10 Historical Figures Who Were the Giant Trolls of Their Era

by Rishika Jain3 years ago
Picture 10 Historical Figures Who Were the Giant Trolls of Their Era

We have heard about various modern social media trolls. But there were controversial figures who were the giant trolls of history. When the modern world didn’t take over, these trolls were the source of entertainment at that time. Let’s look at the biggest historical figures who were the giant trolls of their era.

1William Horace

A famous prankster named William Horace de Vere Cole lived in the 1800s. He bought specific tickets to a play and gave them to four bald men. When the play started and the lights reflected on bald men’s heads, their shiny heads spelled “FU*K” as seen from the stage.

Horace de Vere Cole
Image Credit: James Lafayette/National Portrait Gallery via Wikipedia.org, Unsplash.com

This was the prank done by a famous prankster named William Horace De Vere Cole. He was born on 5 May 1881 in Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland. Cole’s famous prank was the “Dreadnought Hoax.” One of his master pranks was when he stood on the street handling theatrical performance tickets intentionally for free to a series of extremely bald passers-by. He gave tickets to the bald people of carefully chosen tickets. 

Everyone took their seats and when the show started the bald men’s heads reflected the light from the stage. As a result, the bald men’s heads shined with a word spelled out “B-O-L-L-O-C-K-S.” Other sources also claim that it was four men’s heads spelling the word “FU*K” which was seen from the stage. 

He ruined a “pretentious and terrible play” by calculatingly giving tickets to selected bald men whose heads were painted with a single letter spelling the word he planned. (source)

2 Orson Welles

Orson Welles wrote “War of the Worlds” at the age of 23. During the broadcasting of one of its episodes in 1938, Welles fooled the listeners that aliens from Mars were attacking New Jersey, and he was giving a live report. People were so gullible back then that they actually believed it. Welles faced great outrage and anger from the audience. At the age of 25, he made one of the greatest American films, Citizen Kane.

Orson Welles
Image Credit: Digitalcollections.nypl.org, Loc.gov

Orson Welles was an actor and aspiring filmmaker who directed and narrated the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. On October 30, 1938, a Sunday and at 8 p.m, the Halloween episode of the drama series “War of the Worlds” was broadcast which was narrated by Orson Welles.

He didn’t know that this episode would cause mass panic and fear among people. In his episode, he managed to convince many people of America that aliens from Mars were actually attacking New Jersey and he was giving a live report of the onslaught.

Radio listeners even heard the startling noise of mysterious creatures and terrifying war machines moving toward New York City. The radio broadcast allegedly caused panic among the people of the U.S. After the episode had been broadcast, the story about Welles was all over the newspaper the next day.

He also faced a huge outrage and anger from the people after the broadcast was proven fake. People were more gullible back then, as they actually believed aliens attacking planet Earth, but some people can even trick us today with their social media posts. (source)


3 Theodore Hook

In 1810, London’s large park was shut down due to a prank from Theodore Hook. He sent thousands of letters through various vendors, dozens of piano deliveries and wedding cakes, doctors, lawyers, priests, and coal to be delivered at the same address and at the same time. All the while, Hook was watching all the mess he created from a house, probably rolling on the floor laughing.

Theodore Edward Hook
Image Credit: Eden Upton Eddis/ National Portrait Gallery via Wikipedia.org, Pixabay.com

In 1810, Theodore Hook shut down a large part of London only because of a bet with his friend. He was the perpetrator of the “Berners Street Hoax.” It all started when he made a bet with his friend, Samuel Beazley, that he could make any home the most talked-about address in London within a week. 

He technically sent thousands of letters to various people like sweepers, coal sellers, cake makers, doctors, lawyers, priests, vicars, piano sellers, fishmongers, shoemakers, dignitaries, and many other service providers. He sent all these letters to them in the name of Mrs. Tottenham who lived at 54 Berners Street. 

In the letter, he requested services, visitors, deliveries, and assistance. Soon, the narrow street became highly congested with a huge amount of visitors. Due to this, a huge part of London shut down because all the people showed up at the same address and at the same time. Hook and his friend were watching all this from a house across the street watching the mess they had created and probably laughing their heads off. (source)

4 Hauptmann von Köpenick

Hauptmann von Köpenick was a Prussian man who managed to steal the town’s treasury just by wearing a fake officer’s uniform. He tricked guards to follow him and arrest the mayor of the town claiming it was an order from the king. He successfully seized the town’s treasury. Eventually, he ditched the uniform and ran but later got caught. The man was eventually turned into a celebrity by the people because all his chaos was created all over Germany.

Hauptmann von Köpenick
(Left) Historical safe in the town hall of Kopenick. Image Credit: Wikipedia.org, Membeth / Wikipedia.org

In 1906, a Prussian named Hauptmann von Köpenick convinced a Jewish tailor to make an officer’s uniform. The tailor-made the uniform out of scraps of clothing. Hauptmann wore the uniform and used it to convince a few guards to go with him to a government building. Then he ordered guards to arrest the man in charge. 

He seized all his money and ordered guards to send the arrested man to Berlin. He convinced the guard that this is an order given by the king. After cunningly settling all things, he ditched his uniform. Then he got on a train and escaped the guards there.

Hauptmann eventually got caught and arrested, but unexpectedly people turned him into a celebrity because of all of his actions and chaos created all over Germany. He was discharged in a very short time and lived a peaceful or easy life after. (source)


5 Oliver Porky

A 50-year-old prankster named Oliver Porky burned 70 rubber tires in a dormant volcano in Alaska on April Fools Day in 1974. He waited for three years to execute this fake-volcano- eruption prank and to get a helicopter to fly the tires to the top in a perfect condition to get a perfect picture. 

Oliver Porky
Image Credit: hoaxes.org

On April Fools Day 1974, residents of Sitka saw a volcano dormant for 400 years in Alaska blowing black smoke like it was preparing to erupt. The coast guard ordered a chopper to be sent to investigate. When the Coast Guard pilot saw the area from where smoke was erupting, he actually laughed at what he saw. 

A huge pile of tires was burning stacked at the cone of the volcano. Besides the tires in the snow was written “APRIL FOOL” in 50-foot-high, black letters. After investigation, it was found out that a 50-year-old prankster named Oliver Porky burned 70 old, rubber tires in the dormant volcano. 

He purposely did this prank on April Fools Day and was planning for the prank for the past three years. He executed this volcano-eruption plan successfully and flew to the top in a perfect manner to get a perfect picture. (source) 

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