It’s become an old refrain in newspapers and television news rooms. They’re looking for stuff to fill the newshole and occupy airtime, so they resort to “make-news” on whatever crap they can find. “Hauntings as news” is something I’ve addressed several times already here, and there appears to be no letup. The venerable Hartford Courant … no stranger to this kind of paranormal “make-news” … is treating us — once again! — to yet another non-story about a non-haunting in one of Hartford’s most famous places — complete with a not-so-clever headline:

Who You Gonna Call? Ghost Hunters In Hartford

Ghosts were companions of Mark Twain throughout his life.

They were something he encountered way back when he was a newspaper reporter in Nevada, writing of “spectres starting up from behind tomb-stones, and you weaken accordingly — the cold chills creep over you — our hair stands on end — you reverse your front, and with all possible alacrity, you change your base.” …

So it may not be a stretch to imagine spirits still roaming the large, fanciful Victorian in Hartford’s West End, where Twain lived for 17 years.

Whispered about for years, the stories have accumulated enough to draw TV’s popular “Ghost Hunters” to town last month for a full investigation. And seeing a trend, the Mark Twain House & Museum is opening its doors this month to point out the spooky doings for a series of special “Graveyard Shift” nighttime tours.

Did you catch that reasoning? Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, wrote ghost stories, ergo, his home must be haunted.

I kid you not, people. This is the bullshit that passes for “journalism” these days. How utterly pathetic.

One last thing: Ghostbusters is a truly great movie … perhaps one of the best comedies of all time (I say that in spite of the fact that I don’t believe in ghosts, spooks, specters, etc. at all). But can we please, please, please knock off the quotes from the movie in anything that’s ghost- or haunting-related? I mean, come on … using “Who ya gonna call?” in the headline of this story on a haunting? It’s juvenile, and it’s not even creative. What bilge. Enough already!

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