Culture | History | History vs. Myth

You don’t need fiction when history provides you with tales as crazy as the ones we’ve collected for you. Read up while your jaw drops.

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Was a Hungarian countess the world's most prolific serial killer?

Elizabeth Bathory was never convicted of her crimes, but testimonies say she killed and tortured 650 people. Did she really bathe in her victims' blood?


Quiz: Real Headline or Onion Headline?

Quiz: Real Headline or Onion Headline?

Can you separate real headlines from Onion headlines? Test your knowledge by taking this quiz at HowStuffWorks. See more »

10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story

10 Ways to Spot a Fake News Story

Some news stories are easy to spot as fakes, others are harder. See 10 ways to spot a fake news story to learn more. See more »

Was there a real John Henry?

Was there a real John Henry?

The ballad and folktale of John Henry, the tireless railroad worker, is the stuff of American legend. But was John Henry a real person? Find out. See more »

Was there a real Paul Bunyan?

Was there a real Paul Bunyan?

The story of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack, is one of the most enduring tall tales. But was Paul Bunyan based on a real person? Find out. See more »

Did Vikings really have horns on their helmets?

Did Vikings really have horns on their helmets?

Viking helmets are often depicted as having horns protruding from either side. But did the Vikings really wear such things? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Did William Tell really shoot an apple off his son’s head?

Did William Tell really shoot an apple off his son’s head?

Is the myth about William Tell shooting an apple of his son's head true? Learn about William Tell and if he shot an apple of his son's head. See more »

Did women really burn their bras in the ‘70s?

Did women really burn their bras in the ‘70s?

Did angry women burn their bras in the '70s as part of the women's liberation movement? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Does the Parthenon really follow the golden ratio?

Does the Parthenon really follow the golden ratio?

The Parthenon was thought to have been built following a mathematical concept called the golden ratio. Is this true? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Why has Jimmy Hoffa’s body never been found?

Why has Jimmy Hoffa’s body never been found?

Jimmy Hoffa's body has been a mystery for nearly 40 years, with numerous theories as to what happened to it. Explore the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's body. See more »

Was Isaac Newton really hit in the head with an apple?

Was Isaac Newton really hit in the head with an apple?

The story of Newton discovering gravity by getting hit in the head with an apple is a classic. Is there any truth to it? Find out at HowStuffWorks. See more »