|TV Ghosthunters Jason and Grant|
Lately the day job has brought me in intimate contact with the paranormal which, of course, I can't explain. But to prove I'm not making this stuff up, everything in this post was, or will be, on television.
Tonight I spent several hours with the Syfy Channel's Ghosthunters who were looking for several entities said to haunt a certain large Greek Revival building just down the street. There was poor Mumford, the Martyr of the Confederacy, who was undeservedly hanged on this spot in 1862; a jailed bootlegger known as "Lonesome Larry," who can be seen taking nightly cigarette breaks on the balcony, and an unlucky federal employee who was crushed to death in a massive coin press. So now you know where we were.
|Simon with Tango and Amy|
Simon joined me for supper with the crew. It turns out that my son is a HUGE fan of the show and knew every Ghosthunter by name -- all seven of them. He brought along a little clay ghost he had made long ago in preschool and asked them to autograph it. They graciously obliged. Simon was thrilled, and Dad was pleased to have provided this indelible life experience.
Then, in the predawn hours a few days before Halloween, I met up at another ancient pile here in the Quarter with TV newsgal Chriss Knight and the noted thanatologist and author, Victor C. Klein. Again the subject was spooks, namely "The Hanging Soldier" who was a member of Pakenham's ill-fated invasion force of 1814.
|Victor and Chriss with Padre Antonio,|
the Grand Inquisitor
I happen to be a HUGE fan of Victor Klein's books, including New Orleans Ghosts, New Orleans Ghosts II, and New Orleans Ghosts III. In fact, I can't walk or drive around this city without passing some horribly haunted place that Victor has meticulously researched and written about. The weirdness around here is just too much sometimes.
It was great fun chatting up Victor between takes for ABC Channel26. Naturally, I asked for his views on the afterlife. "I think there are two possibilities," he said. "Either there's nothing, or we're all in for one helluva surprise." And that's the most satisfying answer I've ever heard on this question.