Among Hollywood’s strangest rumors is the claim that the set of 1987’s Three Men and a Baby—one of the decade’s most family-friendly comedies—was haunted by the ghost of a young boy.
According to cinematic folklore, the boy was alleged to have killed himself in the building that served as the lead characters’ apartment in the movie, and so can be glimpsed in the background of a handful of shots.
In a scene where Ted Danson’s character, Jack, walks through his apartment with his mother, played by Celeste Holm, what appears to be an out-of-focus boy can be seen peering through curtains at a window in the background. Far from being a ghost, however, the “boy” is nothing more than a cardboard cutout of Danson himself, dressed in a top hat and tails.
Early versions of the movie included a subplot in which Jack, an actor, was cast in a dog food commercial and had to perform a song and dance number on TV. This plot point was eventually cut from the final film, but the promotional cardboard cutout that was in the pet food commercial was not, and ultimately can be seen in the background of a handful of scenes set in Jack’s apartment!