A Wisconsin man arrested for allegedly punching his wife -- who claims a ghost is responsible for the domestic abuse -- will have a hard time scaring up paranormal researchers to back his claim.
Police in Fond du Lac, Wis., arrested Michael West, 41, on Jan. 15, after responding to a disturbance call. West's wife told the cops that her husband twice attempted to strangle her and that he struck her in the face when she attempted to call 911.
West told authorities that his wife sustained injuries as a result of several falls. But when an officer pressed the issue, West allegedly opted for a supernatural excuse -- "A ghost did it."
However, his explanation doesn't have a ghost of a chance of getting any support from researchers like Ron James, a filmmaker who specializes in the paranormal.
"Reports of ghosts attacking people or making them do things are extremely rare and there is no solid evidence to support them," James told HuffPost Weird News. "You won't find anyone who will vouch for them."
James says the only way West's claim might be legit is if the house has had documented paranormal activity, or if West and his wife have been known to have otherworldly entities following them.
"If the husband had become possessed by some demonic entity, it certainly could manifest as violent," James said. "It probably is a case where none of us will ever know for sure, but the cynical side of me says that 'a ghost made me do it' is a pretty convenient excuse."
According to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun, West's wife says his violent behavior has increased and there had been a previous no-contact order filed against him.
Alexandra Holzer, a second-generation ghost researcher and HuffPost blogger, says West's alibi, while highly unusual, could be possible, but admits his "shady, checkered spousal abusive past" makes her skeptical.
"If they were the original owners -- meaning the builders or the first homeowners -- then I would say research the property it sits on for past history like devil worshiping or graves unearthed or hidden," Holzer told HuffPost Weird News. "However, my main feeling towards this story is that [it's maybe] due to the upsurge in cable TV shows on what is 'depicted' as a ghost attacking and/or physical behavior from the dead [and] is played off here in this case as sheer stupidity as a defense from this guy."
In recent years, shows like "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures" have become popular cable TV hits by allegedly showing investigators tussling with supposed spooks, and Holzer thinks that may have inspired West to scare up his alleged excuse.
"I wonder what shows he watches. I feel he is utilizing pop-culture here and some fantasy mixed in, but it's a tough one to call 'ghost attack' in my opinion."
Paranormal journalist and HuffPost blogger Alejandro Rojas says ghosts may attack people, but they don't throw fisticuffs.
"I have never heard of a story of someone being punched by a ghost, but people have reported being pushed," Rojas told HuffPost Weird News. "There have even been occasions on the 'Ghost Hunters' TV program where an investigator believes they have been shoved."
But Rojas still says that he is skeptical of West's claim.