Date: Sat Jun 04 1994 09:24:02
From: David Bloomberg
To: Peter Berrett
Subj: 3 men + a baby
In a msg to All on , Peter Berrett of 1:30163/150 writes:
PB> im just writing to see what people know about the infamous ghost that
PB> was seen in 3 men and a baby. I realise that this subject was probably
PB> talked about several years ago but i only have become aware of it
Is this thing STILL going on?
Ok, here I go, digging out the books...
From _The Baby Train_, by Jan Harold Brunvand (his 5th book on urban legends),
"It turns out that the 1987 film (released on videotape in 1990) _Three Men
and a Baby_, you can make out the shadowy figure of what appears to be a young
boy standing near a window in the rear of the scene involving Ted Danson and
Celeste Holm, who plays his mother. Apparently, nobody noticed the image when
the film ran in theaters, but thousands spotted it in the videotapes.
The boy seems to be wearing jeans and a T-shirt and staring stiffly ahead,
partly obscured by sheer curtains. Some people claim to see a rifle leaning
against the wall next to the boy. The other characters in the scene ignore the
boy, and he never appears elsewhere in the film.
This oddity is explained, according to the story people began telling, by
the notion that a New York apartment used for the filming was leased by the
filmakers from a couple who moved out after their son committed suicide there.
Some say the boy shot himself, others believe that he fell out of the window
near where his ghost appears.
When the couple saw the film, they supposedly recognized their son wearing
the same clothes he had died in. To account for the delay in spotting the
ghost, some people claim that the New York couple never managed to catch the
film in a theater, and only spotted the ghost image when they rented the video.
Several further variations, none of them true, help validate this story as
a genuine legend: Some people say the son was murdered, or that the couple has
appeared on a national TV program discussing the case; others claim that those
who filmed the scence never saw the boy, or that the boy visible on the tapes
does not show up at conventional screenings of the film.
People not inclined to tell ghost stories have suggested that the boy may
have been the son of a member of the film's cast or crew who accidentally found
himself in camera range and "froze." Others speculate that he may be a young
relative of Leonard Nimoy, the film's director who had promised the boy a
chance to appear in the movie.
Then there are inevitable claims in stories about big business that the
film production company must have inserted the "ghost" scenes in order to
build interest in the video rentals and in the film's sequel. Though the story
did boost rentals of _Three Men and a Baby_, there's no evidence that it was
Chris Hicks, film critic for the Salt Lake City _Desert News_ dubbed the
strange story "Three Men and a Spectral Vision." "Every film commentator in
the region," he told me in mid-August, 1990, "has been inundated with calls
Shortly after I spoke to Hicks, a television newscaster in Las Vegas called
saying the same story was circulating both locally and on computer nets.
Before long I was receiving calls and letters about the ghostly videotape story
from all over the country, and several national publications had mentioned it.
The story is easily debunked. As journalists who queried Touchstone
Pictures division of the Walt Disney studios learned, the apartment scenes in
the movie were filmed not in a Manhattan apartment but on a soundstage in
Toronto. There was no actual New York apartment, no dead son, and no bereft
But there definitely _is_ an unexplained human figure visible in the
background of the scene in question. It turns out to be a slightly smaller
than life-sized cardboard cutout of actor Ted Danson who appears in the film in
the character of an actor. The cardboard figure, explained the studio,
represents part of an advertising display that his character used to decorate
That's the reality of the _Three Men and a Baby_ ghost..."
And if that doesn't settle things, I don't know what will!