More Like Quarant-SCREAM
May 14, 2020 8:18 PM   Subscribe

In The New York Times, Molly Fitzpatrick reports on some spooky situations: “Quarantining With a Ghost? It’s Scary”
For those who believe they’re locked down with spectral roommates, the pandemic has been less isolating than they bargained for.
posted by Going To Maine (15 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This post presses many of my buttons, I'm gonna check it out.
posted by vrakatar at 8:31 PM on May 14

We literally just subscribed to NYT after a long hiatus today and I texted my husband the link to this article and said “this was absolutely worth it”.

Our house is haunted as hell and our particular ghosts have been very silent since mid-March as we’ve all been home all the time but this still resonated with me in a deep way, knowing what it’s like to live with spirits.

(I’m an atheist, I’m a super pro-science, pro-evidence person, my house is haunted as hell, some things you just have to accept and move on from)
posted by padraigin at 8:53 PM on May 14 [9 favorites]

The dramatically titled photos of mundane objects is what really makes this piece. I bet there are multiple people laughing themselves silly at the Times.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:59 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]

One place I lived in had a doorbell that didn't work,* so I eventually bought a wireless doorbell with a button transmitter (that I stuck over the defunct built-in one) and chimes that plugged into any handy electric socket in the house. Every once in a while - often while my roommate and/or I had company - it would emit a random "-dong" without the preceding "ding-". We told people it was George the poltergeist. Later I replaced that with a less cheapo wireless doorbell and George (presumably in a metaphysical huff) never deigned to dong us again.

In the apartment I live in now I quite often hear stomping footsteps, but that's ust because my upstairs neighbor is evidently conducting a dancing class for elephants. Not particularly paranormal, but nonetheless impressive.**

*Also, inside next to the front door there was a double switchplate with one switch that operated the porch light, but the other - quite significantly painted red - didn't seem to do anything at all. We often messed with it to try to determine what it did, but we never figured it out. We fully expected a neighbor to show up at the door one day shouting for god's sake, cut it out!!

**And no small amount of annoying.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:58 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]

I was hoping someone would post this! I couldn't think of a truly appropriate post title--Quarant-SCREAM, not bad.

Style section, this almost makes up for that article about rich people quarantining in tropical paradises. I had very little empathy for them, but I do feel for the ghosts who have to deal with living people hanging around the apartment all day.

Some of the older ghosts are probably confused by zoom. "I assumed the young breathers worked at a telegraph office, what is this magic?"
posted by betweenthebars at 9:59 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

suspicious towel

Sockpuppet name available.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:03 PM on May 14 [9 favorites]

We told people it was George the poltergeist.

You were well on your way to creating a tulpa.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:46 PM on May 14

Well-l-l-l - it was more on the way of deliberate silliness; but hey, there are more Horatios in heaven and earth....
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:52 PM on May 14

Or Georges
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:56 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I worked in a a particular bar for 4 years. Our "sister bar" was in an old 1930's motorcourt style motel. The gm was 110% convinced it was haunted. It was featured on crappy ghost TV shows a few times. It wasn't haunted. The GM did enough coke to kill a giraffe and his staff constantly fucked with him to make him think it was haunted. Cocaine induced paranoia and a well thrown cocktail shaker in the dark can ellicit one hell of a response. This went on for at least 5 years.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:56 PM on May 14 [12 favorites]

Well I worked in a movie theater that had been reputed to be haunted, no cocaine involved (that I know of). Back in the early 70s the manager dropped dead of a heart attack right in the lobby, and after that people noticed things. In the #3 theater in particular, janitors working alone in the middle of the night reported seeing a vague shadow out of the corner of their eye, only to duck between the seats when looked at. Over the years janitors often quit because they saw ghosts, or they simply thought people were breaking in. There were a lot of these stories. But several years before I started, they built on to the theater, adding three more screens. And Benjamin (I think that was his name) sightings stopped.
posted by zardoz at 1:48 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

Obviously people were never seeing Benjamin at all. They were seeing the thing that got him. woooOOOO.
posted by figurant at 8:29 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]

I liked some of the comforting/positive ghost stories (e.g., the returning of the camera lens). I sometimes wonder if the current place I live in haunted by a friendly ghost -- there's just a sense of calm to the place that I've never experienced anywhere else I've lived, and I've never felt quite alone here. Not like I'm being watched but more like there's just someone in the other room chilling.
posted by treepour at 8:45 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

When I read pieces like this in a big newspaper I'm always left wondering: just how exactly did they assemble this list of people to interview about quarantine ghosts? Like is this just people who are facebook friends with the times reporter?
posted by dis_integration at 1:38 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]

is this just people who are facebook friends with the times reporter?

Datapoint, I was quoted in a 1980s Times story about pool toys only because my family had a pool and the writer grew up with my ex-girlfriend.
posted by Lyme Drop at 3:35 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]

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