i must admit i am not a great believer in many of the “mysterious happenings and/or mysterious things that eat goats” that the unwashed masses feel fill the world around them, generally on the grounds that all those things are incredibly unlikely to be true. i understand why a sasquatch being real would be cool –academically cool, anyway, because for the life of me i cannot figure out what benefit to society a sasquatch would provide, because it’s unlikely they’d turn out to be turbo-delicious or have sweet, luxurious fur we could turn into awesome coats– but i just don’t see any logical reason to assume the half-assed evidence ridiculous dudes who have gotten onto television somehow are throwing is proof of anything besides “whoever signed off on this whole Finding Bigfoot program must have access to some INCREDIBLY good drugs.”
the same goes for ghosts: while i am even willing to grant ghosts are more “reasonable” than sasquatches and yetis and stink apes and everything else on the grounds that a ghost, being non-corporeal, could THEORETICALLY be anywhere taking up no space, whereas a stink ape needs some land in which to, well, stink … i still don’t buy the concept, not least because there’s approximately ONE MILLION goddamn ghost finding or catching or adventuring shows out there, and they’ve so far located no much more than some video proof that morons in a dark house are easily scared by THE RAW MYSTERY OF IT ALL.
but maybe, just maybe, i am being too harsh on this whole ghosts-don’t-exist thing? so this brings us to the current week’s update, in which i examine some surely 100% accurate ghost stories that MUST be proof of nefarious supernatural shenanigans.
this house … is incredibly loud late at night
“A young mother has been taken to court after ignoring warnings to stop having loud all-night parties. Leanne Fennell, 20, told her neighbours a poltergeist was to blame for the thumping music and rubbish strewn in the garden.”
now, okay, my understanding of poltergeists (based mainly on the fact that i’ve seen the movie Poltergeist at least 10 times, for some reason, and most of Poltergeist II at least once) tells me that this is sort of in line with “what poltergeists do”: they like to make a racket (check), they like to throw things about (check), and they like to make everyone’s life difficult (check). this all being said, it IS mysterious that this ‘young mother’ (don’t see how THAT is relevant) was not bitching about her poltergeist friend until his late-night parties became a social inconvenience).
“She has now been evicted from the home in Wexford Avenue, on the Greatfield estate in east Hull. Hull City Council prosecuted Fennell after she ignored a noise abatement notice served earlier this year.”
well, of COURSE she ignored it: she wasn’t doing anything wrong! it was a poltergeist! although again, i think if i had a incorporeal ghost-like being wrecking my house and blasting my “Scumdogs Of The Universe” album at top volumes all night long (admittedly a guess, as a i have no idea what poltergeists like to rock out to, but i think it’s a sound guess) and i was slapped with some kind of British ticket, i’d at LEAST want the cops to know that they’re slapping the wrong resident with their noise abatement notice.
“Council officers also seized four televisions, four DVD players and a CD player, which will now be destroyed.”
wait, what? brief tangent: why are these things being destroyed? if you’re turbo-loud in Britain, they seize and break all your stuff to teach you a lesson? because it seems like, at the very least, you could sell these things and turn them into GOVERNMENT MONEY. or maybe give them to a poor kid who doesn’t have even one television, let alone FOUR televisions? i consider this to be proof of your society being a wasteful pile of consumers, Britain. except for Wales, because Wales is cool. they can destroy all the televisions they want.
“One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “She told us a poltergeist would keep switching the music on really loud when she was in bed.” However, another neighbour told of “night after night” of loud parties running into the early hours of the morning. “Some of the neighbours had a terrible time,” they said. “There was always bottles and bottles of wine and cider just chucked in the garden. She had at least four huge bonfires to burn some of the rubbish that was in there.”
the key problem with this cover story, i think, is that if you’ve got a bunch of loud parties going on, there’s GOT to be a stream of people coming in and out of the place, right? so what are those people doing while the poltergeist is dicking around with your stereo, sitting quietly in the front room reading books about economics and naval warfare and so on? unlikely. plus, let’s be honest: who wants to party (or even visit) at a home inhabited by an annoying-as-hell poltergeist? and why is Fennell in bed when there’s parties going on at her- wait, i think i figured out the answer to that one.
also… she had four huge bonfires to deal with trash? has Britain become some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland filled with neo-Luddite television smashing and massive trash bonfires while i wasn’t paying attention?
“On her Facebook page, Fennell says: “First and most of all I’m a proud mam to a beautiful little girl. I’m not fussy … but a girl should try look her best 24/7. I also sin but I’m not the devil, so with me what you see is what you get. I love to party with my mates, well, the ones who can keep up with me that is.”
oh, i forgot the other key problem: people forgetting that stupid shit you post on Facebook, even stupid shit that busts your incredibly clever “a poltergeist did it” story, can (and will) be read by many, many people. perhaps even those looking to bust you for something, if only so that they can destroy your televisions as a punishment!
“Hull magistrates ordered her to pay fines of £370 and costs of £500 to Hull City Council. Last week, the council ran a week of events to encourage people to report neighbourhood nuisance.”
so instead of selling the televisions and DVD players and all to recoup the £870, we smash them? sorry, sorry, i’ll get over this television smashing thing. ultimately, her mistake was clear: not reporting the poltergeist to the proper authorities as directed by the Hull City Council. they probably would have at LEAST sent in a tiny old medium lady to resolve the problem. although, when you consider the fact that said tiny old medium lady wasn’t enough to prevent all those Poltergeist sequels, you have to consider that she might not really have been that effective of a poltergeist-fighting force.
surely this is the only irrational ghost claim i can think of right now? well…
found this image result while looking for Josue Chinchilla, to which i say “fuck yeah”
“Most ghost stories don’t wind up in court. But a family in Toms River, N.J., has filed a lawsuit demanding that their landlord let them out of their new lease and return their security deposit, because, they say, the house he rented them was “haunted.” Is this an Amityville Horror-style story, or a scam? Here, a brief guide:”
for one thing, i don’t know why we’re continuing to debate this seriously: yes, it’s a scam. hell, even if you go with the former (that “Amityville Horror-style story”), i’m pretty sure they proved THAT was a scam as well. so it’s “scam” or “scam” i can choose from? i’m voting for “scam.” also, writer of this piece, could we just say “Toms River, NJ” and be done with it? because i’m not saying that it’s WRONG your way, but i have to admit that i just think it looks sloppy as hell.
“What exactly happened in this “haunted” house?
Some extremely spooky stuff, according to the tenants, Josue Chinchilla and Michele Callan. In their lawsuit, the couple, who lived in the house along with her two children for just one week, say they frequently came home to find clothes and towels strewn across the floor. They also say that doors in the house sometimes opened slowly and slammed shut, on their own, and they often saw lights flicker. Sometimes, when everyone was in bed, the family could hear footsteps in the kitchen.”
wait, so “the house gets messy sometimes” and “lights flickering” now qualify as “extremely spooky stuff?” please, give me a fucking break. extremely spooky stuff should involve blood, or mysterious voices, or being attacked by a tree in the messy pool of your backyard. THAT is extremely spooky. or even a crazy clown doll trying to kill your child! however, the fact that clothes and towels were found strewn on the floor in a house that includes two children among its inhabitants seems to qualify less as “extremely spooky stuff” and more “something PROBABLY done by your messy goddamn children, who are almost certainly not ghosts, although i admittedly don’t know that much about them from this article.” summation: still a scam.
also, let me be clear: i HATE assuming the worst of anyone named Chinchilla. but it is what it is!
“Do they have any proof?
Chinchilla and Callan hired N.J. Paranormal Investigators to back up their claim. Marianne Brigando, co-founder of the agency, says her investigators found more evidence of haunting in this house than in any other house they have ever examined. Brigando says something unseen answered a question from her team using light switches. They also brought in a church pastor, who suggested the house had been possessed by demons. And, as it happens, the house is in the same town where the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror was filmed.”
well, let’s address this “proof”:
–i don’t know who the fuck “N.J. Paranormal Investigators” are, but if they’re anything like the average ghost-hunting jackass i see on television pissing themselves because they heard a spooky noise in a darkened building, i am DISTINCTLY unimpressed;
–but even if they’re totally on the level (unlikely), i frankly don’t know what the fuck “more evidence of haunting in this house than in any other house they have ever examined” is supposed to mean. granted, the article is of limited length, but maybe you could give me an example of ONE notably haunted house you’ve examined?
–and then the example she gives is something unseen (probably one of those children) fucking around with light switches. to be succinct, this is again something that doesn’t come anywhere near qualifying as “extremely spooky stuff”;
–and a random church pastor (presented without any identifying information or notion of what credentials he has) making a bold claim that the house is possessed by demons. shit, anyone could hire someone to just declare a house is filled with demons. i could be hired for a few hundred dollars to show up, wave around a Bible, and then say, “yeah, i totally sense demons here. this house is packed to the gills with extremely spooky demons.” i mean it, internet, i can literally be hired to do this. just, you know, drop me an e-mail;
–“as it happens, the house is in the same town where the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror was filmed.” i will just sum this up as “so fucking what.” it’s not even a claim that this is the Amityville Horror house. they filmed one version of the movie ABOUT A GODDAMN SCAM there. to repeat: so fucking what.
“What does the landlord say?
Predictably, landlord Richard Lopez is not buying it. Lopez, who has an orthodontist practice next to the allegedly haunted house, says he’s been renting out the house for years with no complaints, and his new tenants just made up the story so they could break their lease without losing their $2,250 security deposit. Lopez filed a counter suit accusing Chinchilla and Callan of using “paranormal activity” as an excuse to get out of a rental they can’t afford. “She is a single mom, she has this fiancé living with her,” says Lopez’s attorney David A. Semanchik. “I think she is in over her head.””
predictably, i find landlord Richard Lopez to be fucking awesome. now, okay, i grant you that he’s likely to call bullshit on anything a tenant throws at him to get out of their lease (and hey, if i had a haunted house i was renting out, i’d probably deny it as well), but if i was Richard Lopez and one of my tenants wanted out of their lease because the house was apparently haunted, well, i’d report them to whatever authority you report crazy people living in a house you own to. the police, i guess?
“So do the tenants have a case?
“Ultimately a judge will have the final word on whether the family will be able to escape their alleged nightmare on Lowell Avenue,” says Alyssa Newcomb at ABC News. It’s going to be an easy decision, says Cherlyn Gardner Strong at Paranormal Old Pueblo. “The only thing that matters is the terms of the rental contract,” which has no haunting clause. Even if testimony from paranormal detectives were admissible in court, the evidence in this case is flimsy. They don’t stand “a ghost of a chance.””
i will forgive the pun because of the mocking tone they take regarding “testimony from paranormal detectives.” but seriously, what confuses the hell out of me is why anyone would ever run with such a scam in the first place. GHOSTS ARE NOT REAL. and if they are real, they’re certain not screwing around with your towels and light switches.
alright, that’ll do it for this installment. until next time (whenever that is)…