Ghost in the machine(s)

lady in room-1.jpg

There are just some things you must reckon with when living in a building well over a century old and in an neighborhood that’s much older and once the stomping grounds of vagrants, hookers and lunatics.

Growing up in California where nothing had been populated for that long, you could probably count the number of ghosts on one hand.

Perhaps it’s because it’s October, perhaps it has to do with my being alone at the moment. Maybe I do have an over-active imagination, but I know for a fact I didn’t hallucinate what’s been going on here.

Gremlins, ghosts, call them what you will but something’s afoot here.

Oliver left yesterday for a short trip. I went out for a bit, saw some friends, bought some sushi and was happily cuddled in bed watching a movie when at about 10:30pm the radio in the kitchen turned on BY ITSELF full blast, scaring the bejeezus outta me. I cautiously went into the kitchen and after a moment’s hesitation pulled out all the plugs. Now there is a built-in timer, so what happened was technically possible but that didn’t stop the adreneline flow from making my hand shake as I called Oliver to find out if that was his idea of rubbing in the fact that he had so many vacation days.

He seemed convincing in his surprise.

This is not the first experience I’ve had with possessed machinery in this apartment. I’m always the one to experience it and always when I’m very much home alone. Oliver says he believes me, but you have to grant him some doubt that this always happens when he’s out somewhere without me.

This is an email from last fall (see the pattern here?) when the last possessions took place:

I’ll fill you in on some happenings in my apartment in the last few days.

A phenomenon has been occurring, usually at night or that moment at dusk between daylight and nightlife, when everything is calm and quiet. During every occurrence I’ve been alone in the apartment. These are the moments when Satan tries to reach me through the TV. Maybe it’s God or one of his angel flunkies but someone is trying to communicate with me.

The first time was when Oliver was out at the sauna and I was home. I’d already gone to bed but woke up for some reason after midnight. Oliver never comes home before 1am on sauna nights so I wasn’t sure what had woken me up. I got out of bed and walked into the hallway where I could see this strange glow. I looked into the living room to see the TV was on and was scanning the channels, counting down. I hurried to the remote and turned the TV off before it could reach one. Somehow I was sure that was when the horned one would show in a puff of smoke and demand my soul. It was touch and go there for a moment, the remote did not want to turn off.

I didn’t mention it to Oliver.

Since then it’s happened several times. Always when he’s gone and never when I’m actually in the room. Yesterday I’d gone in to hang up our laundry to dry and when I came back in with laundry the TV was counting down again…to my doom I suppose. Once it happened when my back was turned, literally for just a few seconds…

Oliver says the remote has a short circuit somewhere, but that’s just the devil trying to lure him into passivity.

I’m off to put garlic in the living room.


Something wicked this way comes.

First the TV and now the radio… I’m off to unplug the rest of the household appliances until I can stock up on holy water.


3 responses to “Ghost in the machine(s)

  1. emily sparkle

    if you’re inclined to believe in pagan traditions, this is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. have you looked into the history of the building? it’s most likely a spirit who inhabited the building in times when there wan’t tv or radio and this spirit is experimenting with these new gadges. as to why they’re coming when you’re the only one home, i cannot guess, but maybe it’s a woman who feels more comfortable coming through when there isn’t a male energy in the house…

    if you believe in that stuff, that is!

    🙂 emily sparkle

  2. Hi Emily!

    This is not bad thinking here… it could also be a cleaning woman, some long dead Putzfrau, who is pissed as hell that a slob like me lives in the building. That apartment probably housed large families at one point and some poor downtrodden woman worked herself to death keeping it clean and tidy. Every time Oliver leaves I let everything go to hell, and then she chastises me for being so ‘un-womanly’.

    If she could restrict her fun and games to working hours, then I’d be happy to pick up my socks.


    It wouldn’t hurt to consider

  3. Sean says he’ll buy it when you start seeing glasses smashing and flying around the room. 🙂