The haunted Ebay laptop

It’s that time of year when we ask our writer to dig out spooky stuff with a techie twist. Last year, she found some properly creepy stuff lurking in the dusty corners of the internet. This year, she’s gone a bit…dare we say it?…sillier?

Maybe we’re wrong. Maybe we should issue a warning here. If you are frightened by the prospect of a haunted Texan laptop that ‘talks’ by flapping its screen and keyboard together, you should DEFINITELY avoid this blog post.

For the rest of you, read on…if you dare…

The haunted Ebay laptop

While researching this blog, I thought I’d had a brainwave. I typed ‘haunted’ into Ebay with the intention of filtering the results to tech and finding some good silly, spooky listings for you all.

Pro-tip: do not type ‘haunted’ into Ebay. Especially not if, like me, you find dolls creepy:

There is not enough salt and fire in existence to cleanse the world of these abominations

Anyway, after persuading myself not to throw my computer out of the window and smash up the WiFi router, I investigated further and did, in fact, find a haunted laptop story. And it’s a doozy.

Travel with me back to 2015, when a ‘haunted laptop’ from Austin, Texas, USA was listed for sale on Ebay. No, wait, further back, to 2007, when this particular laptop hit the market.

Between 2007, when this MacBook was shiny and full of promise, and 2015 when it was listed on Ebay, this poor little computer apparently became possessed.

How did this happen? I hear you cry. Well, the seller (one ‘wfatzinger’) had an explanation: he had accidentally left it overnight during a full moon in a graveyard next to an abandoned insane asylum. Happens to the best of us.

Anyway, upon retrieving the laptop, wfatzinger discovered that it had become hopelessly haunted. How did this haunting manifest? I’ll let wfatzinger tell you in their own words:

“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.”

How does a song become ‘scary or haunted’? One can only assume that his entire library was replaced with the ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ soundtrack, possibly with ‘Monster Mash’ peppered in there. Terrifying stuff, eh? Well, buckle up, because as everyone who’s studied hauntings knows, these things inevitably escalate. And escalate our haunted MacBook did. 

Before long, it was moving household items:

“When we came home, my baseball cards were all out of order, and my wife’s rare American coins were in total disarray,” wfatzinger told Ebay. “To make matters spookier, I occasionally saw the computer levitating.”

Professional psychical researchers (yes, that is a thing) will tell you that poltergeist hauntings tend to have five distinct stages. 

  1. Weird noises 
  2. Moving objects 
  3. Apports (posh ghost-hunter word for stuff randomly appearing)
  4. Communication
  5. Violence

The diligent reader will have noticed that the haunted MacBook had manifested stages 1 (the haunted iTunes playlist) and 2 (the baseball cards and coins) in very short order. Did it next begin apporting?

Well, no, but that’s probably because it was an American ghost, and Americans are known for rushing things and skipping vital steps. Instead, our haunted MacBook jumped straight to Step 4: Communication.

Now, how do you think a haunted laptop would communicate? Displaying messages on its screen? Eerie electronic utterances from its speakers? 


“The way he communicates with us”, wfatzinger revealed, “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.”

He provided a photo:


It gets better. Initially, wfatzinger revealed, the laptop had attempted to ‘talk’ by “flapping its screen and keyboard together”, before finally hitting on writing as the key to communication.

That’s actually sort of adorable, if you ask me. What’s not adorable is the next stage of poltergeist phenomena: Violence.

So what happened next? Did the haunted MacBook attack wfatzinger and his family? Is that why our hero wanted to sell this laptop? Was it…*gulp*…dangerous?

Our friend wfatzinger was no fool. He, too, feared what this possessed laptop could do if left unchecked. So, he did what any self-respecting Texan with a haunted computer would do. He took it to the Apple Store.

Unfortunately, his warranty did not cover him for spectral possession and he was escorted from the premises. So, he turned to the next best thing after an Apple employee: a random psychic that he found on Facebook.

This psychic performed a few hand passes over the laptop and told wfatzinger to burn incense around it and to sing to it. This he duly did – with positive results.

“It sounds weird, but this seemed to help at least pacify the tormented soul,” he wrote. “The computer remains haunted, but he became more peaceful and even helpful at times.”

In fact, the haunted computer even became a treasured companion for wfatzinger and family:

“Whether he was giving me a hand cleaning the garage, helping my son perform a rap song at a middle school talent show, or acting as a crucial sounding board when Barb and I had that rough patch last autumn, this ghost has been a rock solid friend and constant companion,” wfatzinger told Ebay.

So, a happy ending?

Well, not exactly. Ultimately, wfatzinger and family elected to sell the tormented-soul-become-bosom-companion because they needed space in the garage. 

What became of our friendly neighbourhood haunted laptop is unknown. All we can say is that wfatzinger took “no responsibility for consequences of ghost-related haunting, negative or positive”.

Also, he warned the potential buyer that he had lost both the power cord and the OS X CD, which was a bit of a bummer.

Scary? No? Watch this space…

What do you think? Is the haunted Texan MacBook going to give you nightmares? No? 

Ok then, let’s see if our writer can dig out anything PROPERLY creepy (*frowns in the direction of Devon*) for our next blog. Stay tuned!

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