Never! That would be a sacrilege, a betrayal of Science! In my already long crusade against paranormal and metaphysical phenomena I have never stopped applying the scientific method with scrupulosity. I’ll give you an example. Last year I decided to spend my summer vacation in a town in the Midwest where it was said that there was a haunted house. Due to this bad reputation, the owner could not rent it, so he was very surprised when he saw me sign the lease for a month. The house in question was located just outside the town right in the middle of what had once been a Sioux cemetery. Modestly, I consider myself an outstanding disciple of the great Harry Houdini, the greatest unmasking of paranormal frauds that has militated in the ranks of Science. So, following the example of my teacher, the first thing I did was to review the rooms one by one in search of hidden devices that could explain the strange voices that were said to be heard at night. I did not find any, which does not mean they were not there because the first night in the house there was a crying of such magnitude that I didn’t get a wink. Howls, guttural voices, groans, gnashing of teeth, profane expressions … Not to mention the Indian who walked all night in front of my bed with an ax stuck in his head. I did not want to get out of bed, not out of fear but for the care of not stumbling on something in the dark because the house lacked electricity. In addition, it was frightfully cold, my teeth did not stop chattering from cold all night (being the hottest month of the year, I had not brought warm clothes). But as soon as the sun rose and the screams ceased and the Indian disappeared, I jumped out of bed ready to unmask that farce. Because of the diversity of the voices, I had calculated that at least fifty people must be hidden in different parts of the house. (Unless it was a particularly skilled ventriloquist: it can all be with this kind of phonies.) The previous afternoon I had thoroughly inspected the house without finding anyone, so I started looking for secret compartments. But first I hurried to rescind the lease for a month because of a sudden professional commitment that had arisen (one of the elementary particles in my lab had gone astray). Of course the first suspect on my list was the Indian with the ax stuck in his head who had been walking all night in front of my bed. But unless he was an exceptional ventriloquist, I did not see him separate his lips at any time. So he was immediately discarded. With a mallet I started to demolish partitions and walls in search of secret hiding places. I was busy in this all day without resting a moment because I wanted to finish before nightfall, at which point I had to take the train back to New York. Despite leaving the house made a plot of land, I found only rats so (putting two and two together) to them I attributed the events of last night. Solved the case in this way, I rushed to the station giving a wide detour not to go through the town because, after the night that I had spent, I did not want to engage in conversation with anyone. At four in the morning I disembarked in New York with the satisfaction of having done my duty. Again, Science had triumphed over superstition and ignorance.
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