I've said it once already. You really should've been listening.
Seriously: if ghosts do exist (they do not) why are people even scared of them anyway? What do ghosts even do? They just float around moaning and groaning. Frankly, that's most people on social media, and we're not scared of them. They're just annoying.
Ghosts aren't even scary to look at; they're just like regular people, only more transparent. Again, like many on social media...
Oh, I'm on fire today!!!!!
Furthermore, the most scary thing a ghost might do is, I dunno, move a glass, or open a cupboard door, or something. In my house, if somebody leaves a cupboard door open, it's irritating, not terrifying. Also, while I'm at it, if you finish the toilet paper, is it really that much effort to replace the roll for the next person? The spare rolls - and the bin - are right next to the toilet! Are you in that much of a hurry that you can't take five seconds to switch them over, and bin the empty roll?
It's an important issue that needs to be dealt with, but I admit it's a digression that you probably didn't need to know about. Let's move on.
Thing is, while ghosts apparently aren't scary in actuality (or even real in actuality), the idea that they're scary is so ingrained in our consciousness - through movies, and books, and games like Luigi's Mansion 3 - that even the most supernaturally sceptic among us can, if the conditions are right, get a bit freaked out by the unexplained.
So, I've just come back from my belated honeymoon. 10 days in California, the first part of which was a sort of mini road trip out into the desert. That went well!
Upon the suggestion of a friend, we stayed for a few nights at the historic Joshua Tree Inn. It was the literal middle of nowhere, and yet - once we had need of them, due to the unscheduled wrecking of our rental car - we discovered that Ubers are more plentiful out there than they sometimes are at home.
We stayed in the room next door to where the "cosmic" musician Gram Parsons - inventor of country rock, or something - died. The Joshua Tree Inn goes big on this, as you'd expect; the reception is full of Gram Parsons memorabilia, and photos, and there's a literal, guitar-shaped, shrine to Parsons right outside the door to the fabled Room 8.
In fact, I almost booked us into the Gram Parsons room, but the idea weirded me out a bit. Not because I thought it was haunted, more that I just didn't like the idea of staying in a room where somebody had died of a drug overdose.
It was bad enough when I once stayed with friends in New Jersey, who neglected to mention until afterwards that I'd been sleeping in a bed in which somebody had passed away the week before. I've no real desire to do that again. I was happy to have a wall between us and the scene of Gram Parsons' final moments.
The Joshua Tree Inn is a gorgeous little motel, and obvious why it has been frequented by artists and musicians over the years. One of the rooms is known as the Donovan Suite, because it's a favourite of the "Sunshine Superman" troubadour (as an aside, if you get the chance... seek out Donovan's terrible 2015 single One English Summer, in which he turns his attentions to more parochial concerns, with the lyrics: "One English Summer... crumpet everywhere... One English summer... Jumbo in the air")...
Anyhow, the Joshua Tree Inn is apparently haunted by Gram Parsons' ghost, because OF COURSE IT IS, as that's the sort of thing that's going to drum up business. There are only something like 11 rooms, but the staff are said to need walkie-talkies on their rounds. You see, the "ghost" sometimes locks them in the rooms. Again: is that scary, or annoying?
All ghosts: "It's just a prank, bro!"
Gram was a bit of a party animal by all accounts, and on September 19th 1973, he was found unconscious in Room 8 "shortly after midnight" by the friends he'd been partying with earlier that evening, having slightly overdone it on the old morphine and heroin (cocaine and alcohol were also found in his system)
Parsons was briefly revived with an "ice cube suppository" (surely an ice pop would've been easier?), but after a couple of hours his breathing became laboured, and he lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered. He was later pronounced dead at the Hi Desert Memorial Hospital ("Oh hi, desert!") in nearby Yucca Valley. What happened next was a story so bizarre that they made a movie of it a few years ago (Grand Theft Parsons).
We headed into Joshua Tree National Park one evening, where we sat on Cap Rock to watch the stars come out. It's where Parsons' body was treated to an impromptu - and not entirely successful - cremation, after it was stolen from Los Angeles International Airport by his road manager, Phil Kaufman, and assistant. How did they achieve that? Presumably, the security was rather LAX!!!!!
I'm a real funny guy.
They poured so much petrol (five gallons, in fact) over Parsons' coffin that it created an enormous fireball that alerted a group of campers, who contacted park authorities. By the time they arrived to find the partly-incinerated body, Kaufman and his cohort had legged it, but were arrested when their stolen hearse was involved in a multi-car pile-up on the freeway.
They managed to escape that scene as well, but were eventually tracked down and each given a 30-day suspended sentence, fined $300, and ordered to pay $708 for funeral expenses. To raise the necessary funds, they threw a benefit party entitled Kaufman's Koffin Kaper Koncert.
We only visited Cap Rock to look at the stars and sort of complete our Gram Parsons pilgrimage. It would've been a properly magical experience, were it not for a group of stargazers in the carpark, one of whom was called Adam. We know this, because Adam loudly introduced himself to everyone who arrived.
"Hi. Are you a stargazer? Me too. I'm Adam... Hi, here to see the stars? Me too. I'm Adam... I'm Adam. Adam is my name. Adam Adam Adam Adam Adam Adam."
Adam needed to shut up.
Later that night, back at the Joshua Tree Inn, I got up shortly after midnight to have a wee-wee, and could hear music and partying coming from Room 8 next door. I thought this was a bit weird; the room had seemed entirely unoccupied before then.
Still, I figured, if you're morbid enough to stay in the room in which Gram Parsons died, you might as well make the most of it. Good for them. Good. For. Them...
But then this happened: I heard the sound of copious vomiting coming through the wall. Like proper, choking, retching, throwing up. You know... like my neighbour does at 6am every morning, or WHEN SOMEBODY DOES AN OVERDOSE, PROBABLY.
Rather than investigate further, this, I decided in my jet lagged, semi-conscious, mid-stream, state, was the ghost of Gram Parsons reliving his dying moments. I cut the urination short, hurried back to my bed, and hid under the covers, inexplicably terrified.
Obviously I felt like an idiot the next morning. How had I been so scared of somebody being sick?! Ghosts aren't real, and we'd seen nothing else to suggest that Gram Parsons was haunting the Joshua Tree Inn! Also, what sort of a name is "Gram" anyway? If he'd been around these days, he'd have probably changed his name to INSTAGRAM Parsons!!!!
That's a good joke.
As we ventured out to properly explore the park, there was still no sign of any occupants in Room 8... but a Do Not Disturb sign had been hung on the door handle... Was this the work of Gram Parsons' ghost... or simply a pre-emptive measure by ghoulish, enthusiastic, fans who anticipated a hangover, and didn't want to be disturbed by housekeeping?
YOU BE THE JUDGE.
Now, I tell you all this not because I want to impress you, or scare you, or because I thought you'd be interested (I mean, I already shared this story on Twitter, where it got a pathetic 33 likes), but because I couldn't really be bothered doing a proper review of Luigi's Mansion 3.
Luigi's Mansion 3 is basically the same Luigi's Mansion you might already be familiar with; explore a series of rooms, search for ghosts, stun them with the beam of your torch, and then use your Dyson to suck them up like they're bucking broncos.
See how boring this is? See now why I told a protracted story about somebody being sick instead of doing an actual review?
I mean, nothing has changed in a fundamental way from that first Luigi's Mansion on the Gamecube (not even the visuals; for me, it remains one of the best-looking games of its generation).
Because this is new, there are mini games, multiplayer modes - including an 8-player local mode, absurdly, and you can make use of Luigi's water-sensitve, Flubber-like, doppleganger either as a second player, or by switching between the two to solve puzzles.
Add to this a bunch of new gear (including a Virtual Boy-like headset), and many, many, secrets areas. Plus, there's far more variety in the visuals than we have before, and defeating boss ghosts tends - more than most games - to require you to figure out their weakness first.
And blah blah blah.
That's it in a nutshell. If the slower pace of previous Luigi's Mansion games wasn't for you - and if you hate the ghost levels in the Mario games - this probably isn't going to be your ghost-bag. Nonetheless, there's no doubting that it's a gorgeous game, quite unlike anything else, and, well... that's it. I've run out of steam. I'm done.
SCORE: 7.222222 out of 10.11111111