Tests Reveal Spook Haunting Santa Fe Courthouse Is Actually an Insect

Jeepers, it was just one of those creepers.

An investigator specializing in all things bizarre has debugged the mystery of the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost — a specter captured on a blurry surveillance videotape.

"In the end, it was in fact a bug or insect of some sort that was on the lens of the surveillance camera," said Benjamin Radford, a paranormal investigator and managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

The image — a glowing spot drifting in front of a patrol car parked beneath some trees — generated more than 132,000 hits on YouTube since Santa Fe County Deputy Alfred Arana first noticed the image June 15.

"There were a wide variety of theories on what it was," said Radford. "Some said it was a ghost. Some said it was drifting cottonwood fluff. Some said it was a prank."

But the one that stuck was a ghost.

Radford drove to Santa Fe to watch the original video, ruling out a couple of theories.

"If it was a reflection, what would be reflecting and why was the sun in the wrong place?" he said. "And why would someone conduct a prank on courthouse surveillance with deputies with guns watching? That didn't make sense."

After various tests, Radford shelled out $9 for 1,750 ladybugs and put the bugs on the camera casing. "Sure enough, we got the ghost," he said.

Radford said it's a rare definitive answer in his line of work investigating haunted houses, crop circles, psychics or Big Foot.

"This case was solved through logic, scientific analysis and methodology," he said.