Ghosts in the machine

10th June 2022. Reading Time: 8 minutes General, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know. 653 page views. 0 comments.

Hauntings are reported all over the world and often in the strangest of circumstances.  Many believe spirits in their own homes are trying to make themselves known through everyday household items.  From toys making noise through to computers being controlled by some unseen force, is it something easily explained or is there more to it?  Is there a ghost in the machine or is technology scarier than a ghost?

Hauntings are reported all over the world and often in the strangest of circumstances.  Many believe spirits in their own homes are trying to make themselves known through everyday household items.  From toys making noise through to computers being controlled by some unseen force, is it something easily explained or is there more to it?  Is there a ghost in the machine or is technology scarier than a ghost?


As an IT technician, I am always very skeptical of haunted computer claims, namely because I can usually explain them.  Computers turning on or off randomly, the mouse cursor moving around on its own, weird text coming from seemingly nowhere, strange sounds coming from the computer, or even browser history and ads not accounted for.  

From a virus to faulty hardware, while there could be a ghost taunting us, it is quite likely a fault with the machine itself.  For example, a mouse cursor moving around on its own could actually mean that someone else has control of your computer or that it is carrying a virus.  A fault with the sensor, driver conflicts or even a small piece of dust can cause should all be taken into account first before breaking out the equipment!

That doesn't mean however computers don't have a place within the paranormal spectrum.  Computers however do seem to have a place when it comes to unexplained phenomena especially when it comes to testing psychic ability. 

Check out my article Random Number Generators and Psychic Ability


There is a story that my brother has told me for many many years.  One of his friends from his school days, his mother was a psychic medium.  She spent her days basically smoking and doing readings with her cards and listening to the radio.  Back in those days (it would have been the early 90's) there was no Spotify and we had to buy cassette tapes from the music shop OR you would tape your music from the radio to save some $$.  One of the recordings had the music playing, it then slowed down and then the word 'BITCH' came through.  The music then sped back up and played as normal.  My brother was gobsmacked.  This was a regular occurrence for her and perhaps one of the catalysts that inspired him to start investigating the paranormal!

The most famous 'haunted radio' belonged to Marcello Bacci, a famous psychic medium who used a vacuum tube radio to communicate with the other side.  In 1960's using his radio, Bacci would tune the radio into the white noise which was band-free.  He would slowly adjust the knobs of the radio to reach the correct frequency which he found was between 7-9 megahertz.  Witnesses claimed to have heard loud and clear spirit voices that would often refer to the listeners by name and would communicate for a period of between 10 seconds to almost 4 minutes.  At the end of the session, the radio would return to simple white noise.  While Bacci's methods were being investigated, Professor Festa removed two of the valves from the vacuum tube radio meaning the radio should have been disabled.  The spirit voices supposedly still came through.  Many argued that it was Bacci's psychical ability rather than the radio itself that was responsible for the spirit voices.

Image Source Historydisclosure

Radios have become common use within the paranormal field with spirit boxes or ghost boxes being one of the tools which paranormal investigators use to attempt to communicate. 

To read more about spirit boxes, check out my article Evolution of a spirit box


As a parent, I can confirm there is just something a little bit eerie about one of your kid's toys randomly playing music or talking in the dead of the night.  While some toys work on sensor movement, most require a button to be pushed to speak or play music.  So why do these play when there is no one pressing the button?  There are countless threads on the internet with parents questioning, their own sanity with some who aren't normally believers of the paranormal wondering if there is something more spooky at play.  

While there is a debate as to whether or not objects can become haunted, it is more likely to be because the toy has been left turned on (or it has no off switch).  Toys are often left in standby mode or left on and even a change in light can potentially set off one of the sensors.  The batteries inside could also be draining.  Many toys come with batteries already installed and are often almost flat even when brand new.  (Think of all the times someone has walked past and pressed the button!).  When the batteries start to get low, the toys start to behave a little differently, including sounding a lot slower or randomly making noise at the most inconvenient times!  I wouldn't plan to bury the toy in the backyard just yet, turning it off or even removing the batteries should fix the problem.  Of course if it is still making noise when turned off or there are not batteries, I might think twice!

Check out my article Why do batteries drain?

Baby Monitors

There is a meme that often circulates on paranormal pages.  

I have seen countless articles on social media about people hearing voices or baby cries on a baby monitor, yet the baby is not in the room.  I recall many years ago I was having a nap and I had the baby monitor on next to my bed as it was always on.  I started to hear a baby cry and I sprung up in my bed.  Not because my baby was crying, but because my baby was with his Grandma and I was home alone and there was a baby crying through my baby monitor.  I immediately realised that it was a case of a crossed frequency and it was likely someone nearby.  There is an episode of the television program Modern Family where they inadvertently get involved in the soap opera of their neighbours' lives all through a crossed frequency of a baby monitor.  Technology has in fact advanced now that your baby monitor connects to your home wifi and you can watch your baby through your mobile phone.  Just today I read a story of someone who heard a voice talking to her baby through the baby monitor.  It wasn't a ghost, it was a man who had hacked the feed and was waking their baby up each night talking to him and watching the feed - a thought far scarier than any ghost!


While many occurrences are explainable, what about those that carry meaning with them?  Is the timing just a little too coincidental to be a faulty battery?  Could it be some sort of sign from the other side?  While some events seem random, for others they contain meaning.  Synchronicity is defined as a meaningful coincidence.  Many people see some of the above occurrences to fall in this category.  An example would be if there was a toy that was meaningful to a person who recently passed away and then the noises started from this very toy, some may consider this to be a form of a sign. 

To read more about Synchronicity check out my article Synchronicity

Whether you believe the above to be technological glitches or something more really all comes down to you and how you view the World.  I have used this quote many times to drill down this point, and here I am posting it again.  

People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I'm sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?

This is a quote spoken by Mel Gibson's character in the movie Signs.  He is a former Priest who has lost his faith in God after his wife died tragically in a car accident. In a lot of ways, I feel like this really sums up the way a lot of people view the paranormal and I guess the universe in general. Some people see things as a sign or a message from beyond. Others just see it as a coincidence. How do you view the world? Do you believe we have spirit guides or even guardian angels looking out for us guiding our way or do we just get lucky? Do you believe everything happens for a reason or things just happen because you make them happen? Our belief in these sort of things alter our perception of situations and ultimately the world. It doesn't make either person right or wrong because there is no right or wrong answer here. It all comes down to how we view the world.

Do you have a 'ghost in the machine' story to share?  Tell me in the comments below!

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