Paranormal Pub Encounter Freaks Cops Out

I guess they could’ve offered to buy the ghostly gal a stiff drink…

Cops in northern England were scared silly after an eerie encounter with a boozy boogie-lady at a bar.

The detectives were responding to a call about a possible burglary at the Low Valley Arms pub in South Yorkshire, but all they found was a spooked landlord convinced he’d seen a ghost, the Associated Press reports.

The landlord went on to say he’d encountered the white gown-wearing spirit in the ladies’ room, and that she seemed to have misplaced her face.

"I heard the alarm go off for a second time, went into the pub and all the television screens had turned on," the landlord said.

"I went to check the rest of the pub and standing in the women's lavatories was a woman with half her face missing. I was petrified."

Though they didn’t catch a glimpse of the ghastly ghoul themselves, the officers did find a bunch of potties flushing on their own, according to Inspector John Bowler of the South Yorkshire Police. After finding no sign of forced entry, the frightened crew high-tailed it out of the paranormal pub.

But news of the haunt has made the place the talk of the town, even attracting a national TV crew hell-bent on capturing the specter on film, should she appear again.

As for the landlord, he’s sticking to his story but says he and his wife don’t intend to leave.

Cops on a Queasy Quest to Bag the Barf Bandit

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in Henry County are stuck in the middle of a less than appetizing investigation. Investigators are trying to find the person who has dumped bags of what appears to be human vomit in ditches in a 1 1/2-mile area northeast of the city.

Deputy Dan Wesley said as many as 50 garbage and trash bags containing regurgitated food has been dumped over the past three years.

Bags, ranging in size from small white trash bags to large black lawn bags, have been found with only a couple of inches of the substance in them, Wesley said.

"It's pretty weird," he said. "It's pretty unusual for us ... we haven't worked anything like this before."

A sample was taken from one of the bags and sent to a private lab for analysis.

"We haven't found any DNA or anything yet," he said.

There are no suspects in the case.

"We were just hoping ... whoever is doing it will stop," Wesley said.

Nanna Busts Open a Big 'Ole Can of Whoop-Tushie

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — This gutsy granny's not taking any guff from anybody.

A 74-year-old woman thwarted a home invasion by choking the intruder until he ran away.

Thelma Carter said when the man she allowed to use her phone Sunday suddenly barged into her Decatur home, she grabbed his throat and "strangled the living daylights out of him."

Carter said the man, who appeared to be in his 20s, looked scared. When she began calling for her grandson, who wasn't in the house at the time, the intruder turned and ran.

Carter said the man was running down the street the last time she saw him.

The retired motel clerk, who took a self-defense course a few years ago and works as a school crossing guard, says she's keeping an eye out for the man in her neighborhood.

Thanks to Out There reader Jennifer C.

We Live in the Age of Butt-Naked Celebutantes

LONDON (AP) — A massive language research database responsible for bringing words such as "podcast" and "celebutante" to the pages of the Oxford dictionaries has officially hit a total of 1 billion words, researchers said Wednesday.

Drawing on sources such as Web logs, chatrooms, newspapers, magazines and fiction, the Oxford English Corpus spots emerging trends in language usage to help guide lexicographers when composing the most recent editions of dictionaries.

The press publishes the Oxford English Dictionary, considered the most comprehensive dictionary of the language, which in its most recent August 2005 edition added words such as "supersize," "wiki" and "retail politics" to its pages.

Oxford University Press lexicographer Catherine Soanes said the database is not a collection of 1 billion different words but of sentences and other examples of the usage and spelling.

"The corpus is purely 21st century English," said Judy Pearsall, publishing manager of English dictionaries. "You're looking at current English and seeing what's happening right now. That's language at the cutting edge."

As hybrid words such as "geek-chic," "inner-child" or "gabfest" increase in usage, Pearsall said part of the research project's goal is to identify words that have lasting power.

"English gets really creative, really fun. What we're putting in dictionaries is words that will stick around," she said.

Launched in January 2000, the Oxford English Corpus is part of the world's largest-funded language research project, costing $90,000 to $107,000 per year.

It has helped identify how the spellings of common phrases have changed, such as "fazed by" to "phased by" or "free rein" to "free reign."

"Buck naked" increasingly has evolved to "butt naked."

The corpus collects evidence from all the places where English is spoken, whether from North America, Britain, the Caribbean, Australia or India, to reflect the most current and common usage of the English language.

Forget Easter Eggs, This Kid Finds Cash

DELAWARE, Ohio (AP) — When Lauren Arledge found $200 in the street, the 11-year-old didn't think to keep it.

Fearing someone had been robbed, she went to her mother's office and told her to call the police. Then she went back out to look for more bills.

The girl, with the help of a mail carrier and a co-worker of her mother's, spent a half hour gathering another $1,150 over a two-block area.

"It was all over the place, on the sidewalk, under bushes, inside bushes," said Lauren, who made the discovery as she was heading to the library.

A grateful man who said he dropped his wallet and lost $1,450 gave the girl a $50 reward.

Lauren's mother, Christine Arledge, said she's not surprised her daughter wanted to call police instead of trying to keep the money.

"I'm very proud, but I'm not surprised," she said. "If you knew Lauren, you would just know."

Lauren said she imagined what it would feel like if someone kept money she had lost.

"I would really get mad if someone did that to me," she said.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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