avril Is Dead. According to the post, the (ridiculous) claim was made in an effort by Avril’s record company to continue cashing in on her music. Avril’s changing appearance over the years has only fueled the rumour’s popularity.

Richard Gere and the gerbil

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In one of the widest celeb rumors ever, it was once claimed that actor Richard Gere had to have an emergency gerbilectomy in an LA hospital in the mid-80s after inserting a live gerbil in his rear end. This rumor was the work of an unknown prankster who flooded Hollywood fax machines with a fake news release about Gere and his gerbil-related procedure. (Gere rival Sylvester Stallone is also suspected of having helped spread the rumor.)

Elvis Presley faked his death to escape the mob and is still alive today

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Now, Elvis has definitely left the building. The King died of a heart attack in 1977 aged just 42, but that hasn’t stopped continued rumors that he faked his own death, specifically to evade his debts owed to the mob. Many false sightings of an aged Presley walking the grounds at Graceland, and even a 2022 rumour that famed Arkansas-born pastor Bob Joyce is really Elvis, have only encouraged the story to grow.

Jackie Kennedy eats sheet metal

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One for the Gen Zers out there, this frankly bizarre rumor started with a funny comment on a Twitter post about the former first lady. It originated in 2021, after someone tweeted that Jackie O’s toothy grin makes her appear feral and that the late former First Lady looks like she eats sheet metal. Following retweets, memes and TikTok videos dedicated to the subject, the rumor that Jackie ate metal has spread far and wide.

Beyoncé held Sia hostage in her mansion basement and forced her to write music

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Sia is kind of to blame for this rumor. On working with Beyoncé, in 2015 Sia described it as a ‘writing camp’, and the internet went wild. The hashtag #SaveSia trended on Twitter and amateur online sleuths got to work deciphering Sia’s old tweets and Instagram posts looking for clues in a bid to ‘rescue’ her. Sia eventually addressed the rumor herself on Twitter in 2020, jokingly writing “I live in Beyonce’s basement”.

Bob Marley was given cancer by the CIA

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Former CIA operative Bill Oxley claimed on his deathbed that he tricked Bob Marley into injecting himself with cancer, via a disease-laden nail hidden in a pair of shoes that Oxley had gifted the reggae star. This came after Oxley also claimed the assassination attempt made on Marley in Jamaica in 1976 was actually a CIA operation. Marley did go on to die from cancer in 1981, but Oxley’s deathbed confessions have been debunked.

Walt Disney’s body is frozen and hidden in Disneyland

Whether it is Disney’s whole body or just his head, the rumor that he is cryogenically frozen and buried under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland began to surface shortly after his death in 1966. Disney did show interest in cryogenics after a book on the subject was published in 1964 by Robert Ettinger. However, after he died, Disney was cremated, with his ashes scattered in Glendale, California.

Prince Harry is not the biological son of King Charles III

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Harry is ginger, has freckles and it significantly smaller than his brother William or father Charles. These physical differences and Harry’s striking resemblance to a former lover of Princess Diana, James Hewitt, have sparked rumors for years that Harry is not the son of Charles. Hewitt, a former British Army cavalry officer, has debunked these claims, stating he didn’t start dating Diana until after Harry’s birth.

Stevie Wonder isn’t really blind

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The wild rumor that legendary music artist Stevie Wonder isn’t blind picked up steam in 2010. Beatles frontman Paul McCartney dropped a mic stand while performing at the White House and Wonder reached out and caught it before it hit the ground. The truth is that Wonder lost his sight as a baby due to premature birth complications, and his mic catch was likely just a lucky one.

Marilyn Manson had his ribs removed so he could fellate himself

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A rumor on top of a rumor led us all to believe Manson had undergone surgery to remove his lower ribs in the ultimate act of self love. Manson himself claims to have had ribs removed in order to slim down his appearance, yet even this is thought to be false. No medical records exist of this happening, and the part about autofellatio is certainly only a rumour.