While checking the status of links in old posts, as we do from time to time, I was suddenly confronted this morning with the following account from the BBC H2G2 website.
We don't normally post entire stories from other websites, but in this case we'll do an exception.
Before reading it, you may want to scroll all the way down and read the words we've marked in orange...
Watch your computer! It may be haunted!
Nearly all industry relies on computers of some sort to do their work. The computer is a revolution - if you want to get somewhere in life, get a computer! Everyone is using them now, - even Ghosts, it would seem.
In May 1988 Alice, a cleaner working in an architect's office, was about to start her shift when she noticed one of the staff computers had been left switched on. She didn't know much herself about computers, but knew it was on from the flickering screen. She stepped closer to the flickering screen but realised it wasn't part of her job and if she switched it off, she may get in trouble as unsaved information might be on there.
The next night she noticed that the same computer still with the same flickering screen was on again, but still ignored it. She made a mental note to ask a higher staff member, when she could, if there was any reason for its late night activity. When she asked Rob, an architect who worked there, he replied that it shouldn't be on. All computers and machinery are shut off after work. The only electricity being used should be the lights and vacuum cleaners!
So, Alice the cleaner remembered what Rob had told her as she went about her nightly cleaning work and, as she came up to room 1b, the office where the computer was, she walked in and reached for the plug. She went to switch it off by the mains but... there was no plug inserted! That was the only wall socket in the small office, so she followed the cords from the back. There was one leading to the keyboard, one leading to the printer and when she eventually found the thick black mains cord, she followed the cable to the mains plug. She startingly came across the machine's plug... not in the mains socket! Confused, she made another mental note to ask about this strange machine.
She made her way for the door and, looking back, she noticed a typed message on the screen, 'Hello'. Now she was even more confused, thinking she must be dreaming, but tripped by the mop bucket and felt it, so she assured herself she wasn't. The next day at closing time, she bumped into Rob, about to leave the building, when she remembered what had happened. She told him
'I Don't know much about computers myself, but I know they're not meant to work when they're switched off!'
Confused, Rob asked what she was referring to, so she explained what happened the last night with the computer in office 1b. He told her this shouldn't Happen; she was right, so he stayed back and watched the computer, and was startled to find that at precisely 9:18PM on May 11th 1988, the screen flicked itself on and displayed this message: 'Thou!'.
This made Rob sit up from his coffee and pay more attention to the computer. 'Thou!' it repeated. Suddenly, it changed its 'tune'...
'Thou hathe comited a grate cryme.'
Confused, Rob wondered what it meant.
'Thou art a godly man who hathe fanciful woman'
...'Who Dwelth in myne home' it continued.
'twas a grate cryme to hathe stolen myne home'
So, just think next time you wonder why Does that monitor light stay on for just a few seconds long after I switch off my computer by the mains?...
If not, clearly, you have not read our last post...