My wife and I are big fans of the This Old House show. We live in the Boston area and have used the Trethewey Bros service. We also have enjoyed seeing the team at work on some of their local projects. So it was with some dismay that we noticed an article, apparently from the September issue of the magazine, on the CNN.com website (Living section, Nov 7, 2007).

The piece, entitled "Critter in your house? What to do", by Josh Garskof, has advice on household emergencies. Sensible advice, it seemed, until we read the section entitled "The House is Haunted". Huh?!?

Now I know it was just Halloween, and I like a good joke as much as the next person, but please don't imply to your readers that ghosts, goblins, poltergeists, leprechauns or unicorns exist. They do not. Implying that you believe they do, makes the magazine, and the This Old House team, look ridiculous.

According to Harris organization polling, roughly 40% of Americans believe in ghosts, 68% believe in angels and 21% believe in reincarnation. While tolerance for other points of view is supposedly a virtue, I would submit that irrationality and belief without evidence are not admirable qualities. If you don't recommend taking a sick child to a witch doctor, why do you recommend that homeowners hold exorcisms? Such things have no place in your otherwise rational and practical magazine.


Steve W.
Cambridge, MA