It's a ghost story. Or is it? *cue otherworldly wailing*
73-year-old Doris Birch is like any other elderly British woman. She's polite, has an adorable accent and likely has an unnatural affection for tea. Also, she's apparently being haunted by a perverted ghost.
"It's like an octopus. It started four months ago. I was lying in bed when I felt this creepy pair of hands," Birch told her local newspaper, the Herne Bay Times. "I kicked frantically and it went away. Next time it came I hurled the duvet on to the floor! But the ghost keeps coming back. I've tried sleeping without the duvet. But it started shaking my mattress."
"I even threw the mattress off the bed and bought a new one but it has made no difference," Birch added.
Dementia? Birch says no.
"People are going to think I am mad but it is as real as the day to me. I'm not lonely. I love living alone. But this is very creepy and is giving me the jitters. It's harassing me. I need to call in the Ghostbusters."
Springing into action like an Anglican Carl Bernstein, the editors of the Herne Bay Times contacted a husband and wife team of ghost hunters, who offered the following solution:
Spirit medium Ray, a 52-year-old lorry driver, says he can draw the gross ghost into him while Beryl, 59, will envelope it in a "vortex of light" and send it to the "other side."
Smirk if you'd like, but the duo may be Birch's only hope. The Times also contacted Methodist Minister Hugh-Nigel Sheehan hoping his professional relationship with Jehovah might aid in the elderly woman's plight. Sheehan however, was seemingly stymied by the poltergeist.
"I was approached by Mrs Birch but I fear I am not in a position to help. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread," he said.
"I have no expertise in this at all. I am neither a trained counsellor nor from a church with a tradition of exorcism such as the Catholic Church. It is very difficult to know how to respond."
In turn, cynical Yankee commenters on io9 offered an alternate explanation, saying that Ms. Birch likely suffers from hypnagogia, a sleep state in which people can experience sensations that while strikingly real to their half-conscious mind have no actual physical cause.
Far be it from me, an unbiased observer, to suggest a course of action -- though I do support Ms. Birch's Ghostbusters idea -- so I shall instead throw this all to you. Based on the evidence above, is there a pervy ghost haunting the woman's bedroom? And how would you deal with such a situation? Holy water? Blessed whip? Cross subweapon?