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|11-01-2006, 01:28 PM||#2501|
NEW YORK - A Brooklyn high school student caused a stir when he showed up for class dressed as Adolf Hitler for Halloween.
Walter Petryk, 16, defended his costume Tuesday, insisting it was a satire of the Nazi dictator.
But some students and officials at Leon M. Goldstein High School were not impressed.
School administrators ordered the junior honors student to remove his beige coat bearing a red swastika armband or possibly face spending the day in the office, Petryk told the New York Post for Wednesday editions.
Petryk refused, saying his parody was protected by his right to freedom of expression.
Petryk's stepfather, Howard Bloom, who is Jewish and lost relatives during the Nazi genocide, told the Post he was initially "very disturbed" by the costume but nonetheless defended his stepson's rights.
"If he had wanted to advocate my genocide, I wouldn't have allowed" the costume, Bloom said. "That wasn't the spirit in which he was doing this at all. He was doing it in the spirit of Monty Python and Mel Brooks."
The city's Department of Education discipline code allows for the removal of students from class if they wear clothing that causes a disruption.
In order to avoid a disruption on the way to school, Petryk disguised his Hitler getup as a costume of Charlie Chaplin, adding a bowler hat and cane.
Information from: New York Post, http://www.nypost.com
|11-01-2006, 01:30 PM||#2506|
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Forget the Halloween witches' hats and the fake cobwebs -- some of America's creepiest haunted homes can scare up a treat all year round.
From novelist Edith Wharton's palatial mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts, to a Gold Rush shack in California where rocking chairs rock by themselves, www.thisoldhouse.com on Tuesday profiled 15 of the nation's spookiest houses -- and offered some tips on how to hire a reliable ghostbuster.
Some of the haunted houses are still privately owned and occupied despite the poltergeists and organ music streaming from the electrical sockets.
Others have been turned into restaurants or inns, like the Wildflower Inn in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where toilets flush and mirrors are pulled of walls.
Wharton, who died in 1937 at the age of 75, is said to still haunt her estate, called The Mount, sending indoor temperatures icy when she appears.
In California's Kern River Valley, the Gold Rush era Apalatea/Burlando house is said to be haunted by a woman who lifts shot glasses in the air and the sounds of '49ers partying, shuffling cards and laughing.
The Web site also give advice on supernatural renovation advice and took a look at some of the latest gadgets aimed at detecting the paranormal by measuring electrical or magnetic fields and spotting radio and microwaves.
"Let me assure you, though, that ghosts are not present to hurt anyone and in almost every case, a family can peacefully coincide with a spirit," wrote Troy Taylor, founder of the American Ghost Society.
And advice for hiring a ghostbuster?
Taylor, who has written more than 40 books on the paranormal, said avoid ghost hunters who dabble in magic and advised that legitimate ghostbusters will not charge for their services.
"Only services that produce concrete, tangible results are worthy of payment and paranormal research is too unpredictable for that," he said.
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