Jimmy Carr is a great comedian with a funny laugh.
He also has a great take on ghosts.
“It’s actually easy to tell if your house is haunted,” Carr said in one of his recent specials. “It isn’t. Grow up.”
Since I watched the first episode of “Ghosts of Devil’s Perch” on the Travel Channel, I have been reciting Carr’s line to anyone who will listen. (Click here for a podcast version of this column.)
I have also been paraphrasing the words of the great Bill Burr from his appearance in Bozeman in the summer of 2013.
A ghost can go wherever he wants. He can go to the Super Bowl. He can go to the women’s locker room.
Does he do that? No.
Instead, the idiot stands by the boiler in your basement just so he can give you an “oooooh” when you walk by every three years.
If you are older than 13 and still believe in ghosts, then you are probably not going to like this column. But you are the one who should be reading it.
Before you start telling me your ghost stories and why I am wrong when I laugh at you, answer me this. Why do you only hear about ghosts at night?
Is there any kind of explanation as to why you never see or hear from Casper in the day time?
Also, how do you know that the ghost in the closet was not Sully or Randall from Monster, Inc? That seems to be just as believable as a soul of a dead person.
I cannot remember who said it, but “Ghosts of Devil’s Perch” is our “Tiger King.” It was a horrendously silly show, but we could not take our eyes off of it.
For other more gullible people out there, the show was a confirmation of what they have always believed.
To be fair, the eight-part series did some good things. For one, it showcased the beauty and history of the Mining City.
Dillon native and retired teacher Chris Fisk did an outstanding job helping Dave Schrader, Cindy Kaza and K.D. Stafford intertwine Mining City history and ghost stories.
However, the television series showed me that Dave, Cindy and K.D. are, with all due respect, monumentally fully of crap.
Remember, I said, “With all due respect.”
That is not to say that they are lying. It is possible that a person can be genuine and still be very much full of crap.
Maybe Dave experienced some kind of medical issue when he claimed to have been injured in a “paranormal shooting” at the Cabbage Patch cabin. Maybe he thought he really was shot by a ghost bullet.
Maybe he really thought he was pushed by the ghost of Michael Hickey when he tripped while walking into the Orphan Girl Mine.
Then again, maybe that carnival worker really does believe that the ring toss game he is running is on the level. It is not, but maybe he believes the line of B.S. he is giving you.
When it comes to tracking down “ghosts,” I would take Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Raymond Stantz and Dr. Egon Spengler over Dave, Cindy and K.D. any day.
Actually, I would go with Fred, Velma, Daphne and Shaggy before I would believe in Cindy’s “automatic writing.”
I am not saying she is lying, but I would buy some oceanfront property in Arizona before I would believe that the “medium” is actually channeling the thoughts of the ghosts when she puts her Sharpie to her yellow legal pad.
The “ghost box” is another thing that would not get out of the Scooby-Doo writer’s room. Did you get a look at that thing? It looked like an old boom box from the 1980s.
As silly as the “ghost box” appears to be, it is the way they used it that makes it hard to believe.
Supposedly, Dave, Cindy and K.D. have been hunting ghosts for quite some time while using such cutting-edge technology from the Reagan years. So, they likely saw some crazy things.
Then why are they shocked to profanity every time they heard some radio static that they say was a word?
That leads me back to my full-of-crap theory, and it shows that Sheriff Ed Lester was not the worst actor in the series.
While “Ghosts of Devil’s Perch” was must-see television for everyone from Butte, it did not enhance the image of anyone who appeared on the show.
It likely had people from all over the country laughing at Butte and Dillon native Chris Fisk.
It did not make the sheriff or “mayor” J.P. Gallagher, who is actually the chief executive of Butte-Silver Bow, look particularly good. It did not make the adults who said they saw ghosts look good, either.
It was fun to see some of Butte’s history, and it made me want to read Jake Sorich’s book about the Cabbage Patch.
Between Sorich and Dillon native Chris Fisk, the show told lots of neat stories about Butte.
It was fun to learn about the Axe Man of the Cabbage patch and the men who were hanged in the courtyard behind the courthouse.
It was also great that people were introduced to the story of Willie Corette, a 10-year-old boy who died while playing baseball in Butte in 1891.
According to newspaper reports, Corette made a spectacular jumping catch of a line drive down the third base line and disappeared with the ball tight in his mitt. He fell 110-feet into an open mineshaft and died.
In a Rat Chat column in 2004, Matt Vincent called Willie Butte’s “Say Heeeyyyyy Kid.”
As good as it was to hear Willie mentioned, it was not fair to portray him as a ghost in the Hennessy Mansion.
For 131 years, Corette’s family — and he still has family in Butte — was comforted by the thought that the young boy was resting in peace. This show made it look like the boy was still suffering in the afterlife.
While the other ghost stories were fun and harmless, I saw the painting of Corette as the friendly ghost looking over the players for the Mining City Tommyknockers as an insult.
We have all heard things go bump in the night. We have all felt the cold spots, and we have all seen lights flicker.
I have seen things in my house that I cannot explain.
But why do we jump to the conclusion that it is a ghost if we cannot explain it?
Isn’t there just as good of a chance that it is a goblin? Or a vampire? Or Frankenstein?
Oh yeah, you are right. That would be silly.
And why do we assume that it is the ghost of a human terrorizing our city? It is just as likely that the ghost is Dino the dinosaur is telling us to get off his prehistoric turf as it is Michael Hickey whining about not getting recognition for finding the Anaconda Mine.
Oh, I almost forgot. The bullet that was teleported to Dave and K.D. in the courthouse showed that it was former humans doing the haunting.
Dinosaurs lived with strict gun-control laws. That is why they went extinct.
There is no way the cast or crew of the show could have planted the bullet next to the gallows that they planted in the basement of the courthouse.
Yes, a very reliable source at the courthouse says that the old hanging gallows are not normally just lying around in the basement. We take better care of our history.
That makes me think that they just might have also faked the “paranormal shooting” and the front door to the Hettick house opening on its own.
In the final scene of the final episode, Sheriff Lester said the number of calls to police reporting ghost sightings completely disappeared after Dave, Cindy and K.D. did their thing.
But just what was their thing? Commissioning a third-grader to paint a portrait of Hickey to hang in the courthouse and telling the ghosts to leave is what did the trick?
Everyone knows that you have to cross the streams to get rid of a monster ghost like that. Either that or you demask the disgruntled owner of the old amusement park.
Just like those were not real ghosts in Scooby-Doo, those are not really ghosts in the Mining City.
If you are over the age of 13 and the series “Ghosts of Devil’s Perch” and Dillon native Chris Fisk made you think they are, then you should really consider the words of Jimmy Carr and grow up.
You should also check out some of the oceanfront property I have for sale.
— Bill Foley, who blames Dillon for the pointing and laughing at Butte following eight episodes of “Ghosts of Devil’s Perch,” can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74.
Don’t forget the train from Anaconda that wrecked on the trestle in Roosevelt drive on it’s way to uptown Butte.