Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Allegedly Haunted House Party, Hull, England

Neighbors of a rented house in Hull, England, have long complained of the noise of partiers and loud music cranked up late into the night.  Worse, the garden of the house has been covered in trash (largely empty alcohol bottles) which had a tendency to end up in other people's yards as well. 

When confronted by neighbors, Leanne Fennell, the 20-year old woman who rented the house and resided there with her young daughter, claimed that the loud noises were the result of a poltergeist.  She claimed that she would be in bed at night, only to hear the stereo turned up loudly, and that her attempts to get the ghost under control resulted only in further mischief.

the young woman was cited, and ordered to pay 875 pounds to the council, which she failed to do.  She has now been taken to court.

While I get the desire for a poltergeist to turn up the stereo - after all, the term poltergeist is a German word meaning "noisy ghost" - it's tendency to empty alcohol bottles and dump them in the yard is rather more confusing.  Perhaps it is unclear on what the term "intoxicating spirit" is supposed to mean.

Commentary:  History is full of examples of people concocting ghost stories to cover up for their own misdeeds.  The Amityville Case is probably the most gruesome and notable, but more minor cases are not uncommon. 

While this particular story seems especially silly (honestly, it wasn't me making the noise...it was..the...um...poltergeist!  Yeah, it's a haunted house party, that's the ticket!), it's no more so than the Amityville case (it just seems sillier because of the relatively trivial nature of the infringement: loud parties vs. multiple murders), nor is it really all that different of the many non-newsworthy cases where people blame missing car keys or other items on impish spirits. 

Although it is likely that this is just an example of Fennell being in a tight spot and coming up with the first excuse that came to mind (a very stupid excuse, really), there is always the possibility that she has managed to convince herself that it is true.  Weird thing about human memory, we can convince ourselves of the truth of all manner of outlandish things, no matter how absurd. 

Incidentally, I once lived next door to two kids attending the local community college who would have all-night, loud parties, and never seemed to grasp that their neighbors might object.  I kind of wish they had claimed that ghosts were responsible - it wouldn't have kept me from calling the police, but it would have at least given me a better story to tell my friends.

Sources:  IO9, This is Hull and Reading

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