Toadstool Shadow or Toadstool Hoax?
How a Once-Beloved American Band Lied to Us All (and Ruined Everything)
Toadstool Shadow, the American music & arts collective, has cruelly perpetuated a hoax on its unsuspecting fans. Its well-publicized recent claims of discovering “a new breed of North American fae” are disinformation, deliberately designed to mislead.
Fraudulent claims like this must be condemned and disavowed in the strongest terms possible whenever and wherever they are uncovered. Otherwise, the truthful and scientifically grounded research currently underway in the cryptozoology community by organizations like the National Cryptid Society is tainted and thrown into doubt.
In two news reports from late 2022, Toadstool Shadow’s “creative director” Chris Till falsely claimed to have documented a series of new American fae. Till dishonestly asserted that Toadstool Shadow encountered four different faeries underneath three different bridges and one downtown business district in southern Ohio. Specifically, Till deceptively declared that Toadstool Shadow’s four semi-viral 2022 YouTube music videos (“Lachrymosa,” “World Was Made,” “Mushroom Rock,” and “If You Were the One for Me”) and the filmed, but unreleased, “Golden Bird” music video showcased these four faeries.
However, it is now plain as the numbers on a digital clock face that the four supposed faeries in the music videos are actually ordinary human amateur American actresses. Using state-of-the-art facial recognition technology, all four human actresses were located on various social media platforms. All four declined to be publicly identified, but two agreed to anonymous interviews.
“I work at a Wendy’s [hamburger restaurant] drive-through window,” said one. “Some people came through one day, a bunch of them, they were goofy, and like asked me if I wanted to be in a music video, something about fairy tales. I said ‘maybe,’ and gave them my number. It’d be something to tell my grandkids some day, right? ‘Your grammaw was in a music video,’ you know? A couple weeks later, they texted me. Me and my boyfriend met them under the bridge down by the river. I don’t know. It was fun. I was kind of hoping they’d ask me to do another one.”
This Toadstool Shadow’s recruitment modus operandi is the identical as the one elaborated upon by the second interviewee, a Dollar General cashier. “I used to do high school theater and really liked it. So, when all those Toadstool Shadow people came into the store and asked me to be in a music video, I was flattered. It was actually the high point of my day. It’s a pretty boring job. They were boisterous and fun. Plus, I kind of do believe in faeries and elves and all that.”
Regardless of the repetitive a-good-time-was-had-by-all nature of the Toadstool Shadow music videos, fraudulent declarations are wrong. Conning people into believing what isn’t true is wrong. Denying reality is wrong.
When the scamming scoundrel Till was contacted to respond to this exposé, he immediately agreed to a telephone interview. From the flood of Toadstool Shadow media stories over the past two years, Till seems quite the fan of himself, and anybody willing to write about him.
Of course, as can be expected of a purveyor of pap like Till, he began by lying about what he had seen. “There’s another realm,” said Till, repeating a tired line he parrots in every tedious interview. “We finally have documentary proof of a new breed of North American fae. They are living under the bridges of America today.”
When pointedly confronted with hard evidence of the true identities of the four music video faeries, Till fell silent. Thankfully, even the most perfidious peddlers of public perjury are sometimes stymied when faced with proof of their preposterous prevarications.
“Wendy’s drive-through?” he finally sputtered. “Wendy’s drive-through?” Each time repeated it, his voice grew higher pitched.
Before the phone line went suddenly, and predictably, dead, Till sounded like a broken record player. “Wendy’s drive-through?” he squeaked.
When a photographer for this report knocked on the door of the charmless charlatan Till’s home, Till greeted him by slamming the door in this face. Luckily, by the adroit photographer’s quick placement of his left foot into the door jam, a single photo of Till was captured. Sadly, the shine on photographer’s left shoe, an almost new brown leather Red Wing work boot, was scuffed by Till’s rude reception.
Till evidently feels that he has a license to lie just because he possesses a pedestrian ability to mate a modest melody with oddball lyrics. But there is no honor in psychologically swindling others. There is no morality in presenting tall tales as truth. There is no virtue in being a huckster of false hope.
It is hoped that this grave revelation will persuade Toadstool Shadow to stop pushing its false narratives. It is also hoped that the public shame Toadstool Shadow encounters will discourage other transmitters of anti-truths to stop distorting reality.
The authentic cryptozoology community is doing groundbreaking work on Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the chupacabras of the Texas/Mexico border, and countless others. By crafting fiction as fact, Toadstool Shadow risks ruining everything the vulnerable cryptozoological community stands for. Discovery and progress thrive only in a safe place of trust and honesty.
Now is the time for Toadstool Shadow’s fans to show their disgust by turning their backs. Now is the time for truth to prevail and for Pinocchio’s nose to grow on Toadstool Shadow and their debunked claims to have “discovered a new breed of North American fae.” In summary, hogwash is as hogwash does.
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