The 5 Least Spooky Real World Hauntings
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 ...
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.
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.
The Ghost That Moves the Butter Dish
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.
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.
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.
Splashy the Ghost
Francis Martin claims that he and his family were watching TV one night in October when he noticed a damp spot on the wall. As the spot grew, he called his family over, because this was 1963, before fun was invented. As they gathered around and leaned in for a good look, the spot erupted into a geyser of water and soaked them all, hilariously.
Which is, at best, unusual behavior for a wall.
Of course, Martin thought it was a burst pipe, until it happened again, and again, in different spots. Yes, these were spontaneous water leaks from the spirit realm.
By this time, the family had learned not to get close to a wet area on the wall, but even without a victim to soak, the spots continued to appear and erupt until their carpet and furniture were drenched. So it's not like this was some kind of hilarious prankster ghost -- if spraying phantom water was its only power, it apparently couldn't control it at all. It was like some invisible incontinent demon was just randomly pissing everywhere like an old dog, unable to affect the world in any other way.
"Why does this room smell like ammonia? ... DAMMIT, WALL GHOST!"
Still, the phenomenon was so disruptive to their lives that the Martins tried moving into a relative's house, but the bizarre phenomenon actually followed them, drenching Francis' mother-in-law's house with the ice cold, haunted waters. Giving up, the Martin family returned home, where the soakings continued for a while, then stopped as inexplicably as they had begun. Maybe the ghost finally ran out of seltzer water?
Vengeful, incontinent ghost clown. You really hit the haunting lottery with that one.
The Ding Dong Ditch Specter
Say what you want about the ghost that tormented Emily Miller, but he definitely deserves an award for persistence. Several times a week, this incorporeal prankster from Sequoyah Hills, Tennessee, would ring Miller's doorbell precisely at 3 a.m., but when the elderly woman staggered to the door to answer it, no one was there. Initially she dismissed it as the work of those damn neighborhood kids and even called the police for help. That right there is already the sign of a good haunting: when everything the ghost does could easily be written off as the work of a local elementary school kid.
"Jinkies, gang! Let's see who this ghost really is!"
Of course, in typical horror movie fashion, the police found nothing suspicious, and the doorbell never rang if Miller stayed up to watch her front porch. Eventually, Miller was so tormented by the problem that she had her son put a camera on the front porch, presumably hoping to create an even less interesting Paranormal Activity series. This time, the doorbell rang, but the camera didn't catch anyone at the door. Which sucks, because we were hoping she'd see a portal to hell open and Satan himself rising up, ringing the old woman's doorbell, then descending to the dark realm from which he came without a word.
Everyone knows the Devil leaves flaming poo bags whenever he pranks a house.
Finally, Miller had her son tear out the doorbell completely, probably while cackling "Yeah! Eat my shit, ghost!" But Miller's ghost hadn't spent the past three years ringing that bell for nothing, so it rang again at 3 a.m., even though there technically wasn't anything left for it to ring. At that point, Miller called in the big guns, having her parish priest perform an exorcism. When that didn't work, she finally did what so many haunted house victims fail to do: She moved out. Problem solved.
"You can't leave the house! I know the haunting rules! I've seen Beetlejuice!"
So there you go. We now know that there is an afterlife, and that souls are so starved for something to do that this type of thing is all they can come up with. Just pushing that button, night after night, forever, because you have absolutely nowhere else to be. Unless, we suppose, that was the actual soul of a doorbell that died there decades ago, and that noise was the only way it knew how to communicate.
Please visit Tracy's Tumblr here. It's only a little haunted.
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Related Reading: Speaking of haunting, these Japanese halloween costumes will haunt your dreams! Then these spiders will run your dreams down and eat them alive. Try sleeping ever again once you've seen the scorpion-tailed spider. And if you'd like to see Soren Bowie and Adam Brown explore a haunted mansion, Cracked can contribute to your continued wakefulness.