Here's a hallowe'en appropriate news story for you just in time for the spookiest weekend of the year: in 1920 Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and the motion picture camera, announced that he was working on a "spirit phone" to allow the living to communicate with the dead.

Rather than causing the cynical scoffing and accusations of drug-taking such a pronouncement would no doubt cause today, the news sparked a national craze, according to GEReports - with hundreds of Americans clamouring for news of the device. One man wanted to know how to make a call from the other side, as he expected to be residing beyond the veil in the near future.

It seems that the whole thing could have been a bit of a hoax on Edison's part, however - no prototype or plans for such a product was ever found. Shame - otherwise we could give him a ring now and find out more. [GEReports via Fark]