When a strange sound goes bump in the night, who are you going to call? For actor Hugh Grant, the answer is all too obvious—The Ghostbusters.
It all began when Grant’s son started complaining from an early age that he saw a boy roaming the halls of their London home, or rather a “friend’s house… where a couple of my kids live,” joked the 55-year-old actor on the Late Late Show With James Corden on Thursday.
Later, Grant claimed, his son’s friends began claiming that they too had a few encounters with the mysterious apparition.
Determined to create a comfortable environment for his son, Grant did what any loving parent with the financial means would do. He called an expert to go in and exorcise his house.
“I’m a rational person, well educated, not an idiot. I find myself ringing a Ghostbuster. And it’s so shaming. I had to. The poor little boy was terrified all night.”
However, unlike the slapstick heroines in the recent reboot or the classic comedy hit from the 1980s that it is based on, the Ghostbuster Hugh Grant called, whom he identifies as London-based spiritual healer and acupuncturist Wendy Mandy, did not show up in a hearse with the company logo wielding a blaster connected to a proton pack to grab the ghoul, or foot activated traps to suck him up and carry him off.
Mandy, whom Grant claims visited the allegedly haunted house twice a week for a period of time, reportedly used a method some ghostbusting experts consider controversial, and even a common means of ripping off gullible clients. According to Grant, she burned sage to chase the ghost away.
“She burnt about 7lb of sage then banged a little drum and played an instrument and said all the spirits are gone,” said Grant.
According to an article by the New York Times, founder of San Diego Paranormal Research Project Bonnie Vent warns against these forms of ghostbusting, claiming them to be fraudulent in her e-book titled “Is My House Haunted? A Practical Guide.”
“There are people who will take advantage of others by using holy water, burning sage and spreading salt around the perimeter of the house,” said Vent. “Spirit people are people. These things have no effect in the long term.”
After multiple house visits by Ms. Mandy, Hugh Grant would probably agree, as he later in his interview with Corden referred to her methods as “boll**ks,” claiming his son still saw the boy looking in at him through the window.
After news of Grant’s appearance on the Late Late Show went viral, the allegedly phony Ghostbuster hit back, arguing in an interview with the Daily Mail that the actor’s cynicism about her methods weakened their power and for that reason the ghost was able to return.
Mandy referred to cynicism as a “frequency” or an unspoken mode of communication that affects the aura of an environment.
“I did what I could,” said Mandy. “When you’re dealing with frequency you’re dealing with something in the intellectual left brain. Science is proving that plants have their own language, animals have their own language – it’s a frequency language, it’s not upper-class English Hugh Grant language.”
Contrary to Grant’s claim that she visited his home about twice a week, Mandy argued that she only went to his house once and never returned. She also denied using sage, but admitted to using Peruvian sticks and a Tibetan singing bowl to fix the negative “frequency” she believed permeated throughout the home.
According to her version of the story, Mandy, who claims to have had many celebrity clients during her four decades as a professional shaman, only agreed to take Hugh Grant’s case because she was close friends with the person who recommended him and because there was a small child involved.
[Photo by Jason LaVeris/Getty Images]