If the horror movies of the late twentieth century taught us anything, it’s that household gadgets can become evil and turn against us. Cars, trucks, computers, and video games all had their turns at being monstrous. Gremlins featured creatures who specialized in sabotaging machinery to malfunction in a deadly fashion. Long before that, The Twilight Zone brought us a story of a haunted telephone in the episode “Long Distance Call.”
Bearing this history in mind, it’s only realistic to expect to find out that our Kindles, Nooks, and other ebook readers are also vulnerable to being haunted. When we consider the rich variety of characters, emotions, and imaginary worlds that pass through such a small device, it’s only natural that a supernatural spirit will, sooner or later, attempt to take up residence in your ebook device.
Some of these ghosts are simply nuisance hauntings, and will do little more than put typos into your ebooks. Others, however, are more dangerous.
Here are a few signs that you may have a haunted e-reader:
1. Loads stories you didn’t buy. They may be gruesome tales of death and deception, or that new book by Snooki. Either way, this could be a sign that a malevolent intelligence has moved into your Kindle.
2. Speaks to you personally. If the text-to-speech feature on your Kindle starts making conversation with you, whether pleasant or threatening, you should be aware that is not a normal function of the Kindle and could indicate a ghost.
3. Displays frightening and non-book-related images. If screaming faces appear at random on the screen of your reader, this could be a haunting. Note: These faces are especially terrifying on the Nook Color.
4. Displays stories about you. Your e-reader may begin to tell you stories about yourself, involving terrible things happening to you. If so, this is very likely a haunting.
What can you do about the risk of your Kindle, Nook or Sony reader being haunted?
1. Prevention. Some people claim that affixing a dreamcatcher to your reader’s carrying case will help block out evil spirits. Also, avoid the temptation to download The Haunted E-book to your device, despite its spookily low price of just $2.99. This book has been known to cause supernatural problems for readers.
2. Contact tech support. If your e-reader is under warranty, they may simply switch out your haunted reader for a new one. Then the ghost becomes somebody else’s problem instead of yours!
3. Download a variety of religious texts. I’m not sure which ones would work best, but certainly if you download enough sacred material, something might shake that ghost loose.
4. Exorcism. Have your Kindle or Nook professionally exorcised, if you can find a professional exorcist willing to do so. This service is offered at more progressive voodoo shops.
5. Cope. Determine whether you can just live with the amount of trouble your ghost is giving you.
We hope these tips have helped you today. In the comments below, you might let us know some more signs that your e-readers may be haunted, or your thoughts on how to deal with such a problem.
Commenting on this post within seven days enters you for The Haunted E-book Tour Grand Prizes, including The Haunted Library and a Kindle (or two!).
Your comment also enters you to win a pair of ebooks from Titania (The Haunted E-book and Dark Tomorrows) according to her usual giveaway rules: Please leave a comment with your email address before the contest closes on 3/18!
Thanks for following the tour! And thanks to Titania for hosting The Haunted E-book Tour today.
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He is the author of five novels and one short-story collection. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories. His new novel is The Haunted E-book. The sequel to his novel Jenny Pox will be available by summer 2011.