This article considers Samuel Johnson's belief in ghosts--which, when scholars have discussed it at all, has been seen as a psychological quirk related to his religiosity--through the frame of media rather than intellectual history. I argue that Johnson's interest in ghost stories, which always resulted in him discrediting the particular specter under consideration, illustrates the ongoing instability of print and need to incorporate multiple media of authentication even in the second half of the eighteenth century. His fascination with the supernatural is exemplary of a variety of eighteenth-century hoaxes and frauds, from Mary Toft to Elizabeth Canning to the Cock Lane ghost, all of which became media sensations. To illustrate these points, I juxtapose his investigation of the Cock Lane ghost with his better-known involvement in the Ossian controversy, in which he repeatedly enjoined author/translator James Macpherson to "produce the manuscripts." Johnson's ongoing attempts to mediate belief, whether in the literary or supernatural realms, reflected not an eighteenth-century "rise of print" but a nebulous multimedia environment in which the authenticity of any particular form could never be taken for granted.