Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries


Have you ever wondered what happens to a person after they die?

Here’s a list of ten unbelievable things that happened after someone passed on, but be careful…this creepy treat comes with a catch! Nine of these facts are TRUE… but one is an outright LIE. Don’t let our treat trick you!

When you’ve decided [which one you think is false], scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to check your answer.

Amazing After-Death Doings

Excerpted from Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature

These are all actual things that people have done with their relatives’ remains (many at the request of the deceased)—all but one, that is. Can you sort through these wacky wishes and find the fake?

1) Frisbee inventor Edward Headrick asked that his remains be molded into “memorial flying discs” to be passed out to family members.

2) Fredric J. Baur, designer of the Pringles can, asked that his ashes be laid to rest inside one of his iconic creations.

3) Edgar Allan Poe took the death of his young wife so hard that he kept her remains in a small snuffbox that he carried with him everywhere he went.

4) Author Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes were shot out of a cannon from a 150-foot tower, while his favorite music was blasted nearby.

5) Country music legend Jimmy Dean was buried in a custom-made, $350,000 mausoleum shaped like a grand piano.

6) Tupac Shakur’s ashes were smoked by his rapper friends.

7) Dayna D., a woman from Alaska, reported to Inked magazine that she used the ashes from her daughter’s remains as part of a memorial tattoo on her wrist.

8) John Lennon’s ashes were scattered in New York City’s Central Park.

9) Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek series, had his ashes launched into deep space.

10) Political activist Joe Hill’s ashes were sealed into 600 envelopes and sent to likeminded recipients across the country.

If you enjoyed this quiz, check out Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive! and the book below. You won’t believe what you’re reading!


By Ammi-Joan Paquette & Laurie Ann Thompson

Published by HarperCollins Publishers Age Range: 8 – 12 Years

Crazy-but-true stories about history, geography, and human achievement make this acclaimed nonfiction series perfect for fans of curiosities and wonders. A fun way for middle graders to explore ways to separate fact from fiction.

Did you know that a young girl once saved an entire beach community from a devastating tsunami thanks to something she learned in her fourth-grade geography lesson? Or that there is a person alive today who generates her own magnetic field? Or how about the fact that Benjamin Franklin once challenged the Royal Academy of Brussels to devise a way to make farts smell good?

Welcome to Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries! You know the game: Every story in this book is strange and astounding, but one out of every three is an outright lie.

Can you guess which stories are the facts and which are the fakes? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable! Don’t be fooled by the photos that accompany each story—it’s going to take all your smarts and some clever research to root out the alternative facts.

From a train that transported dead people to antique photos of real fairies to a dog who was elected mayor, the stories in this book will amaze you! Just don’t believe everything you read….

Look For It If You Dare… Local Library | Local Bookstore | Amazon | B&N


Ammi-Joan Paquette has traveled to twenty-four countries, has the ability to wake herself up at a given time without an alarm clock, and once climbed Mount Everest. (Not all of these are true!) Joan is the author of the novels Train of Lost Things, Rules for Ghosting, Paradox, and Nowhere Girl, as well as the picture books Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo, Ghost in the House, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she balances her own writing and her day job as a literary agent.

Laurie Ann Thompson has ridden a pig, gotten stuck in an elevator overnight, and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. (One of these facts is not true. Can you guess which?) She is the author of Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters, My Dog Is the Best, and Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which was the recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Book, a CCBC Choice, and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, among dozens of other accolades. She lives outside Seattle with her family.

WHAT 'S THE LIE?  Edgar Allan Poe did take his wife’s death extremely hard, but he did not carry her remains around with him in any form, including in a snuffbox.