Turning to ridiculous international news, a woman in New Zealand sold what she said were two vials containing ghosts for nearly $1,400 in an online auction.
Reuters news service reported on March 10 that the woman snagged the spirits during an exorcism at her house, stored them in vials of holy water and eventually decided to sell them to the highest bidder “because someone might like these to play with.“
“I just want to get rid of them as they scare me,“ she said.
She claims she’ll donate the proceeds - minus the $100 she spent on the exorcism - to an animal charity.
Ladies and gentlemen, as a man of science and noted skeptic, I must decry the public’s limitless gullibility when it comes to matters of the so-called “supernatural.“
We interrupt this column for a special report.
Man of science, noted skeptic and small-town newspaperman Scott Hollifield announced today the discovery of a ghost in a Mason jar in his basement. He said he will auction it off to the highest bidder.
Proceeds will benefit his newly established charity, The Small-Town Newspaperman Big-Screen TV Fund, which strives to equip impoverished journalists with the latest in high-tech audiovisual equipment.
“It’s kind of funny how it happened,“ Hollifield said. “I was reading a story about a woman in New Zealand who got nearly $1,400 for a couple of ghosts she sold to some suckers ... uh, people online. Suddenly, I remembered that ol’ ghost we used to have. I hollered to my wife, ‘Honey, where did we put that ghost?‘ and she said, ‘What ghost?‘ and I said, ‘You know, that ghost we used to have’ and she said, ‘Are you crazy?‘ and I said, ‘No, but crazy people will pay as much as $1,400 for ghosts in jars,‘ and she said, ‘Oh, THAT ghost.‘“
Hollifield said a search of his basement turned up the once-forgotten sealed spirit.
“It was on a shelf behind a jar of nails and a stack of eight-track tapes,“ he said. “Soon as I moved ‘David Allan Coe Rides Again,‘ there it was - a Mason jar marked ‘Ghost - Do Not Open.‘“
Hollifield said he’s had the ghost in a jar since the late ‘80s when it was captured and sealed by Cousin Junior, owner and operator of Cousin Junior’s Small Engine Repair and Discount Exorcism Services.
“Junior was over at the house to pick up a tiller I had accidentally set on fire and we were standing out in the yard shooting the bull,“ Hollifield explained. “There was a commotion in the house, chains rattling and such, and Junior said, ‘What in the world is that?‘ I said, ‘Oh, it’s just a ghost. We don’t pay any attention to it.‘ Junior said, ‘I can exorcise that thing for $100,‘ and I said, ‘I don’t think it needs any exercise. It seems to be in pretty good shape.‘ Then he explained that the words ‘exercise’ and ‘exorcise’ were actually homophones - which made me giggle - and we horse-traded a little bit and he agreed to do it for $35 and a set of socket wrenches.“
Hollifield said he put the ghost away and forgot about it until reading the story on the woman in New Zealand.
“I do hate to part with such an important family heirloom as my ghost in a jar,“ Hollifield said, “but I feel strongly about the cause. Too many small-town newspapermen are watching TV screens that are entirely too tiny. It’s a national crisis.“
Hollifield said he is currently setting up the Web site http://www.ghostbidsucker.com on which to conduct the online auction.
This has been breaking news. Now, back to the regularly scheduled column.
—and that’s why it’s unconscionable to exploit the public’s gullibility when it comes to matters of the so-called “supernatural.“
Scott Hollifield is editor/general manager of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. and a columnist for the Media General News Service. Contact him at P.O. Box 610, Marion, N.C. 28752 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org