Friday, September 16, 2011

A ghost sighting right here in Witch City

By Tom Dalton

SALEM — As tempting as it may be, there is really no need to make up stories in the Witch City. Stuff happens all by itself.
Take last Saturday night, for example. We'll set the scene: It's just after 9 p.m. on Winter Island.
"I was approached by two maintenance workers who informed me that they believed they saw a ghost in the old (Coast Guard) officers' quarters," Patrolman Dana Mazola wrote in the police log.
"They stated that they were approaching the building with flashlights and observed a dark, shadowy figure in the upper left window. ... The workers stated that the figure was in the shape of a human."
All entrances to the vacant building were sealed, Mazola said.
The officer watched for a few minutes, "but did not see anything out of the ordinary."
Nothing, of course, except the two pale white gentlemen quivering by his side.
Haunted houses
Speaking of the paranormal, a TV production team pitching a new show to the networks is looking for Salem homeowners who can't sell their homes because there are ghosts living inside. (Hopefully, not in the big bed.)
The TV guys say they will send out a team of "real-life ghostbusters" to investigate and rid the house of any stigma.
You might even know this TV company, 44 Blue Productions. It produces "Pitbulls and Parolees" on Animal Planet.
If you're interested, contact with a picture of your property and your story.
If the ghost refuses to leave, don't blame us. We're just the messenger, or is that medium?
Bye, bye, Jen
That sound you heard Monday night was everyone in Salem clicking off their TV sets in disgust after Hawthorne Hotel chef Jennifer Normant was eliminated from "Hell's Kitchen," the popular reality show.
Not that we're sore losers, but may the evil Chef Elise back into a hot souffle.
Atlantic City did what Salem should have done years ago: It opened a giant Monopoly board two weeks ago to bring in casino tourists, who have been walking all over it.
What is wrong with us?
Salem, after all, is the home of the world's most famous game. Let's give Hasbro a call and offer to erect a big Monopoly board in the little park across from the former Parker Brothers plant and in front of the old Salem Jail.
You know, as in "Go Directly to Jail."
Champagne, anyone?
Did you see that mega-yacht at Pickering Wharf?
The Champagne Cher was 105 feet long, slept eight and had a crew of three or four. It arrived early in the week and left late Wednesday or yesterday.
All anyone wants to know, of course, is who was on the boat.
All we know is it was not the movie star.
Hot tips
Tip No. 1: The train departs Salem Station at 10:38 a.m. tomorrow for a free ride to Boston and free admission to the Museum of Science. Grab the kids.
Tip No. 2: There is a Latino Heritage Month Celebration tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m. in Derby Square. Should be lots of great food, music, dancing — and health screenings.
Run, Salem, run
Salem was among only a handful of cities and towns named a "Runner Friendly Community" by the Road Runners Club of America.
If you hadn't noticed, Doug Bollen at the Park Department, the Wicked Running Club, Brandi Dion at B&S Fitness and a bunch of others have the whole city running. We have the huge Wild Turkey Run at Thanksgiving, the Devil's Chase 6.66-miler, a bunch of kids' races, an urban obstacle course around fences and buses, and even a winter snowshoe race on the golf course.
Sex talk
If you have a calendar handy, mark this down: Nov. 16 lecture, The House of the Seven Gables: "Sex in the City of Salem during the 17th and 18th Centuries" by Mary Ellen Smiley, curator of The Salem Museum.
Yes, that is correct. Someone named Smiley is giving a sex talk.
If the lecture is well-received, we are told there will be a sequel: "Sex in the City of Salem during the 20th and 21st Centuries" by District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Don't mark that down. We made that up.

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