Ghosts for Sale 鬼魂出卖
By Jack Izzard
As ghost stories go, it's frankly a bit weak. Not very frightening and with a happy ending, it doesn't really prove the existence of the supernatural either.
But it does show beautifully the enduring popularity of the offbeat and wacky on the internet.
Our tale begins in the home of Avie Woodbury in Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island. Last year, she says, things started to go bump in the night:
"We had a lot of activity. Mainly it was banging, banging in the house. And also I think the biggest thing for us was that our dog would sort of stop in its tracks and it would just look into nothing and then start barking. And this happened several times and we just got a real weird feeling over us. Just so odd that you just can't explain it."
The novelty soon wore off and Miss Woodbury hired an exorcist to rid her of the spooky interlopers.
A paranormal specialist from the local spiritualist church duly came and captured two ghosts, which he claimed to have trapped in a pair of small glass vials.
The funny goings on promptly stopped, leaving a greatly relieved Miss Woodbury with just one problem - what to do with the spirits and their tiny prisons. Rather than throw them in the bin she decided to sell them online to the highest bidder.
"Early on in the auction it got a bid for $1.50 and I said to my partner, 'Oh how wonderful, we've got rid of the spirits', you know, and we were quite happy to have $1.50 for them. And we never thought it would get so much publicity and so many people viewing the auction, so just incredible."
With its obvious parallels to the 1980s film Ghostbusters, news of the sale quickly spread - and the online auction was viewed 214,000 times. The ghosts were finally sold for nearly $2000 US dollars, which Miss Woodbury intends to donate to an animal charity.
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