Tom Selleck debunks the 'ghost in Three Men and a Baby' urban myth

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Spooky… who’s that guy in the window? – Credit: Buena Vista

Was there a ghost in ‘Three Men and a Baby’? No, according to its star Tom Selleck.

There’s long been an urban myth which tells the story of a nine-year-old boy who was said to have taken his own life in the house that the movie was purportedly filmed in.

So bereft were his parents that they moved from the house, after which it was rented by the studio who made the movie.

Then in a sequence in the film where Ted Danson’s Jack Holden and his mother, played by Celeste Holm, are walking through the living room, a figure can be easily seen between the curtains.

But in an appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon, Selleck seemed to have some pretty sturdy evidence to the contrary.

(Credit: NBC)

After showing him a still from the movie, Selleck said: “The story was that this kid died in the house where we shot the movie.

“Well, we shot on a sound stage. They built the set and all.”

Ah. So no haunted house, then. But who’s that figure?

Well, Selleck has an idea of that too, suggesting it was a cardboard cutout of Danson’s character, a vainglorious actor.

(Credit: Buena Vista)

“I always thought it was a poster, a full-size poster, that had been knocked over,” Selleck continued. “That was my theory.”

And indeed, the ‘standee’ cutout can be seen in other scenes in the film, so it looks like the case can be closed on that one.

One thing that was real, however, was the wee on Selleck’s shirt in the 1987 movie’s poster.

(Credit: Buena Vista)

“That’s real pee on me,” Selleck sad. “Annie Leibovitz took the picture and she’s great. We’re taking this picture for the poster and the baby pees all over me.

“And she says, ‘Don’t change, don’t change!’ And she just keeps taking pictures. It’s actually, for once in my life, a genuine expression.”

The movie ended up being the biggest grossing of the year, beating ‘Fatal Attraction’ and making $168 million.

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