Tabloids have long been the perfect entertainment material for extended periods of waiting in line at the grocery store, excessive delays in doctors' offices and road trips to far-off states. They're inexpensive and full of strange and fascinating stories of the weird, wacky and macabre.
Well, actually, they're full of stories that don't ever turn out to be nearly as strange or fascinating as the titles on the cover make them out to be. And Weekly World News is the master of them all.
The staff at Weekly World News -- which is sadly no longer in print, but easily found and followed on the internet -- has managed to unearth some of the oddest oddities ever seen. They find aliens, survivors of ancient tragedies, animals with human features, dead celebrities still alive and any number of ghostly creatures wandering the planet (or some other planet). It's amazing the news they've brought to light.
Here are 15 of our favorite Weekly World News classics.
First and foremost is WWN’s classic tale of Bat Boy, the poor part-bat, part-boy child who was found in a cave and just wants to fit in. His is a theme that appears regularly in the tabloid -- some notable adventures of Bat Boy include living in a cave, taking police on a three-state car chase and biting Santa Claus. In fact, he's such a beloved part of Americana that there’s even a critically-acclaimed musical about him.
Titanic Survivors Found On Board!
Weekly World News loves the tragedy of the Titanic. They regularly report ghostly sightings of the boat as well as the appearance of survivors. Once a woman in period clothing was found on an island, and another time, survivors were carved out of an iceberg. But this one is the best, mostly because they were able to capture such a great photo of survivors peering out a window on the sunken ship.
Babies Living On Board Titanic!
The best story of Titanic survival and, more specifically, “the most amazing story ever told,” has to be the story of the babies living on the Titanic. There are clearly so many questions, the most important being, "How are they still babies after so many decades?” That remains unanswered, probably because we got distracted by the man who left his fortune to a turtle and never finished reading about the babies.
Elvis Is Alive and Running for President!
The crack team -- or crack-smoking team -- at WWN is superb at sniffing out the locations of dead celebrities. Obviously, with his presidential campaign in full swing, it wasn’t hard for them to find a very much alive Elvis back in 2008. Even so, the cover makes it clear that you will not believe where he’s been.
Duck Hunters Shoot Angel!
Bat Boy isn’t the only WWN celebrity to end up with his own stage production. A few years ago, Mitch Albom, the writer who brought us ‘Tuesdays With Morrie,’ decided that this tabloid headline was worthy of its own play. The production is loved by many, but these hunters in Alabama can’t be too popular if they go around shooting angels out of heaven.
Fat Cat Owns 23 Old Ladies
We all know about crazy cat ladies who have staggering numbers of cats loafing around the house. Well, the sleuths at WWN managed to find the one fat cat who has been hoarding old ladies. In other words, it’s a crazy lady cat! It’s so greedy that it eats all the food and keeps a large collection of old ladies around -- old ladies who probably can’t remember who last fed the cat or when, and so they just keep feeding it and making it fatter.
Computer Virus Spreads to Humans!
With all this talk of washing our hands and getting flu shots, no one has ever warned us that our computers could be giving us their viruses. But that does explain why your laptop turns blue and has to be booted if you give him too many things to do. He’s got a computer virus and most likely, the only cure is a full system flush. Sadly, memory might be lost.
Of course, if you want to get technical about it, you could actually catch a virus from a computer -- depending on who was using it before you. But, really, if you’re attempting to apply logic to this headline, the virus has already won.
World’s Smartest Ape Goes To College
We had to pull out our college alumi lists for this one because we thought maybe we dated this guy for a little while freshman year. Frank the Chimp scored a 150 on an IQ test and was accepted to a state school, where it’s most likely he pledged a fraternity and ended up graduating magna cum laude with a degree in poo flinging. Hopefully he didn’t get into a drunken fight with the 9-month-old karate kid.
Oh, kitten! Where did you go wrong? How can you be guilty of murder when you are so cute and cuddly? It looks like poor Fluffy is going to be executed by lethal injection unless we sign the petition in the magazine. Of course, no one wants an adorable kitten to die, so this issue probably flew off the shelves.
Also, we’re guessing everyone wanted to know what kind of spam email would be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. After all, rich princes from Palau who have money to hide in tiny American bank accounts aren’t exactly literary geniuses.
Dead Hubby’s Ghost Haunts Toilet
The clear winner on the cover of this issue of “the world’s only reliable newspaper” is not the dolphin who grew human arms -- even if he can hug people and use sign language -- but the Texas widow who swears her husband haunts her toilet.
We’ve all witnessed a certain lingering “spirit” around a bathroom before, but it’s doubtful any of us has a relative who prefers to spend their afterlife in the septic system. Most of the time, whoever is haunting your bathroom has just left it and hasn’t yet died from whatever it was they ate that made them do whatever they did in there.
Osama Captured By Rednecks!
It’s a story Honey Boo Boo would be proud of. Forget what you’ve heard on the news -- Osama bin Laden was actually hunted down and captured in Missouri by a band of rednecks. They’ve got the photo of their dogs playing with him on the ground to prove it!
It’s a good thing these rednecks were better hunters than those guys in Alabama who shot the angel. It’s also worth noting that this issue contains a story about a vegan vampire who attacks trees -- so, you know, bonus.
Alien Bible Found! They Worship Oprah!
Apparently aliens and suburban housewives have a lot in common: They both worship Oprah. Of course they do. Oprah is awesome and rich and probably owns most of space (at least the parts that Donald Trump and Warren Buffett don’t).
More than Oprah’s new space legions, the important article in this issue of WWN is the one that details how the staff was attacked by dinosaurs. That's where the REAL news is, because everyone already knows Oprah has a lot of alien followers.
Second Pope Under Pope Hat!
This is a real shocker. All this time we thought the Pope wore that funny hat so he'd look taller, but it turns out there's a second Pope under there!
WWN is correct in assuming this is a huge scandal for the Vatican and the Catholic Church. And, right there on the cover, they ask the one big question we all want to know the answer to: “More popes to come?!” They are masters of journalism.
We’ll just overlook the fact that they called it a “pope hat” instead of the technically-correct "mitre." Pope hat is more fun to say anyway.
Abraham Lincoln Was A Woman!
This news is probably one of the most shocking and disturbing things ever revealed to the public by WWN. We’ve heard of Honest Abe being a vampire hunter, but a woman?! It’s almost too much. We have to wonder if Hillary Clinton wasn’t just a little bit disappointed by this since she’s gunning to be the first female POTUS and all.
Also, we suddenly feel very very sorry for Mary Todd Lincoln. And for John Wilkes Booth, the jilted lover. Very sorry indeed.
This is probably the most true and factual headline WWN ever printed. It might be hard to believe that Abe Lincoln was a woman or that babies are living on the Titanic, but who can't believe that when Dick Cheney goes to the hospital, he's getting his circuits rewired?