This reminded me of a TEDx Talk that John Green gave on the subject of cartography and community (and life), but starts with mentioning paper towns; the practice of map makers inserting fake places into their maps as a form of copyright trap. It's also the title of one of his novels. What struck me, and what John mentions, is that we often want fiction to become reality, and sometimes it does. Agloe was one such paper town in the middle of nowhere New York, yet became an actual place because people believed it and went there. Did the War of Worlds broadcast become real because people believed it? Yes. The broadcast caused (an admittedly small amount of) panic in the listeners which was very real. There were no martians invading New York and New Jersey that night but that didn't make the experience any less real.
John's TEDx Talk: http://youtu.be/1mUDw0sRZV0