Friday, July 10, 2009

Not Haunted

While doing a Google search on "Corning Mansion Bratenahl Ohio," I came across a website that presents what it claims are photographs of ghosts taken inside the mansion during the years it stood empty. A more preposterous idea I've not heard in a while. The photographs, taken with a pocket digital point-and-shoot, are laughably fake.

The site itself is part of the home page of a bottom-of-the-barrel video production company specializing in half-hour "horror" dramas and "reality show" videos of drunken people engaged in being drunk -- talking nonsense, fighting on the sidewalk, and the like, which they seem to distribute mostly via YouTube.

Their concept of ghost hunting is about as far as it's possible to be from serious paranormal research. On a page with throbbing heavy metal music playing and a photo of the company's president (a thirty-ish woman in what can only be described as slutwear), the technique is described thusly:

We like to get the ghosts [sic] attention by showing some titties, swearing, banging, and all sorts of fun stuff. Basicaly [sic] we confront them with a challenge and then see what we get.

Brilliant. As a boy, I spent a fair amount of time in the Corning Mansion, including many overnight visits. Let me say without hesitation: the Corning Mansion is not haunted. It's a fine and beautiful home that has recently been stabilized and spruced up after years of neglect.

Cleveland's TV Channel 19 news seems to have done a "gee-whiz-it's-Hallowe'en" feature on this company's "discovery" of the purported haunting a couple of years ago. Its unquestioning coverage is embedded and viewable on the website. It's a good example of why local TV news lost credibility decades ago.

The only remaining question is, who allowed these awful people inside the house in the first place?

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