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The Psychology Of THE WIZARD OF OZ Suicide Myth

The social psychology of myths, rumors and legends is a strange science. And one of the strangest false rumors and myths is the belief by some persons that a love-jilted munchkin who was spurned by a female munchkin became so depressed that he hung himself in a suicide in the background of the set of the 1939 classic, THE WIZARD OF OZ, although there was at least two hundred total cameramen, production crew, directors and actors present on the set.wizard of oz hanging.bmp

The truth is that no munchkin ever hung himself on the set of THE WIZARD OF OZ. A large emu bird that was supposed to be used as an extra got loose and was wandering around in the background of at least two scenes in the film. Yet strangely, many have mistaken this large bird flapping it's wings in the background as a munchkin killing himself for some odd reason.

Interestingly, after some mistook this emu bird for something hanging in the background, then some began to write a story to go with the action, creating the false myth of a munchkin suicide on the set of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Some people see what they want to into things, and then fill in the details, where the more simple and obvious explanation of a large bird in the background was overlooked. The social psychology behind the creation of myths is very interesting.

Strangely, this suicide myth continues to be a major discussion point on YouTube, with many videos and commentaries for both viewpoints posted. But deeper than that, the whole myth creation tells a great deal how human logic and psychology really works.

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Comments (1)

Paul Hooson:

Thanks Maynard. I wasn't aware of that book.

I found this whole WIZARD OF OZ controversy interesting because a number of persons continue to believe in the outrageous suicide myth, when it clearly was a loose bird in the background of two scenes in the movie.

Social psychology is an interesting aspect of human interaction.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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