Greg Meriwether, a reporter with WAFB in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has this story on ghost hunting in south Louisiana. In addition to the story that aired, the page includes outtakes. The group he profiles is called Bayou Spirits.
FindLaw's Marci Hamilton analyzes the Department of Justice's memo on whether religious groups receiving federal funding can constitutionally hire co-religionists. The two major party candidates do not agree on this issue. Senator McCain holds that they can, agreeing with President Bush. Senator Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, believes that they cannot. Professor Hamilton, a specialist in law and religion, agrees with Senator Obama. Read Professor Hamilton's column here.
Joe Nickell, distinguished author and skeptic, will appear on CNN's Newsroom today at 2:45 (1:45 Central time) to discuss exorcism. Other guests scheduled to appear include Roger Miller and Bob Larson, both members of the clergy. The Reverend Larson is set to star in his own reality show about demons, The Real Exorcist, on the SciFi Channel, according to the Toledo Blade article, but I could not find the show listed under "original shows" on the network's website. I would have thought that the website would be touting this show somehow, but I don't see any publicity for it. Here's a post from Religionnewsblog about the Rev. Larson and his show.
Here's a link to an article by Dr. Nickell on exorcism.
MSNBC.com offers this story about Hollywood's haunted sites. They include Universal Studios, the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery, and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where Virginia Rappe, the young woman at the center of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's trial, is buried. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, you'll learn a lot about Hollywood history.
Emma Angel (what a wonderful name) is backing a petition to get posthumous pardons for those women who were convicted of witchcraft under the 1736 Witchcraft Act. A petition will be presented to (British) Justice Minister Jack Straw. Check out the initiative here.
Last year at this time, a faithful group of conjurors and friends asked magician Harry Houdini to manifest himself on the anniversary of his passing. Apparently, he had better things to do, because he didn't appear. Presumably, they'll make the traditional request again this year, and the odds are he won't drop by this time, either.
Just in time for Halloween, and in memory of Harry Houdini, who escaped from his share of jail cells as a demonstration of his skills, I'm posting this report of a haunted jail in Hackensack, New Jersey. Some say they think the ghost of John Avery, a man who was hanged in the jail, has returned to the place he last saw in life. "Footsteps and moaning" have been reported. And, says one police officer, there are "smells." Since the jail has been closed for fifteen years, maybe it hasn't been cleaned regularly? Or maybe it's sewage backing up? Closed-up buildings do get nasty odors. Just a thought.
This calico makes magic for a lonely train station in Japan. Tama the cat has vitalized the economy of the town of Kishikawa, just by wearing a stationmaster's cap at a rakish angle. People in cat-mad Japan are coming from all over to snap pix of the pretty kitty. Of course she'd say it's her purrsonality. Look and listen. But maybe she's saying, "Ok, you've had your fun. Now get this unstylish thing off my head. It's against the Rules, and what's more, it's animal cruelty."