Another conspiracy theory “joke” that got out of hand was that of Ong’s Hat, New Jersey. Ong’s Hat was one of the earliest online conspiracy theories, based on a few run-down, abandoned buildings located deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
The story goes that science and the paranormal blended together to open doors to other worlds and dimensions. A man by the name of Matheny fueled interest in the area by posing as an investigator and reporting strange occurrences. Soon, though, his “research” started encouraging people to get a little out of hand.
Despite pulling the plug on it, believers refused to think it was all a game. Even in recent years, Matheny has had several people harass him for more information or try to break into his property.