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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Sidebar: A nightmare on legal street

Just in time for Halloween, the hosts get together to discuss weird and spooky doings inside and outside the courtroom.

Pour yourself a hot drink, settle in beside the fire and get ready for a hauntingly good time as we bring you four chilling tales just in time for Halloween.

In our first chapter: McKamey Manor, arguably the scariest haunted house in operation, with an even scarier 40-page liability waiver. Among the things that you agree to possibly experience? Medieval torture devices. Nails removed from their nail beds. You may be subjected to extreme temperatures or have your head enclosed in a box with bees and wasps. These experiences aren't enough to stop over 20,000 fright seekers from joining the waitlist.

Next up on the demon docket: Stambovsky v. Ackley, also known as the Ghostbusters ruling. A man bought a house in Nyack, New York, that turned out to be so haunted that not only did he get out of his purchase, but the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court found that, "as a matter of law, the house is haunted."

A copyright case to turn your blood cold: the battle to keep "Dracula" out of the public domain and the classic silent film "Nosferatu" out of homes. Eventually, the fight landed before a German judge who ordered all remaining copies of “Nosferatu” to be burned, but it was too late — the movie and the infamous vampire live on.

We finish our tour of scary stories with one steeped in the occult: Mark Twain's return from the grave. Or, alleged return. Two mediums, Emily Grant Hutchings and Lola V. Hayes, claimed to speak with the spirit of Mark Twain. The famous storyteller supposedly tasked them with recording his next novel, "Jap Herron: A Novel Written From the Ouija Board.”

Sidebar tackles the top stories you need to know from the legal world. Join reporters Hillel Aron, Amanda Pampuro and Nina Pullano as they take you in and out of courtrooms in the U.S. and beyond and break down developments to help you understand how they affect your day-to-day life.

This episode was produced by Kirk McDaniel. Intro music by The Dead Pens. A transcript of this episode is available.

Editorial staff is Bill Dotinga, Sean Duffy and Jamie Ross.

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Categories / Appeals, Courts, Podcast

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