According to paranormal experts, ghosts are often spotted as they go through the motions of their former lives: cooking, walking down the steps and peering out windows.
This distresses me. If I come back as a ghost, I’ll be forever hunched over a computer desk, my brow furrowed and my transparent fingers tapping over an invisible keyboard, desperate to make a deadline that’s centuries overdue. On the other hand, my snapshot of eternity may be an echoing cackle from LOLcats or some long-dead celebrity antics at TMZ. Either way, I shouldn’t feel alone, because I suspect the Internet age will spark a new generation of spectral thrills. Get your pencils out, aspiring ghost hunters, for these hauntings of the future:
Selfie Ghost: Manifesting mostly in bathrooms, these ghosts remain unseen unless you look directly into the mirror. You may think you’re prepared, but you’ll still scream every time you glance up and see the faint outline of cheeks sucked in and lips puckered in a ghostly duckface. Legend has it if you turn out the lights and whisper “Boo caught me sleepin’” three times, you’ll see a body slumped over except for a single outstretched hand holding a phone.
Facebook Ghost: These restless spirits manifest only one body part: the hand. Facebook ghosts are attracted to activities such as going through photo albums, reading inspirational quotes or dressing children and pets in cute costumes. If you indulge in these pastimes, you’ll see a flock of friendly, translucent hands giving the thumbs-up sign around you. However, if you’re prone to fiery rants about politics or religion, expect to be forcefully blocked from certain areas of the house.
Texting Ghost: The most oblivious spirit, a texting ghost may not even realize he’s haunting you because he’s so caught up in staring at a small box in his palm. Texting ghosts don’t interact, they just walk through walls, furniture, road signs, and even people. They don’t pay attention to where they’re going, which is likely how they became a ghost in the first place. Sometimes they will slump in a corner near an electrical outlet in hopes of charging their phones.
Instagram Ghost: You’ll never see these apparitions in bodily form, although they’re drawn to kitchens, dining rooms, restaurants and dressing rooms. If you cook a meal you’re particularly proud of or find the perfect pair of shoes, these ghosts will show up. The haunting begins when the atmosphere around you becomes fuzzy and faded, a flurry of bright lights flash around your head, and you hear the snapping of tiny lenses.
Buffering Ghost: A form of poltergeist, the Buffering Ghost doesn’t fling chairs or drag you from your bed. Instead, this ghost keeps you from doing anything at all by pinning you down with an eternally spinning circle. You can wait out a Buffering Ghost and see if the spiritual bandwidth speeds up, but if you spend too much time at the mercy of these rotating spirits, seek out an I.T.-certified exorcist.
Spoiler Ghost: There are two types of spoiler phantoms, and it’s difficult to live with either one. The first type emits an ear-piercing wail while running through the house with ghostly fingers plugged into their ears, especially if you’ve been discussing a book, play, TV show or movie you’ve just experienced. The other ruins every new book or TV show you start by writing the ending across the bathroom mirror whenever it’s fogged up, so don’t freak out if you step out of the shower and see “Everybody dies” across your reflection.
Twitter Ghost: These ghosts are short and to the point; instead of moaning and rattling chains, they’ll leave a hashtagged “Boo” in the magnetic letters on your fridge. Twitter ghosts pile up in one corner, and then follow you from room to room. They are the only ghosts who enjoy being hunted, and love it when you follow them back. Be careful if you do, though, because that will attract more of them. Any house with a high amount of paranormal activity likely has both Twitter ghosts and Spoiler ghosts chasing each other in the attic.
— Beth Bartlett
Beth Bartlett, a freelance writer by day, a humorist by night and a caffeinated procrastinator by mid-afternoon, won second place in the 2013 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ competition (under 50,000 circulation) for her irreverent “Wisecrack Zodiac” column. She blogs at www.plaidearthworm.com.