Got spooks? Call G.H.O.S.T. hunters

Friday, May 30, 2008

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act One, Scene V

According to The Lawrence County Advocate, there's a new organization whose parliamentary procedure may involve voting on how many Scooby snacks to bring on a field trip. No, Mystery Inc. hasn't relocated, but Lawrenceburg-based Ghost Hunters of Southern Tennessee (G.H.O.S.T.) is raring to investigate the paranormal.

The group has picked a good time to form. The spirit realm is restless right now. That's because those bureaucratic "green" nincompoops in Washington have decreed that ghost lights switch to being ghost halogen lights.

G.H.O.S.T is open to anyone with a sincere interest in unexplained phenomena, but I understand they're giving preference to prospective members who can deal with entities that appear and disappear as if by magic, ignore the most-heartfelt queries, and leave chaos in their wake. In other words, parents of teenagers get bonus points.

The organization is a little less receptive of good ol' boys who might have the wrong idea about this type of hunting. You know the guys. They dream of driving around and around the Dairy Queen with Casper trussed up in the back of their pickup truck. ("Yeehaw! I got the idea to spotlight the ghost light after my sixth Bud Lite.")

I know there are skeptics who think the G.H.O.S.T. members are crazy. These small-minded individuals are, of course, well armed with anecdotal evidence. ("My hairdresser's cousin's podiatrist said he probably never saw a ghost. Case closed.")

No, I've heard too many eyewitness accounts to think that all the reports of ghostly behavior have a comforting "logical explanation." I've just heard another eyewitness report of the famed Chapel Hill Ghost Light. At my wife's great-grandfather's house in New Jersey, doors opened for no reason, logs jumped out of the fireplace, and people could be heard walking on a staircase that no longer existed. My father told of an eerie spot in a field where mules refused to go and where he was bombarded with clay that didn't match any clay in the area.

In an early 70s interview with Stanley Ingram for The Pulaski Citizen, my mother's great-uncle, Tom Luna, related a boyhood incident in which he and his brother stumbled upon a female apparition who moaned, "What have I done? What have I done?" The truth is out there.

If G.H.O.S.T. manages to communicate with the spirits, they may not be able to handle the truth. The ghost hunters may learn that there are things more horrifying than goblins and ghoulies. Cellulite, for instance. Imagine a specter clanking its chains and moaning, "They say it's a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips -- but it goes on a lot longer than that, man!"

Maybe observation and documentation would be enough. There are too many dangers with talking to the spirits. There's the danger of unleashing unknown forces. There's the danger of violating Old Testament injunctions against necromancy. And most importantly, there are some really major roaming charges.

It would be enough just to prove the existence of spooks once and for all. Think of the ramifications. "Ghosts Proven Real; Oil Prices Rise." Of course the flip side would be "Ghosts Proven Fake; Oil Prices Rise." Now I'm moaning.

Note: If you would like to join G.H.O.S.T or report an otherworldly occurrence, go to