It's an old fort, people died there, so it must be haunted. That's the take of at least a few people about the ironically named Fort Caspar in Wyoming.

Manager Rick Young was asked if he thought the fort was haunted. From the Casper Star-Tribune:

"I don't know," he said, "but we've certainly had weird stuff happening. ... There's certainly a lot of history, and a lot of violent history on this land."

So my question is... why are the two things associated? Is there any reason to believe that people living and dying in a place is a reason to have hauntings? And if that were the case, wouldn't every operating room in the country be filled with ghosts?

The Paranormal Research Society of Casper did a study, and recorded "an unknown voice." They also reported that they had trouble keeping batteries fresh in the store at the fort.

I did a "ghost hunt" with Alison Smith at Emily's Bridge in Vermont and encountered the drained-battery syndrome. A camera that I remember charging before we left for the site indicated dead batteries when I tried to use it there.

According to the Paranormal Research Society of Casper:

"We went through three sets of brand-new batteries [for the video camera]," said Lisa Lauderdale with the Paranormal Research Society. "The theory behind it is that ghosts need the energy to manifest."

The theory behind what? Dead batteries? Well here's my theory: I screwed up. Either I didn't actually charge them, or I left the camera turned on and the battery drained in the two hours it took to actually get to the site. Despite that, I could still claim that "recently charged batteries went dead instantly at the allegedly-haunted Emily's Bridge." Why don't I say that? Because it's not the simplest explanation. To say that ghosts drained the batteries is on par with saying that aliens drained them from orbit. Actually, the alien explanation has a bit more evidence to support.

If ghosts drain batteries, and simple experiment could be set up. Buy two sets of AA batteries. Same brand, same manufacture date. Keep one set in a "haunted" location, and keep the other set safe at home.  The next day, compare their voltages or better yet... time how long they power a device, like a flash light.

If, as I suspect, the results were that the batteries had the same amount of power, my guess is that the ghost hunters would have a simple explanation for that. Clearly, ghosts have followed them home.

What prompted this news article in the Casper Star-Tribune? There was a talk on ghosts at the fort, and some reporter decided to cover it. The fort is happy because it brings more people in. The paper is happy because people like reading about ghosts. Those of us who'd like to know the truth need not apply.