The phenomenon of ghosts and hauntings has been with us for since as long as we have entertained the idea that the soul might exist past our physical expiration date. Over these centuries our society has changed, technology has advanced and evolved, and ghostly phenomena seemingly along with it. Whereas once ghosts and spooks were solely within the realm of haunted houses, seances, and Ouija boards, they seem to have evolved with the times, with there being many accounts of hauntings related to machinery, electronics, and even smart phones and computers. Indeed, it seems that computers and the like are a sort of new frontier for hauntings and tales of the paranormal, and here we will look at some eerie stories of this sort of thing going on.
In some cases, the phenomena of “haunted computers” almost seem to be like the poltergeist activity of an afflicted home, with various strange things going on without any discernible cause and for the most part just troublesome and annoying. With computers, it might be our tendency to write these off as mere technical glitches, but some cases seem to be more than that. One such account comes from Reddit user “AcidGatter,” who claims that what he originally taken to be the hacking of his brother’s computer soon turned out to be something perhaps far more mysterious. He says of what happened:
So my brother bought a used but still relatively new laptop a few months ago, and recently its been acting really strange. The first thing that happened was his mouse started moving on the screen (like the cursor) by itself. It would randomly click things and on rare occasion open seemingly useless programs as soon as he left his laptop unattended for a few minutes. I myself have only witnessed this once but he says it happens every few days. The next thing was almost every account he had on social media had their password changed to random strings of nonsense. I think he recovered most of the hacked accounts but he had to make some new ones.
So at this point we both just thought his computer was hacked. (even though he hadn't downloaded anything suspicious or given any information to anyone) Until even stranger things started to happen, including distorted images popping up on screen, and his computer turning on and off rapidly (which I’m pretty sure is impossible, i think it takes a couple seconds to turn on a computer) and I also hear that it sometimes makes strange noises. I have not witnessed the noises or turning on and off but i have seen the strange distorted imagery popping up on screen. The pictures aren’t really "of" anything. Sometimes it’s just a distorted rainbow screen, and sometimes its what looks like a blurred and glitched face. That one always makes us jump, its really terrifying. So tell me what you think. Is the computer just messed up? Did my brother accidentally download a virus? was he hacked? Is a ghost haunting the computer?
Who knows? A similar type of story appeared on the site Above Top Secret, from a witness who says his computer has seemingly sort of developed a mind of its own, turning on and off and making anomalous sounds at all hours. The phenomena is creepy enough to have left him wondering just what is going on, and he explains:
I know this sounds ridiculous but recently i have woken up a number of nights in a row in the early hours of the morning, to hear my computer has turned itself on and is making a loud sound. I sleep with my door locked so there is nobody turning it on. I have taken the computer to an pc expert to check if there are power problems which can cause pc turning on or off, and he did a diagnosis for malware or something like that, and it was okay. Still charged me 25 for the diagnosis though, ridiculous! Anyway earlier on i came into my room i was the only one in the house. I heard the name Cindy (my real life name), whispered softly. There was nobody in the room or the house.
Besides this weirdness, other supposedly haunted computers seem to involve actual ghosts or entities reaching out through the screen from beyond. One type of this sort of phenomenon are cases where lost family or friends seem to be trying to communicate from the beyond the veil that separates life from death, in a way serving the same purpose that Ouija boards once did. One commenter on a forum at Unexplained Mysteries says he believes that his long dead grandfather is trying to make contact with his grandmother through his computer. He explains:
About 2 years ago in September, my grandmother passed away. My grandfather died before I was born, so I never knew him. Anyways to try and finish this up before I go to bed. The night after she died, my mother was drinking, and at my computer trying to type up something for the funeral. At about 5 in the morning she comes in going, come see your grandparents are here.. and being asleep for like what.. 2 or 3 hours. (Stayed up late) I said leave me alone and went back to sleep. She's drunk anyways, and when she drunk a certain beer she'd get crazy...
So the next morning, I wake up, have some breakfast, and she urges me to come to the computer. Something that I will probably always remember, there was a poem on the computer screen, typed to her, and at the bottom it said "-Dad". Of course that was talked about for a while, and I don't think my mother had it in her to write such a good poem, because she just isn't capable of it, even in a drunken state of mind. But the fact is, later on two years later, I had to sell my computer. And it was that very night before that I was gonna sell it that I formatted the hard drive, and surprisingly about 150MB of space was corrupted, which is a lot when you think about it. Now this could have been due to the age of it, its conditions. But it was when I was going to sleep that night, I think actually around this time last year, I saw two orbs as I came into my room. And it was pitch black mind you, I saw one where my computer was, and I saw one go into my bed. Anyways, I just thought it was an interesting paranormal story.
As for giving out the poem, I think that might be giving away to much information about myself. But a few little facts is that I’m native canadian/american, whatever way you want to look at it. My family vouches saying they always had psychics in the family, and as for me... I've had my share of experiences as well. And so that's about it. Maybe I should have sold that haunted computer on E-Bay or something...
From Reddit user “Boseph617” we have an account of his dead uncle seemingly trying to make contact through his computer in ways that have left him baffled. It seems to have all begun when he decided to go to grad school, something his uncle had always wanted to see him do, and for which it seems he is willing to communicate something from beyond the grave. The witness says:
So, my uncle passed away from colon cancer about 6 years ago. He wasn't exactly a computer guy, although he had to use it sometimes for work (he was a teacher). Either way, I could never see him using it to buy anything online. He had dial up, 'nuff said. Very recently, as in a month ago, I was entering my information to pay for my GRE test. When I typed in my email, my uncles name, address, and phone number appear in the fields. Needless to say, I was a little creeped out. I did joke around with my family that he was proud of me for finally taking the initiative to go to grad school (he was always pushing me to go back to school). Since then, this has been happening every time I enter my information, across multiple computers. To my knowledge, I never used his information for anything in the past, so having it link to my email makes absolutely no sense to me.
A rather bizarre report comes from a poster called "valkricy," on the site Your Ghost Stories, who explains that her passed away great Aunt Sylvie was a witch who had lived in the foothills of Kentucky her whole life up into her death. This aunt apparently had a lot of fascinating stories and tales of the paranormal surrounding her, which the witness wanted to tell on an open forum, but what is rather strange is that apparently Aunt Sylvie did not want her story told, and did everything in her power to keep this information secret. The poster says of her odyssey in trying to tell her Aunt’s story:
It has proven problematic, every time I attempt to submit it something happens that results in not posting it. The first time I tried, the word file where I had carefully written the events out simply vanished without a trace. My desk may look like a random explosion has taken place, but my computer is very organized. That file was nowhere to be found. Although I did come up with a misfiled (?) picture of Aunt Sylvie laughing. How it got into a word file, I've no idea.
Another time, my keyboard decided to have a mind of its own. It simply would not type. It worked every place else but on the submission page. Finally frustrated, I closed out YGS - and what pops up on my screen? Aunt Sylvie's picture. A week or so later, I had re-written my accounting, saved it, but left it open so that I could copy and paste it into the submission box. My mouse refused to copy and paste. Fine, then I'd just transcribe it into the box. Click 'submit' and - the screen went blank returning with a "Error 404" for the submission page. This time, no picture of Aunt Sylvie appeared, but I could swear I heard her wind chime like laugh. Stuff like that happens every single time I try and submit it. Every. Time. Although I met her over 40 years ago, I guess Aunt Sylvie just isn't ready to be 'discussed' by strangers. She didn't even care for family to talk about her much. (If you did it had better be nice, because somehow she ALWAYS knew.)
Also from Your Ghost Stories is the case of poster “Granpa,” in the state of California. In 2013 he lost his closest childhood friend, and oddly the friend’s wife had decided to keep the death a secret by not notifying anyone about it. Indeed, she didn’t even arrange an open funeral or memorial service. It was all very strange, but it would get even stranger still, and the witness explains:
About 30 days after his death, his wife's cousin called me as he had just been notified and knew we were friends. I sent his wife a letter and tried to phone but never made contact. I then contacted many of his childhood friends to notify them. None were aware of his death. About three months later I was working on a financial program on my computer to determine if I had enough money to purchase a new car. In a field that was supposed to indicate the amount of the payment, his name appeared. I asked my daughter to look at it to confirm what I was seeing. Which she did. I did not have his name or email, phone number or address anywhere in my computer at the time so a computer glitch is unlikely. I have contacted computer experts who looked at me like I was crazy but would not try to come up with a reason for a computer to do this on its own. His name is not a common one and would not be accidentally entered. He has made no further contact with me and to my knowledge he has contacted no one else. To this day the only explanation I can come up with is a ghostly contact from my good, but deceased, friend.
Some of these cases are creepy to say the least, yet even creepier still are cases of not the ghosts of family or friends, but unknown entities with inscrutable intent. One witness called “sammi” says on Your Ghost Stories that her own experience happened in Australia when she was in the 6th grade, as she was one day playing on the computer on an online doll dressing site. Things started off with a sudden cold spot that enveloped her as she sat there at the computer screen, even though the day had been rather warm. This cold spot was apparently so well-defined that she could extend her arm and feel the warm air outside of this pocket of cold, and as she sat there in this cocoon of frigid air baffled and creeped out, the mouse on the screen allegedly began to move on its own accord as the game seemingly began playing by itself. This would lead into a series of bizarre ghostly events, and the witness explains of what happened:
The next thing I knew, the mouse was moving around on the mouse pad. It was dragging the items of clothing onto the doll. It then logged itself into the chat room as, Kit_Kat221. I remember that well. The chat room came up on the screen, and the "ghost" began typing frantically to all the people in the chat room. I screamed and ran out of the room. A few days later I walked into the lounge room to find the computer on. It was on a search engine, displaying pictures of cartoons. I walked closer to the computer and the computer turned off. The next day my mum got on the computer to find a picture of me with a cartoon cemetery and grim reaper standing next to me.
No one had used the computer since that morning, and no one had changed the background. I became scared and one day I freaked myself out so badly that I refused to go to school. I was waiting at the bus stop an became very nervous and panicky. I walked back into my front yard, and turned around just in time to see a four wheel drive crash into the power pole I was leaning on at my bus stop, in the same spot I was standing. If I had have stayed there I would have been very badly injured.
Maybe the picture on my computer was telling me something. I became very shaken after that and spent the rest of the day in my bedroom. At about five o'clock in the afternoon my room turned icy cold. I went to run to the door but someone stopped my, firmly grabbing my shoulder. I looked but no one was there. Then a transparent light in the shape of a girl my age appeared in front of me. Then I heard a whisper saying "goodbye...". The light then disappeared and the temperature returned to normal. I haven't seen the ghost since.
As scary as it all is, at least this entity seems to have been benevolent. The same cannot be said of some other cases that seem to suggest computers that have become the tool of more sinister entities, perhaps even straight up demons or the Devil himself. This certainly seems to have happened to a Reverend Jim Peasboro, of Savannah, Georgia, in the United States, who genuinely believes that computers can most certainly act as portals for dark forces. He says of his own strange encounter through the computer:
The program began talking directly to me, openly mocked me. It typed out, ‘Preacher, you are a weakling and your God is a damn liar.’ Then the device went haywire and started printing out what looked like gobbledygook…I later had an expert in dead languages examine the text. It turned out to be a stream of obscenities written in a 2,800-year-old Mesopotamian dialect!
Whoa, I don't think that is covered in the warranty. Peasboro is so convinced that computers are tools of the Devil that he has written a whole book on it, called The Devil in the Machine: Is Your Computer Possessed by a Demon? and believes that possession by demons can be experienced by anything with a mind, including humans, animals, and even the processor of your computer. One very weird account comes from a poster on the site dreamsofdunamis, who says that as she was surfing the net one evening she came across a car ad that was filled with what seemed to be sinister and cryptic Illuminati symbolism. As she scrolled down, she found more of these creepy symbols and a line of spectral black and white figures, and that at that point she claims to have actually felt a demon physically leap out from the screen and actually pass through her. This is all strange enough as it is, but whatever presence had come through the computer had apparently gone on to prowl around the house, as her son soon came into the room complaining of having been woken up and attacked by some sort of terrifying entity. She said of what happened next:
It sounded just like the black and white ghostly picture that I had just seen on that web page just moments before. The symbols were the same, so I knew it had to have come from that site. As I apologized to my child, I realized that I may have to stop surfing the web late at night, for I did not want to disturb my kids sleep like this any more. I shared this with my child, and told him that as soon as I had sensed the demon come through the screen, I cast it out in the name of Jesus, exited the page, and closed up the computer. I was surprised that the demon did not leave once it had been cast out. I was also surprised (and a bit frustrated,) that the demon attacking him was almost instantaneous; there was no pause or time elapse from when it went through my computer screen to when it entered into my child’s bedroom to attack him. My child then reminded me, that the demon that I had cast out had probably left, but there were numerous demons that could come through just one demonic doorway. And in this case, viewing the photo was the doorway into our house.
She then goes on to speculate that the demon had come through the image on her computer, and that others might have entered her house as well. This caused her to go about praying to cast out any residual demonic forces lurking within the home. As they did this she claims to have heard a startling, loud noise like something wet hitting the floor nearby, and they looked to see a shadowy figure about 4 feet in height and possessing wings, which crouched there for a moment before screaming as if in pain and falling backwards to seemingly phase right through the wall. She goes on to claim that her family has been attacked on several occasions by such supernatural forces coming through their computer screen or even TV. She says of this:
Our first encounter with demons coming out of computer and TV screens, happened several years ago, when one of my kids had clicked on a video that promised the viewer a glimpse of a real alien. We were all sitting there at the kitchen table, with the kids doing their school work, and this one kid had finished early, so as a reward, I told him he could use the computer while he waited for the rest of the kids to finish. Well, most of the youtube video that he had decided to view, was silent and dark, which caused one to lean in closer to the computer screen, to see if you could see anything. Suddenly, a drawing of an alien’s face flashed upon the screen, and a loud roar came from the speakers, and as everyone there at the table turned to look at the computer screen, a large black ghost-like hook, (reminiscent of Peter Pan’s Captain Hook, but very very black and wraith-like,) reached out through the computer screen and tried to stab itself into my child’s forehead. It glanced off the surface of his skin, and then gave an even louder roar of frustration, once it realized it had failed in its attack. The claw then evaporated back into the computer screen. Laughter was then heard coming from the video, as the perps laughed out loud at their supposed joke. As you can imagine, we were all left quite shaken, after seeing such a thing. It was a lesson none of us have forgotten!
She blames this on Satanists posting images and videos with magical spells attached to them to facilitate the entry of demons into our world, and claims these show up on any site that attempts to cast light into the world of the unknown (like, say, the one you are reading right now). She goes on to give this warning:
So I share this testimony with you, in the hopes that those among you who have children, especially young ones, will be extra careful in what you watch or view, especially in the nighttime hours. Keep in mind the doorways that can be formed through the viewing of evil photos, pictures, or videos. Cast out all the demons that may have come through the TV or computer screen, after viewing those questionable items. If you have someone who refuses to curtail their nighttime viewing, then increase your prayers to our God, that your children would be protected, and then still continue to cast out the demons as the Holy Spirit advises. Even if you can not see them, those demons still can come in and attack you and your family. Possible signs of this, is an inability to get that picture of the demon out of your mind, or if you can’t seem to forget the show you were just watching, nightmares once you go back to sleep, (or if others in your house wake up from them,) or if you find you are fearful or depressed, or getting hit with any other negatively strong emotion. (Demons love to take our normal negative emotions and turn the volume way up!)
Juts what is going on here and is this witness for real? When looking at these sorts of stories it is interesting to note that even as our technology has changed and advanced, the same mysteries and superstitions that have plagued humankind for centuries still manage to adapt into our world. Evil spirits and demonic possession have found a way to hold on, stay relevant, and get with the times. Instead of arcane rituals, spells, and speaking through Ouija boards, we now have these forces supposedly popping through our computer and smartphone screens, reaching out from the beyond by way of the very technology that seems as though it should have made these phenomena obsolete. Whether any of these stories are true or not, the next time your computer is on the fritz perhaps you don’t need a repairman, but an exorcist.