More Signal, Less Noise
Halloween Issue Volume 04, Issue 32
Tuesday, October 27, 1998

Call me Simpson.
I'm a private dick, IGHS Union Chapter 13,
based in Minnesota.
I was going through some old files
when this babe in stripes blew into my office.
She was drop-dead gorgeous
with jewelry to match.
"What's your story?" I asked.
Contact and Subscription Information

Call me Simpson.

Last week, Tom Maurstad of the Dallas Morning News (DMN) observed how, with its Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials, "The Simpsons" has "made the holiday its own and helped push Halloween onto pop culture's center stage." We'd have to agree. Would NSD put out a Halloween special edition (the hardest issue to do all year) if "The Simpsons" hadn't? It's hard to say, but that show certainly had a positive influence. Tom further observed that "Unlike Christmas, Halloween is a free-floating holiday. No cause for somber reflection, just some vaguely pagan background and a contemporary tradition of wearing costumes, eating candy - and don't forget the tricks." We'd love to point you to a full text of that article, but since the DMN charges for its archives, we can't. If you want, you can try to find it at the DMN site yourself. Or there's the synopsis of this year's ninth Treehouse of Horror.

I'm a private dick, IGHS Union Chapter 13,

The two people responsible for the International Ghost Hunters Society's Web site claim that "Spirits of the Dead walk among us!" (This can be verified at many offices around 8:30 a.m. any Monday, but that's another story.) A monthly ghost photography workshop teaches not only the pros and cons of film and digital cameras but also tips on the "ghost hunting tools used by professionals" and how to record the voices of the dead. (We ourselves have recorded one or two on an answering machine, but that's about all.) The one-day workshop costs $100 and includes lunch. Cheaper if equally laughable features of the site include more than 4,000 ghost photos with descriptions, stories, reports, and links. Apparently, "jpg files... may be faked in a paint program" but "actual photographs" are proof. Check or credit-card it out.

based in Minnesota.

Visit Glancey's Gym in St. Paul, Minn. and you might bump into the ghost of a boxer pounding the bags who works out with such vigor that sometimes plaster from the ceiling breaks off and falls into the owner's bathtub. Afterwards, take a tour of the Twin Cities' most spooky places, from the State Fair, home to a bird believed to be the reincarnation of a ride maintenance worker, to the Ramsey County Courthouse, where a 3 a.m. visitor disappeared into thin air, prompting a guard to say, "I knew then it was somebody that wasn't really there."

I was going through some old files

New to NSD? Nostalgic for the days before we switched to HTML exclusively? Either way, you should take a look at our past Halloween issues. The one before you is our fourth. The ones below are our first, second, and third.

when this babe in stripes blew into my office.

Some sites we save all year for this issue. Jail Babes is everything a he-man has ever dreamed of in a Web site: thousands of lovely, lonely, incarcerated single chicks just sitting around waiting for a letter and visit from you! No high-falutin', nose-in-the-air stuff here, sir. You can search for white girls, black girls, or other girls, and by age. We checked out AW26588 and found her bio touching: "I am a sweet, kind, loving and understanding woman. I enjoy movies, outdoor activities, camping, swimming and walking. I would like to find a sweet, understanding man who is not into playing games." She's willing to relocate, as are many of her peers. If you've been into the singles' scene recently, you'll get a kick out of Jail Babes. As the home page tells you, "Whatever you are looking for, you are going to find it here!"

She was drop-dead gorgeous

From the autoerotic fetishist to the Zagreb zoo keeper, some of us drop dead in strange, odd, and intriguing ways - and Ain't No Way to Go has them all. The site neatly presents hundreds of stories, snippets, and full length tales of the Grim Reaper, some wryly amusing but all macabre. Contemporary tales of death on the road jostle for space with the gruesome deathbed "treatment" of Charles II of England - who was undoubtedly very glad to go at the end. Nemesis comes in many guises, and well-written and morbidly fascinating tales of death fill this site, which merits its excellent URL.

with jewelry to match.

Paul Martrildonno creates Serious Silver jewelry, quite a bit of which is seriously twisted. Come here to pick up a vampire skull bolo for your next important interview. Drop in and buy a severed cyborg arm necklace to give the gift that says, "I love you because you're just as twisted as I am." One of the more innovative ideas on the site, if you don't count the whole erotica section, is a contest for tattoo jewelry. If you send in a unique tattoo design and they like it better than all the other entries, you'll win a piece of jewelry modeled after your tattoo. Then when folks ask to see your tattoo, hoping for a glimpse of flesh, you can just whip out your necklace. Or if they ask to see your necklace....

"What's your story?" I asked.

Let Grave Yard Shift provide the spooky tales. Visitors drop off their favorite ghost stories, then the Webmaster edits them for grammar (oh, a thankless task!) and puts them online. As such, the stories are varied in quality and topic. Some tale-spinners use rather dubious points of reference. We're told a flying object "dropped like a dead cat" and, in another spot, that "the fog was thicker than snot." Which begs the questions: just how does a dead cat thud to the floor and how different is it, say, than a dead dog; and doesn't the viscosity of snot vary? We thought it clever that the site maintainer withholds each author's claim of fact or fiction. With over sixty stories at the site, you're sure to find one that tickles your skull and crossbones.

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