Movies have kind of spoiled us when it comes to ghosts. Nowadays we won't take any spirit seriously unless it's pulling little girls into television sets or pulling terrified women down staircases. But real hauntings never play out that way.
It makes sense, when you think about it. Most dead folks had to be painfully normal, boring people whose ghosts certainly may want to give this haunting thing the old college try but, bless their hearts, just don't have the imagination for it. At least that's the best explanation we could come up with for ...
#5. The Ghost of a Murdered Man Flings Fruit Roll-Ups
In 1998, a South Australian boxer named Bora Altintas was shot and killed outside an IGA supermarket, which probably had something to do with Altintas' non-boxing hobbies of hanging out with outlaw bikers and selling heroin. Some years later, strange things reportedly started happening in the store, to the surprise of anyone who's never seen a horror movie. After all, everybody knows that an unsolved murder is the magical flavor mix that turns your ordinary death into a fresh batch of vengeful, haunted Kool-Aid, so it makes sense that Altintas' restless spirit might continue to wander the IGA until he finds justice.
Or he could just throw some Fruit Roll-Ups around.
Lyndal Redman, via Youtube
Yes, store owner Norm Hurst had been warned that the IGA was haunted when he first bought it but didn't experience true horror until one fateful evening. That night, the security cameras ran as usual in the empty store, but when Hurst played the tape back the next morning, he discovered that a box of Fruit Roll-Ups had flung itself from the shelf across the aisle and straight into his nightmares.
OK, so maybe Hurst didn't experience horror so much as inconvenience, but still, the Fruit Roll-Ups clearly looked to have been tossed by unseen hands from the shelf to the floor. Seeing as there was no evidence of a break-in and knowing the story of the murdered boxer, everyone quickly concluded that Altintas' ghost was responsible for the mess. But why? Was he trying to wreck the store, poltergeist-style, and just gave up really fast? Is he lazy? Or was he just trying to eat some tasty Fruit Roll-Ups and found he was unable to open the box with his ghost hands?
Well, everyone seems convinced it was this one particular ghost, so maybe he was trying to leave a clue to the identity of his killer? What can we do but sit around and see what snack he tosses next?
The puzzle pieces are all starting to fall into place.
#4. The Ghost That Moves the Butter Dish
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The ghostacular tale of a woman known only as Heather starts innocently enough with toast, and you know what goes great with toast? Sweet, sweet butter, of course, but on that fateful morning, Heather had to substitute butter for a close encounter with the paranormal. You see, while making breakfast, the woman reached for the butter dish but found it gone, even though it had been on the kitchen island a moment before.
A puff of black smoke and an evil smell were also reported.
So Heather, still not realizing that she was standing on the threshold of the Twilight Zone, was about to throw out the toast due to the lack of butter (which seems an overreaction, but whatever), but this time when she turned around she noticed that the butter dish was back, exactly where she'd left it!
You could write this off as momentary confusion, a visual anomaly that scientists refer to as "butter blindness," but no -- Heather's husband also experienced the butter dish vanishing. Of course, it reappeared in the same spot, because the family was dealing with a ghost with a severely limited repertoire.
What was happening? Was Heather's house built atop an ancient Indian dairy farm? And where did the butter go? Did it appear in heaven long enough for Elvis to scrape off a bit of it before returning it to the family's counter? Is there some Chinese family who tells stories of a mysterious butter dish briefly appearing on their counter, as if out of nowhere, before vanishing again? And what were they to do about it?
Switch to margarine?
Nothing, it turns out. They just kind of got used to the idea that the butter dish would sometimes disappear from the human world, then return. It's been going on for years, according to the family. And they ... keep eating the butter? They're not worried that while it's gone some ghost is putting his dick in it? Although if we think about it, we suppose that ghosts could be putting their dicks in all of our food, all the time. Whoa.
#3. The Old-Timey Phantom Who Doesn't Like Change
The old Bair Drug and Hardware Store (opened in 1895 in Washington) is now a historical museum/bistro of the kind that keeps its original soda fountain in the front, but in the back uses modern stoves, dishwashers, and mixers. Well, at least when W.L. Bair, the original owner, is not busy putting his phantom dick into the machines and cocking them up.
Joe Mabel, via Wikimedia
Come for the vintage atmosphere, stay for the ghost phallus.
Yes, the old Bair store is haunted in a particularly annoying way: The new owners of the store claim that since they tried introducing even the most rudimentary 20th century technology to the place, all of the appliances started going haywire. First, the dishwasher started constantly breaking down. When the repairman checked it, he found that the washer's wires had frayed "from the inside out," which any electrician will tell you is a sure sign of sabotage by the restless dead.
Equally, uh, terrifying, we guess, the mixer migrated around the kitchen, never staying where anyone remembered putting it.
"Is this thing set to 'frappe'? We're in way over our heads here, guys."
Breaking and hiding the appliances weren't enough for this ghost, though, so witnesses say it upped the ante by occasionally making the oven too hot and burning the cinnamon buns and pies inside it. Not only that, but a pricey bottle of salmon sauce levitated off a shelf and crashed to the floor, which apparently happened more than once. Again, it's not clear if ghosts just aren't very strong, or maybe they're just tiny? Like in the afterlife you're only 1 inch tall, and scooting a bottle off a shelf is an all-day project?
Ghosts of actual salmon also remain a possibility.
Regardless, the situation is likely to continue until Bair Drug goes back to its roots and starts serving up proper 19th century cuisine cooked on old-timey stoves that run on burning orphans.