Just in time for the launch of our new Magic and the Supernatural section, the New York Times runs an article about ghosts and ghost hunters. They also copied us with a front page picture of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Anyway, the NY Times article is pretty great. I learned lots about ghosts and people who are haunted by them. For instance:
You don’t believe in ghosts? Then you are either tragically out of step with the times or possibly a slovenly spiritual housekeeper looking for an excuse to avoid tidying up. A recent Google Internet search for getting rid of ghosts yielded nearly two million hits. By comparison, a search for cleaning rain gutters yielded 191,000.
In a Harris poll last year of 2,000 adults, 41 percent said that they believed in ghosts. Although the National Association of Realtors says that it is not the legal obligation of a real estate agent to tell a prospective buyer about alleged haunting, many agents, like Diane Ragan of Keller Williams Realty in New Orleans, feel that if they hear of something that may distress a buyer, they have the duty to pass it on.
But everything you think is a ghost might not be. Case in point:
Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, the stars of the ‘Ghost Hunters’ program on the Sci Fi Channel, have been helped by their expertise as plumbers.
“We had one case, somebody’s dead uncle Fred was a plumber and they thought that he was giving them a sign because every morning at 2 a.m. their toilet would flush,” Mr. Hawes said. “Come to find out, they would go to bed at about 11 at night and they had a leaky flapper in their toilet. Eventually, after two or three hours, the toilet would drain down enough that the fill valve would kick on, so it would sound like the toilet would flush.”
The number one recommended method for getting rid of a ghost seems to be burning sage (and apparently it must be organic). But if your ghost is Jewish, which is to say, if you have a Dybbuk then maybe you should check out our article about Exorcism just in case… Also, here’s a nice Jewish ghost story. Wooooooo…