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The Most Bizarre Streamer Death Hoaxes Of All Time

When most people think of streamers or YouTubers, they typically picture lighthearted videos filled with pranks, games, and jokes galore. Of course, the streaming community has seen its share of tragic moments and dangerous events, but for the most part, streaming is a fun form of entertainment that lets people share their favorite games with an enthusiastic community. What most people don't expect from their favorite online personalities is the kind of high-stakes drama that usually shows up in popular fiction.

Believe it or not, plenty of streamers and influencers have found themselves at the center of actual death hoaxes that would make excellent fodder for a movie. Some are victims of internet rumors and trolls who just want to stir the pot and upset fans. Others have even gone so far to fake their own deaths, or even the deaths of their loved ones, for reasons that are illogical at best and outright selfish and manipulative at worst. Needless to say, this isn't the typical drama you'd expect to see when you turn to Twitch or YouTube. These hoaxes range from hilarious to offensive to downright confusing, but they're all bizarre beyond measure.

#RIPGabbieHanna

Gabbie Hanna runs The Gabbie Show on YouTube, a channel with more than 5 million subscribers. Hanna is also a podcast host, a musician, and a New York Times best selling author with two books of poetry to her name. As noted by BuzzFeed, she got her start on Vine, and she's found herself embroiled in a number of controversies over the years. She's also a frequent target of harassment and trolls online. Most of the hate is typical of toxic comment sections, but in May 2021, some people on Twitter decided to convince the world Hanna had died.

As reported by Sportskeeda at the time, the hashtag #RIPGabbieHanna started making rounds, shocking Hanna's fans and haters alike. No one could pinpoint where the hashtag originated, and even though it spread far and wide, Hanna herself didn't weigh in beyond continuing to post online as usual. Hanna's apparent indifference led some to speculate that she'd started the hashtag herself, but for someone constantly targeted by online haters, a death hoax makes for a semi-standard weekday afternoon. 

Hanna's fans were quick to point out how distasteful the joke was, but when Hanna refused to fan the flames, the internet quickly moved on to the next controversy.

The Dobre Twins' prank gone wrong

Prank videos are the bread and butter of YouTube. Twin brothers Lucas and Marcus Dobre have over 24 million subscribers, and their channel is rife with wild jokes and over the top practical jokes. It was only a matter of time before the brothers went down the route of a fake death prank, but they went about it in arguably the worst way possible.

On January 9, 2022, the brothers uploaded a video titled "MY TWIN BROTHER IS DEAD?" The attention-grabbing name clearly worked, as the video accumulated nearly 3 million views in just over a month. Unfortunately for the twins, though, the video likely lost them plenty of fans. The video opens with Lucas getting a letter from Marcus. As he reads it, he realizes its supposedly a suicide note asking him to split Marcus's money with the family and telling him that there's a surprise waiting in the backyard for him. When Lucas and his friends step outside, they find a small headstone for his brother placed in the yard.

At the end of the video, Marcus emerges. He explains that he flew to LA just to prank his brother and, apparently, fans of their channel. The fans, to put things lightly, didn't enjoy the prank. The video's comments are filled with people being outraged that the twins trivialized suicide and used it as a joke, especially since so many people believed it until the reveal at the end of the video. Since the clip was posted, YouTube has flagged it with a content warning.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Nikita Dragun accidentally starts her own hoax

The next time you see a shocking title or headline online, make sure to do a little bit of a deeper dive — and if you're a content creator, maybe be careful about the titles you're writing. Influencer Nikita Dragun accidentally kicked off death rumors and inspired a wave of internet backlash when she posted a video titled "RIP Nikita Dragun" to her YouTube channel on October 8, 2021. The bold title was matched with a misleading video description that began by saying, "Dearly, beloved we are gathered here today to lay to rest a woman with my [sic] names."

Considering the fact that the description goes on to encourage viewers to shop at Shoe Dazzle, it should have been fairly obvious that Dragun hadn't died. Still, the internet did what it always does and rumors spread. Once the rumors died down, many turned on Dragun and blamed her for creating a clickbait title that seemed intended to mislead people. Fan outrage spilled from the video's comments section onto Twitter, but Dragun herself ultimately stayed out of the fray and let the video speak for itself.

Sketcheck faked his death

Every player has all gotten addicted to a game at some point, staying up all night grinding through battles. After all, we can sleep when we're dead, right? Well, one "Team Fortress 2" player really did think death could be his only escape from the game. 

Back in 2015, popular YouTuber Sketcheck announced to his fans that he had a terminal illness and wouldn't be able to continue playing or making videos (via Variety). His channel went dark and fans were heartbroken. To honor Sketcheck's memory, Valve added the ability "Sketcheck's Bequest" for Pyros, his class of choice. It was a touching callback to a beloved "Team Fortress 2" player who seemingly died too young. Except that he didn't. 

After a few years of silence, Sketcheck returned to YouTube in 2019 to admit that he'd faked his illness and death. He said he'd felt video games had "stolen something" from his life, and pretending to be dead gave him a major incentive to steer clear of falling back into his unhealthy gaming habits. Oh, and he "just loves the feeling of taking someone for a ride." 

Eventually, the thought that he'd lied about something so serious weighed Sketcheck down, so he decided to come clean. He told his fans that he was "genuinely sorry to have let [them] down" and promised to make it up to them by creating "newer and better content" on his channel. Sketcheck's apology didn't please everyone, but it's hard not to be a little impressed by what is undoubtedly one of the longest-running death hoaxes in gaming history.

JayStation faked his girlfriend's death

Sketcheck used a fake death to escape his channel, but another YouTuber tried using the technique to give his subscriber count a boost. Spoiler alert: it didn't work out so well. 

As reported by Metro, ImJayStation posted a video claiming that his girlfriend Alexia Marano had been killed by a drunk driver. Marano's "death" became a saga on the channel, with ImJayStation releasing videos of his "mourning" process, including one in which he attempted to contact her beyond the grave via ouija board. At that point, ImJayStation had already grown his channel to 5 million subscribers in part by filming himself communicating with dead celebrities using the same board, so this last bit caused doubt among his viewers.

Those suspicions didn't go unconfirmed for very long. ImJayStation eventually came clean in a tearful video. He admitted that the death had been a hoax that he and Marano had worked on together while trying to grow their joint channel. Marano then released her own video, in which she claimed that she'd only assisted in the hoax because he was "controlling" and she was afraid of him. 

In the wake of the controversy, YouTube demonetized and deleted ImJayStation's channels (per Dexerto). In the end, this particular hoax was one prank too far and ruined the reputation of a once-beloved YouTuber.

Dying to escape GTA 5

When someone gets caught cheating, one of two things generally happens. Sometimes the cheater will come up with wild excuses for why they cheated, and other times they'll vanish into thin air, never to be seen in the game again. After his cheats were found out, one ambitious "GTA" streamer decided to have the best of both worlds and disappeared by faking his own death.

SavX belonged to the "Grand Theft Auto" roleplaying community on the NoPixel server. In late 2020, SavX was caught using an aimbot and got himself banned from the server. Not long after that, NoPixel fans and streamers took to Twitter after receiving an email from SavX's brother claiming that he had died by suicide. 

An outpouring of grief came from the community, but not everyone believed the claim. "I had my suspicions straight away," said Koil, one of the owners of NoPixel. Koil hired a private investigator to look into SavX — and sure enough, the investigator discovered that he was alive and well.

Soon after, alleged Discord messages between SavX and fellow streamer Ramee began circulating online. In these messages, SavX supposefly expressed no regret for lying to the gaming community, instead boasting about convincing everyone he had died. Many were baffled by SavX's decision and plenty more were especially outraged that he'd seemingly made light of suicide to gain sympathy. Unlike other hoaxers on this list, it looks like SavX won't be making his way back into people's good graces.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Ninja "dies" from ligma

Sometimes streamers have no say in whether or not they supposedly "die." For example, a childish joke and the magic of the internet briefly killed Ninja back in 2018. According to The Sun, rumors that Ninja had been killed by the contagious disease "ligma" spread fast and far enough that even CBS News reported on them. 

If you haven't heard of the disease, you aren't alone — because it's not real. It's only the set-up for a crass joke: When people asked for further details on ligma — i.e., "What is ligma?" — the typical response was, "Ligma b***s." When Ninja confirmed that he was alive for anyone who hadn't yet gotten the hint, the meme world moved on to other ridiculous antics.

Polygon later caught up with Ninja_Hater, the poster credited with kicking off the "ligma" hoax, who said, "I personally like the joke and how it's really kept the joke going, and even spread to other people." Ninja_Hater had never expected that the joke would get quite as far as it did, or that it would be reported on by major news outlets. Within days, the joke he posted on Instagram made its way to Reddit, then YouTube, then all over the internet. Ninja survived, but the fake disease lives on. In fact, ligma has its very own subreddit now.