Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ghosts. I remember my sister telling a story about someone she knew who had had some kind of experience with a spectre on a lonely road at night, and somehow a possum or some possums featured. I’m not sure how, but I was only six or seven or eight. I remember being terrified. I had a kind of Blair Witch vision in my head, which has stuck with me.

Did that pre-dispose me to “believe” in ghosts?

Who knows. And I’m not sure “believe” is the right word. I’ve never seen a ghost. I know people who say they have. I tolerate Ghost Whisperer, only because my wife likes it. I thought Sixth Sense was a very good movie and I confess I never saw it coming!

For want of a better word, then, I will say I believe in ghosts. So when this story popped up on Stuff I thought how cool.

I was a bit frustrated at how shallow the story was, hence my comment requesting a follow-up. Any journalist with a bit of salt would do some research into this. Who might the Maori woman be? What’s her story? And the cat?

This story has made front page news (on the website at least). It’s either a hoax, or a concrete example of a paranormal phenomenon. Either way, it deserves a follow-up. I know you can’t trust the photo. It could be something hanging on the pole. It’s hard to tell it’s a woman. And wearing a t-shirt? Who is Janet Stansfield? Does she have a history similar to the Whoopie Goldberg character in Ghost, a history of deception?

Most would probably approach this with an element of scepticism, which is okay. But to approach it with a “scientific” method would be fruitless, and unfortunately the only method that gets any serious credibility nowadays is the scientific one. That’s sad.

I look forward to the follow-up.

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