Saturday, July 20, 2013

Snooty Ectoplasm

Dr. Theresa and Chris Offutt and I went to see the scary ghost movie about the real-life scary ghost-bustin' power couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. So when I got home I decided to check out the New York Times archives to see whether real-life Ed and Lorraine Warren ever got in there for their scary ghost-bustin' power. The earliest relevant article I found was from November 21, 1972, and it starts like this: "The shimmering, opalescent figure of a United States cavalry soldier of the eighteen-thirties - with full uniform, boots, a handlebar mustache and a musket in his ectoplasmic hand - is causing an uproar at the United States Military Academy at West Point." There's no bustin', though: in fact, the article kind of almost BLAMES old Ed and Lorraine for the ghost! I can't "link" to it because it is in a part of the archive you have to pay to unlock (unless you have a subscription). I did find a readily accessible - if much shorter - version for you ("click" here) in the Palm Beach Post from a few days later... but as you will see, the editors of the Palm Beach Post changed the New York Times's original report so that the ghost soldier has a "floating hand" rather than an "ectoplasmic hand." I guess they thought "ectoplasmic" was too snooty! Somehow "opalescent" got a pass.