have always surrounded me.
No, I have
never lived in a haunted house, nor have I ever experienced any unusual
phenomena. (I am of the mind that most bumps in the night can be explained
away, especially if you lived in a crumbling, creaking home like I
that never leave me, that rattle my bones and give my arms goose
bumps, are the stories breathed out by my ancestors. The dead come
to life again through storytelling.
up in a household that loved to tell tales of banshees, specters,
devils, and other spooks. I will be the first to admit that my family
is a bit crazy, and with a little drink in them, a lot crazy, but
these stories went deeper than a bottle of Guinness.
are famous for their superstitions, and my family is no differentif
someone accidentally dropped a comb, everyone immediately stopped
what they were doing to take turns stepping on it. But, why?
of the answer hung above the fireplace in my childhood home: an
ancient-looking crucifix made of straw called St. Brigid's Cross.
The relic harkens back to the days of Ireland's pagan druidism,
before St. Patrick came and drove those snakes to the sea.
are and will always be apart of Irish culture, though. The first
Halloween was, after all, celebrated in the Emerald Isle. And no
matter how hard Old St. Paddy tried, that primal curiosity in the
darker elements of life and beyond have never been completely swept
under the rug of Christianity; the tales and superstitions still
pass down from generation to generation to this day. My family is
living proof that these stories still flow through Irish veins.
not know if I believe in ghosts, but I have certainly grown to believe
in the stories, and that might be just as important.
I find the tales less frightening and more fascinating as a kind
of universal link that all of humankind sharessince the dawn
of man, spirit folklore has thrived not only in Ireland but in all
corners of the world. There is something inherently humanistic in
giving face to the unknown, in taking back the power of Death by
becoming His storyteller. For that reason, I find ghost stories
to be cathartic for the soul. They make us face our innermost fears,
and by doing so, we release their power and hold over us.
days before Halloween, I find no better time to tell you a ghost
15, 2005, at 3:16 PM, a New Yorker by the name of Joe Cascron placed
an item on eBay. He listed what he claimed to be a haunted Nintendo
been an eBay seller in the field of vintage games for close to a
year. I've exchanged hundreds of video game related items, new and
used, and still do till this day, but I have never experienced anything
like this or even remotely similar. I don't feel threatened by this,
supernatural or whatever it may be, but I do not feel exactly comfortable
with it either. Up for auction is what I would call a haunted, Vintage,
Video Game System, The Nintendo NES. I don't really like using the
word 'haunted' when describing this, considering the first thing
you would think about is something from a horror movie, but I really
can't come up with another way to explain it.
is a local thrift store here in Brooklyn, NYC, that I've been doing
business with for some years now. About a month and a half ago I
made one of my visits to the shop and found this '80s Nintendo System.
When I purchased this Unit I asked the owner of the shop about who
brought the System in, and what he actually told me was that a gentleman
had donated it that same morning and said "It was just sitting
in his attic", and according to him, it supposedly belonged
to his son who passed away years ago. At first I thought the guy
was just joking with me like he usually does, so I really didn't
think much about it at the time.
that's all I know about the background of this system. I do not
know any specifics about anything else as far as the previous owner
is concerned. I went back there about 2 weeks ago to try to find
out more since what has been happening, but he doesn't know anything
else. But I do know something is not so right with this. As far
as technical functioning, the Nintendo System has its occasional
'blinking' screen if a game is dirty, like any other Nintendo System,
but for the most part it functions pretty well. However, that's
not what I mean about something not being right with this...
brought this System home, and on the first night of playing, about
10 minutes into the game, I began hearing sounds similar to human
voices, mumbling to the background music of the television. Naturally
I thought it may have been static or something to that effect, or
maybe it somehow interfered with a truck driver's CB Radio System,
so I didn't pay much attention to it. But it continued through-out
the entire time I was playing, stop for a minute or two, then start
again. It got to the point where I went really close to the TV,
I paused the game to try to hear it a little better, but then it
would get silent. When I would unpause it, there it would go again.
I know it sounded like there was a conversation going on but I couldn't
make out any of the words.
have my beliefs but I've never really been one into believing so
much about Spirits and Crossover-Communication, but repeating the
conversation I had with the guy in the shop wasn't helping at all.
And until this day, I go back there and this man still sticks to
the same exact story. To my knowledge, there is no technical problem
with any vintage Nintendo Gaming System that causes any of these
'symptoms'. Since owning this System, I've experienced hearing sounds
of mumbling and laughing in the background music of different games
(all sounding Exactly the same and all on numerous occasions).
3 separate occasions I've had the game 'Pause' by itself, without
having my finger anywhere near the 'Start' button of the controller,
and the really suspicious thing about it was the fact the timing
of the Pause always happened to be during an intense moment of a
game, as if the intentions were made for me to lose. I even tried
different controllers, which I've sold on eBay, thinking it may
have been some type of controller glitch with the originals... and
yet still have the same exact things happen. Every time I power
this unit on is like getting ready for something new to happen.
And not only with me. I've invited close friends and family members
over, and some but not all have witnessed something strange happen,
like the one time the 'Arrow icon' on the Main Options screen of
a game actually moved down to 2 Player Mode, all while the controller
was out of my hand. I've had some of my friends accuse me of purchasing
this Unit from a Novelty store for the sake of pulling pranks, which
I doubt even exists in the first place. It has gotten to the point
where my Fiance never lets me turn the System on when she's in the
house and I have friends that refuse to even play a game with me.
Even my cat won't go anywhere near this System, unless she's 5 feet
away and hesitating to sniff at it, and not only that, she's been
running back and forth through the house in the middle of the night
during the past few weeks, and that's something she's never done
in the entire 8 years that I've owned her.
sincerely believe there may be some form of strong connection or
attachment between this system and its previous owner. The reason
I am listing this... to be honest it's starting to freak me out,
as well as the people around me. I don't feel threatened, I just
don't understand it and I'm not exactly comfortable with keeping
this in my home. So, at the request of friends and loved ones, I'll
be going my separate ways with this system, regardless if it's an
actual supernatural presence or everyone is just being paranoid.
I'll be putting this unit up for 1 Penny without a reserve price,
if you're the high bidder, the Unit and everything with it will
be yours. It comes with its 2 original controllers, the original
Zapper Gun, a copy of the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt game, along
with its original AC-adaptor which came with black electric tape
wrapped around it, but works without any problems, and a naki Rf-switch,
which is everything needed to power-up and play.
are photos of the actual 'Haunted' System and accessories.
System will come in the exact same condition from when I purchased
it. There was some dust, but I cleaned that off. I have it already
packaged and will ship the next day from receiving payment.
PLEASE NOTICE ***
I cannot guarantee what you will or will not experience with the
System. Obviously, if this is what myself, as well as others believe
it to be, the supernatural is something completely beyond my control.
Do not bid if you do not acknowledge and agree with this.
welcome your questions and we will answer them to the best of our
Mar-10-05 at 10:52:55 PST, seller added the following information:
A very nice person recently emailed me and asked if I felt the type
of presence with this Nintendo was Evil. Honestly, I don't believe
that its Evil, I never really felt any type of negative vibes. I'm
not a suspersticious [sic] person at all and I consider myself very level
headed, If I had to put it in words... when looking at this System,
I get a strong 'feeling' like it's actually looking right back at
me. It's a distracting energy of a feeling like I'm not alone, but
not in a way that I feel I'm in some kind of harm or danger.
Mar-13-05 at 12:45:54 PST, seller added the following information:
This just in, someone just brought to my attention that in the first
photo of the Nintendo Console, it looks like there's a form of a
portion of a face in the photo. It was pointed out to me right in
the center of the Nintendo where the cartridge slot is, and below
it, is a shading, it somewhat resembles and eye and a mouth, what
do you think? I'm not exactly sure so I'm not making any definite
claims, but I'm getting more chills thinking about it. These photos
have came [sic] out not so crisp, but they haven't been altered
in any way.
Mar-13-05 at 16:32:48 PST, seller added the following information:
I received word from fellow eBayers that our Unit has been mentioned
on GA and NC radio stations -- thank you, hopefully word will reach
those with expertise in this field. Please contact us if you've
heard about this System through other media sources
A man in Minnesota named Jerry Belich purchased the so-called haunted
Nintendo for $225.53.
began a blog to document his investigation online: The
Case of the Haunted NES.
a short introductory post on March 23rd, Jerry updated again two
will begin documenting over the next few days, see what we can get
out of it," he wrote. "After we are sure we have enough
data from use, both feelings and observable phenomena, and then
we will carefully examine the actual components (both internal and
external) for decay/damage.
want to experiment with artificially causing interference to see
if it causes strange effects while playing. Not sure if I have the
stuff on hand to do that this weekend however. I've always been
a man of science and logic that has hoped for existing paranormal
activity. I don't know if I believe in ghosts myself, but I want
1st (of all days), he posted another update.
nothing out of the ordinary yet, but we've only just begun.
6th, Jerry uploaded three photos of the NES and its accessories
to a Flickr account, appropriately named ghostnes.
The new owners partner playing Super Mario Bros.
The Zapper light gun accessory that came included in the auction.
A tape recorder plugged into the audio outlet to document any
day, on April 7th, he detailed some of his initial findings.
didn't want to really talk specifics until we were more or less
finished working with it, but an email from one of you prompted
me to not be so tight-lipped about it. So here.
has been some odd intermittent flickering (haven't opened it up
yet so the quality of the connections may be to blaim [sic]?) as
well as the occasional 'stutter' (freeze for a moment then continue,
sometimes disrupting play). Also twice while playing last, the character
moved back left on it's own at just the wrong time to take a life.
The controller itself may have issues and I tried it briefly with
the other one and it hasn't happened again yet.
back on the audio until we know what we're looking at. Because of
the specific frequencies of sound the NES systems use they are pretty
easy to pick out in a spectral graph so we can look at what else
is in there.
normal testing and we open it, we will then clean the NES properly
and see what behaviours change. Since the reason we are doing this
is for everyone's curiousity I suppose it doesn't make since for
me to be all secretive. Ok till later.
would be the last significant post. Updates halted when the NES
traveled across country to the Ziff Davis offices in San Francisco.
Jerry had agreed to loan out the system for an article to be written.
final post came on April 25th.
original guy stated that voices and sounds could be heard 'behind
the music' but would stop when paused. That was probably the most
significant thing he mentioned so if it's true, the insubstantial
nature of the rest of his claims don't really matter. So here's
hoping that off in the pink & purple misty waves of the spectral
audio view there are frequencies being populated by what couldn't
possibly be the familiar beeps & blips of our NES friend. That
sounds better than saying, "Let us hope we can hear the unearthly
cries of a dead child trapped in an old gaming console" doesn't
the same time, Jimmy Lee of Electronic Gaming Monthly received
the NES. After Jerry was nice enough to FedEx his Nintendo to the
West Coast, Lee returned the favor by mocking him with a sarcastic
write-up, going as far as taking the system to a psychic and paying
to have the supposed spirit cleansed. I refuse to link to the story
because I find the disingenuous page rather void of any additional
insight; the writing serves no other purpose but to put down and
make fun of Jerry. ("Game journalism" is more often than
not an oxymoron, and you have these cheeky pseudo-journalists to
the piece ran, anonymous commenters began flooding the blog with
posted, Man, you'll feel so embarassed [sic] to find out that
you spent $225 on a stupid NES...aww nerts [sic], the human race
is high-freakin'-larious....huanted [sic]...he he.
replied, No, you'd evidently feel embarrased [sic]. I decided
to embark on a research project for the joy of it, despite the slim
chance of finding hard evidence of the paranormal.
$225 is a lot of money to you, to me it's not a big deal. It's only
money, and why are you concerned about how someone else spends it?
You don't know how I stand either way financially so worry about
last activity on the blog came as a response to another unkind message.
was Playing Super Nintendo the other day and a ghost came out of
it and puked on my shoes," wrote one poster. "Any insight
on such a paranormal event? Let me know if a ghost ever gave you
a Cleveland steamer or anything of that nature. Thanks.
You took a sample of the puke I hope, Egon would've wanted
concluded the case. Some might say that the ghost story ended the
same way that it began: as a joke.
might argue differently, that the unexplained is not at all a laughing
such person is Mark A. Keyes, Director of The Pennsylvania Paranormal
Association and Host of Paranormal Science Radio on WILK-FM News
Radio (serving the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton area). A full-time
criminal investigator by day and a ghost hunter by night, he has
appeared regularly on Animal Planet's The Haunted series.
he think a Nintendo could be possessed? Well, yes and no.
"You have some interesting questions that I haven't talked
about in a while but have come across many times," Keyes told
me. "From what you are telling me, it would make sense that
if the young boy who died loved to play with the Nintendo and it
was his, for whatever reason he stuck around his house after he
passed and probably took note that the Nintendo was being given
away. I would not consider the Nintendo box possessed or even a
spirit residing within it, but think of it as an attachment the
boy has to his game. He most likely stays at his home but is energetically
connected to the game because it is his. He can get to it at will."
could an "energetically connected" game be potentially
"In this case I don't think so. In some other attachment with
a different spirit, possibly. Think of a spirit, ghost, entity or
whatever you want to call it as a person without physical body.
Whatever the personality of that spirit, that is what you get when
you take in an object that spirit may be connected to. A mean alcoholic
who killed himself will definitely have a different personality
than a child and the activity can get bad."
believes that paranormal entities can not only attach to certain
objects but also settle down to occupy other places.
"So here is the tricky part. Getting rid of the item, in this
case the Nintendo, can stop the activity at Jerry's home. That is,
unless the child really likes Jerry and having now met him in a
way, the child may want to hang out some times. So, most likely
the child would go with the Nintendo but there is a small chance
he could stick around at times too. Again, think of him as a living
young boy, whatever he would do in life, he may do in death."
about people who say that any attempt to communicate with a spirit
is like opening up a doorway to the unknown?
"From my experiences, just showing an interest in wanting to
investigate a system is not enough to bring about a haunting. Some
substantial steps must be taken to have that happen. However, trying
to communicate with spirit repeatedly at the same place can definitely
bring about activity. It makes any aware spirit take notice that
you know they are there so why wouldn't they want to respond. Problem
is, that may cause some other, maybe not so friendly spirits, to
take notice as well. Now you may run the risk of attracting them
as well. It is very much like using a Ouija Board. In fact, we are
seeing many people using voice recorders in their own homes because
they see how teams do it on TV. They want to know if anything is
in their home and it seems fun. Problem being, they are creating
a forum or space with an open invitation for a spirit to come in.
There is no way to only ask for the nice ones to come and you get
what you get. We then get called because they don't know how to
get rid of what they pulled in. Most hauntings are usually not harmful
but every person reacts different to them. For some it may be a
problem, others embrace it. It depends on the person."
most pressing issue here is, if Jerry were to remove the system
from his home, would he be free from anything that he may have released?
"If [he] wants to stop the activity, the first thing to try
is getting rid of the game and see what happens."
rid of your Nintendo? Now there's a scary thought.