Nebraska Ghosts! (This Way To The Egress!)

They heard the museum was haunted! Undaunted,
They brought their equipment, to see for themselves.
Recorders and other such get-up were set up
Midst Indian artifacts filling the shelves
You might, given that’s what your choice is, hear voices
In fuzzy recordings and that sort of thing
The noises they’ve heard may be ghostly, but mostly
They’re steps on the way to the sound of “ka-ching”

“If tourists will hit the museum to see ‘em
We’ll say we saw ghosts, and we caught them on tape!
The suckers will love it! They’ll line up, and sign up
For annual passes, their mouths all agape!
You want what we claim we’ve collected inspected?
The button to pay us securely is here!”
They’ll show you—but first, take your money. It’s funny;
Their ghosts are transparent; their motives are clear


Via Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!’s daily news quiz, the story of a museum rumored to hold ghosts! So, who ya gonna call? Ok, failing them, who ya gonna call? The Tri-City Research and Investigation of the Paranormal team, that’s who! (For the record, I’m one of those cuttlefish who recognizes that these whos should be whoms. And it bothers me to use the idiomatic “who” in this case.)

Anyway, don’t bother with that last link–it’s a pay site. Naturally. More on that below.

As for the museum itself…

Cheri Schrader, executive director of Platte County Historical Museum, said the team is welcome to return, if the historical society board approves.
While she’s not convinced anything supernatural is present there, Schrader believes the possibility could be good for publicity.
“If it brings people in, that’s good,” she said, “and I hope it doesn’t scare people away.”

Hey, museums need publicity. Can’t blame them too much. I’d like to see the publicity come from challenging the TRIP people, but if a group is giving me free publicity, that’s a tough call to make.

Oh, and I suspect that the very notion of paying to see the evidence (as with the TRIP site) would influence viewers to interpret the recordings in accordance with the “paranormal” account. (via Aronson & Mills, 1959, for the science geeks.) Once you’ve shelled out your money for paranormal evidence, you want your money’s worth, and will convince yourself that (in the words of one of the investigators) “There definitely is paranormal activity there. That’s for sure.”

How nice. Amateur ghost hunters have overturned centuries of physics, biology, and psychology. I expect they’ll be getting a call from the Nobel people any day now.

(extra internet points to those who knew the parenthetical reference in the title)


  1. HP says

    If I recall correctly, the Egress was the final attraction at P.T. Barnum’s traveling show. The anticipation of seeing the Egress kept the crowds moving, increasing turnover so he could sell more tickets.

  2. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I heard the same story as HP in #1. PT Barnum put a sign on the exit door “this way to the egress.”

  3. Cuttlefish says

    You people are so smart.

    Now I have to figure out why I am only getting some of my comment notifications. Hmm…

  4. Cuttlefish says

    Thanks, DH–it’s my own! I’ve written several with this verse form; now all I need to do is name it, claim it, and … [step 3] … and $$$$!

    Oh, wait… it’s verse. No money. Nor fame, nor even notoriety. But hey, I invented a verse form!

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Cuttlefish @ # 3: … I have to figure out why I am only getting some of my comment notifications.

    Your server is haunted/possessed. Call an exorcist.

    Darwin Harmless @ # 5: In another age you’d be Kipling.

    How do you know he doesn’t Kiple now?

    Hmmm – with a little Google-nudging, that could be the verb for “to invent new verse forms”…

  6. Cuttlefish says

    Pierce, I tried so hard to figure a way to use the classic “Do you like Kipling? I don’t know–I’ve never Kippled.” line; I am so happy you did!

    But possession does not help my notification glitch. It only narrows it down to some 2000 known gods and an unknown number of unknown ones!

  7. David Hart says

    Someone else already called you on the cool structure. But I would add that I don’t think you need to be uncomfortable about the ‘who/whom’ thing. We are simply living through one of those shifts in grammar, like it was true in Shakespeare’s time that if I were addressing thee, as a single person, thou wouldst find it weird (or at least overly formal) if I were to say ‘you’, but if thy friend joined the discussion, I could then address both of you as ‘you’.

    Just as ‘thou’ was once the correct second person singular, and has become obsolete, so ‘whom’ was once the correct object form, and is fast becoming obsolete.

  8. Cuttlefish says

    I think I like “whom” in the same sense I like a good fountain pen, when all around me people are texting. I’m not graying or going bald, so I need some identifier when I’m yelling at the kids to get off my lawn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *