It must be a slow news day here in northwestern Connecticut. One of the local papers, the Torrington Register Citizen, ran a news story about — of all things! — a putative ghost in a city bar. Yes, that’s right … reports of a ghost at a bar, are news (WebCite cached version):

Is there a ghost in Snapper Magee’s? After an investigation this past weekend it is possible.

Now, don’t ask how reporter Ronald Derosa conducted this “investigation.” In fact, he didn’t. It was someone else entirely:

Around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, after the popular Water Street bar closed, the Northwest Connecticut Paranormal Society came in to investigate reports that the building may have a spirit inside. A team of five investigators, including a sensitive and a psychic came by from the Professional Investigations and Presentations group, equipped with an assortment of tools to conduct a proper paranormal search, said John Zontok, the director of the organization.

We all know — of course! — that an organization dedicated to the “paranormal” is going to be objective and above-board about such an investigation, and be as skeptical about these “ghost rumors” as anyone can possibly be.

Right?

If so, you’d be mistaken:

From 2 to 5 a.m. the team remained, setting up eight infra-red night vision cameras, EVP sensors to pick up voices, and tools to measure the electro-magnetic field, Zontok said.

The result: there was a high amount of magnetic energy in the front of the bar as well as in one room on the second floor where there was no electricity at all, he said.

“Which could possibly mean there was a presence there, trying to show itself to us,” he said.

Zontok concludes there must be “a presence” there … there can’t possibly be any other explanation for magnetism. It’s not possible, for example, for there to have been some steel somewhere in the building structure, that accounts for it.

He checked for the presence of “electricity,” and ruled that out.

So there must be “a presence” there, which has nothing better to do with its time, than sit and wait for Zontok and his crew to stroll in, set up equipment, then tamper with it while it’s there.

(Note to Zontok and his pals: Magnetism doesn’t require the presence of electrical current. Really!)

You might ask, “Is this guy for real?” Unfortunately the answer is a big “YES!” There are a lot of people who take this very seriously and they soak it up enormously. It’s fodder for a number of television shows, including one that Zontok’s group will work with:

Now, the group is ready to be featured on the Discovery Channel this October, around Halloween, he said.

It’s nice to see how, with all the things that are happening in this country, in this state, and even this part of Connecticut, that the Register Citizen can find the time and space in its pages to tell us all about this important haunting. (I shouldn’t make fun of the REeven venerable newspapers such as the Hartford Courant sometimes resort to crap like this.)

Just in case anyone out there isn’t clear on the matter … there are no such things as ghosts. For a professional journalist to decide that there are … or even that they might exist … is inexcusable.

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