Do you believe in “Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!”
Since 1918 Ripley’s have been challenging the human condition by testing belief, trying honor and tempting our darker side with unknown and wanton wishings.


The larger question is why have Ripley’s wacky truths and fictions entertained us for so long?

Do we feel superior in finding entertainment in the troubles of others?

When we see madness in action — do we become more grounded in our own realities?

Why do we tempt the circus freak show, the wax museum, and the evergreen day of the April Fool?

8 Comments

  1. I guess it’s just my nature — I always preferred the sort of Ripley entry that was about interesting natural facts, like the discovery of meteorites or the introduction of modern constellations rather than hiding murderers. I think that people look at their own lives as being rather mundane and seek any escape — even in the form of pretending to be someone else who hides in caves!

  2. I always enjoyed Ripley’s, too, Gordon. As a youngster it was always fun to read the cartoon in the newspaper and try to figure out if it was real or if they were making it up — and you had to wait until the next day to find out!
    Then the Ripley’s idea changed with the TV show hosted by Dean Cain —
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0218787/
    — sort of cheapened the whole experience for me. It became more about the grotesque than learning something new.

  3. Definitely count me in as a fan, David. I liked the print version better than the TV version because you had to wait a day to find out if you were right or not. The suspense was simply wonderful.