…I am as appalled as my fellow ScienceBlogger Mark over this horrifically credulous article on ghosts on This Old House at CNN.com. Here’s a small taste, which comes after a long discussion of how to choose a “good” ghost inspector:
If natural explanations cannot be found, and it’s determined that there is indeed a presence in your house, the investigators will likely suggest you get in touch with a family minister so he or she can come to the house and to pray for the soul of the spirit that is present. This is not an “exorcism,” but simply an attempt to get the ghost to leave in peace.
If a willing minister is not available, the ghost hunter should be able to suggest another person capable of getting rid of ghosts — either a professional medium, psychic, or someone who is sensitive to spirits. This person should be someone the ghost hunter has worked with before, or who was referred through a legitimate source.
If the medium detects that a spirit is present, he will try to convince it to move on. How effective is this? It’s hard to say. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I often get calls from people asking for this service, but in my years in the paranormal field, I have found very few people trustworthy enough for this assignment. They are out there though, and your investigator should do all they can to get you in touch with them.
Let me assure you, though, that ghosts are not present to hurt anyone and in almost every case, a family can peacefully coincide with a spirit.
Unlike Mark, I don’t think this is a joke, although the article appears to be a reprint of an article that appeared in This Old House last year. Why CNN.com is reprinting such a credulous piece of rubbish, I have no idea.