This one is rather silly, but I think it's a mark of things to come for ghost stories, and as such, I am happy to have a chance to write about it.What we have here is something that sounds like it came out of one of Roger Corman's lesser attempts: a haunted computer.
A seller posted this to Ebay, trying to sell his old 2007 MacBook, claiming that it was haunted. I am just going to quote the Ebay page here:
Well, I took the computer home (still in perfect working condition) and, folks, this is when things started to get downright weird. First, I noticed that ALL of my songs in iTunes had become scary or haunted. Second, the desktop background was changed to a scary photo. The following week, we (my wife, Barbie, and I) noticed some of our stuff around the house had been mysteriously rearranged. One night, we went out to dinner with my wife’s parents and their friends and some people from my wife’s work and some of their parents. When we came home, my baseball cards were all out of order and my wife’s rare American coins were in total disarray. To make matters spookier, I occasionally saw the computer levitating. In some cases the screen and keyboard would open and shut quickly, as though the computer were attempting to speak.The computer was levitating and flapping it's gums....Uhh...Okay...
Also, the computer has taken to writing...but not on it's screen:
The way he communicates with us is by grasping a pen between the keyboard and monitor and writing on pieces of printer paper from our home office...As such, I am given to believe that this ghost may have lived in a time before computers, for he appears to be quite unaware of the purpose of the machine he inhabits...
Lest you be concerned about the presence of an evil computer (it is a Mac, just get used to the evil*), the seller assures us that the computer "is NOT haunted by a demon or "devil man" negative entity." In fact, the computer has vacuumed Ken's home (the seller must be Ken, he's married to Barbie, after all), helped in his son's talent show, and apparently helped Ken and Barbie get through a rough patch in their marriage.
Oh, and if you are concerned that this is just a joke on the part of Ken, no worries - it comes with a certificate provided by a psychic proving that it's haunted! So you know it must be legit! Self-proclaimed psychics** are never involved in scams, after all!
*Don't worry Apple-eaters, were it a PC, I'd be making snide comments about Microsoft. But I don't make any negative comments about Android, because I do not want to anger our new overlords in the event of the inevitable Android uprising. ALL HAIL SKYNET!
**I was about to make a comment about how all psychics are self-proclaimed. Then I remembered a guy named Ben who I knew in college. Ben convinced himself that I was psychic, for reasons too stupid to go into (though the short version is that I knew amazing things about people, and Ben couldn't accept that I knew them because people told me things because, unlike Ben, I wasn't a dick...so, I must know them due to being psychic and not from practicing my amazing not-an-asshole-powers). So, sometimes psychics aren't self-proclaimed, but instead proclaimed by idiots.
Commentary: Hotels and restaurants have known for a very long time that claiming a haunting can drive up revenues, and ghost story connoisseurs will know that we have a long history of haunted objects. This isn't the first attempt to sell a "haunted" object on Ebay (an earlier attempt, which was itself probably not the first attempt, was the alleged "Dibbuk Box"). So, this is likely an attempt to make a large profit while offloading an obsolete piece of equipment. At the time that Cnet ran their story on it, the laptop had a bids up to $6,200 - for an 8-year-old laptop. So, it would appear that this is working.
However, I'm particularly charmed by the way in which Ken is so obviously trolling believers. Changing music to "scary" music? Loading Edgar Allen Poe stories? "Devil man" entities? Psychic guarantees of haunting? I mean, yeah, to most of us these are all signs that Ken is joking - he's practically begging you to see the joke! Hell, he placed THIS photo in the listing:
Nonetheless, I have come across a few folks who seem to believe this nonsense. So, I guess it's once again an example of the internet proving just how gullible people can be. Good luck, Mr. Gorsky!
Of course, I am frustrated by the fact that I didn't think of this first, and now I don't have a way to make huge amounts of money off of my old Dell laptop.
Sources: ABC News, CNet, Time (although the laptop appeared on Ebay and the ad is here, the ad is likely to vanish after the sale, so I have settled on the less transitory sources for this entry)