Who ya gonna call?

Mark H at the Denialism blog asks if a story on CNN's website about how to get rid of ghosts in your house is a joke. Turns out the original story is from the online version of This Old House magazine (to which I subscribe, living as I do in an old house in need of renovations.) And considering how down to earth the magazine is, a seemingly serious piece on ghosts must be a joke, right?

Perhaps it was intended that way, But it wasn't taken that wasy by many readers who posted comments. The story, by Keith Pandolfi, begins with an interview with a real, professional ghost-buster, Troy Taylor. He says

...over the years I have been involved in ghost research, the vast majority of the cases I've investigated have had perfectly natural explanations. That is not to say that some haven't puzzled me, or left me feeling the house in question was indeed haunted.

And appears to be dead serious. (Pun intended.) But the sad part comes in the comments section, with just two skeptics so far:

Hawkins Dale Wed, Oct 24, 07 at 03:09 PM
SURELY this article is a joke, and I'm just too slow-witted to get it.

Kevin from Atlanta Wed, Oct 10, 07 at 08:10 AM
Interesting how hours of video will be shot and hundreds of pictures taken and yet, inevitably, not a single good image of the so-called "ghost" will be captured. There is a good reason for this: there are no ghosts. This is a great article for people who still think we live in the 12th century or who think supernatural beings rule their lives. For those who live in the 21st century you can skip the ghost hunters and the prayers of ministers (an exorcism by any other name...) and look for a natural explanation, because believe me, there is one.

The rest support a recent AP poll that found a third of Americans believe in ghosts.

Leah D. Lichtenberg Sat, Oct 27, 07 at 08:32 AM
Hello! Yes! Ghosts, spirits, etc. do exists as I have seen plenty of them! I have 4 in my home and I am a paranormal investigator and a clairvoyant, which means I see dead people! We can help anyone that has spirits in there home. We are a team of investigation researchers that solely investigates the Spirit side of the paranormal. We are in the Greenville, SC area and do investigations in Greenville and the surrounding cities and states. We are a team of investigators who believe in the Spirit world, but we also hold skepticism and only want to find the truth. Thanks! Ghosts Have Real Spirit! Leah D. Lichtenberg Founder Executive Director Leah@thespiritresearchsociety.com The Spirit Research Society

JLW Wed, Oct 24, 07 at 09:12 AM
I got a ghost when I bought my house! Freaked me out, I kept hearing 3 footsteps above where ever I was. I eventually went to the attic & asked it to leave, explaining that it did not know me & I did not know why it was there. I've never heard a footstep since. But I swear I still have a ghost cat who jumps up onto the bed every so often...I can feel it walking across me - and nothing is there.

Scott Doane Tue, Oct 23, 07 at 10:36 PM
Picture in your mind, a small village, With gas lit street lights,and beautiful victorian homes. Haunted? This house took my wifes life.

Connie Cook Smith Wed, Oct 10, 07 at 02:08 AM
I had a heckuva experience with a ghost when I lived on the third floor of an old mansion in Baltimore in the 1970's. You can read about it at http://cdbaby.com/cd/conniecs2

My answer Tue, Oct 09, 07 at 04:02 PM
I believe all your stories, and it's nice to have nice ghosts in the house, the ghosts I've dealt with weren't so nice. Here's how to get rid of them - Pray to God and ask for a spiritual guide to take them where they need to be, and believe (have faith) that God has done it. No baths, no smoke, no voodoo, no nonsense. Take it from a pro, I've been there and done that.

And so on. I may have to write a letter to the TOH editor.

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Looks like you should be reading Old House Journal instead.

This reminds me...the Travel Channel has shows like "the most haunted places in America". Ironic, it would seem, for a cable channel to show things that no one will see, as it specializes on programs on things and places that you CAN see. It's kind of like those U-haul trucks with lovely murals on their sidewalls, showing beautiful places all over the US...EXCEPT for New Mexico's. That mural shows aliens, from Roswell, which also are not seen nor will they be.

By Pierre Caron (not verified) on 29 Oct 2007 #permalink

FWIW, I've also had that experience of thinking I've felt a cat jump onto the bed. No, I don't believe in kittygeists, but there's a definite sensation as though a small weight had suddenly been dropped on the mattress. Peculiar.