Once upon a time, I wrote a weekly series on Crushable.com (later Alloy, now shuttered) called “Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t.” The result of a night spent alone in my apartment reading the SomethingAwful thread on which Slender Man originated, it explored modern urban legends and what happens to them when the Internet gets involved. I was pleased to find that judging by my readers, I wasn’t the only one weirdly preoccupied with these sorts of things, so every Saturday night, we gathered around our imaginary campfire to spin a new yarn together.
Although I eventually moved on from Crushable, I never stopped stumbling upon fodder for “Creepy Things.” I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by tales of the strange and unusual; maybe it has something to do with the psychology of fear and wanting to understand how it works. After some time had passed, I started dreaming up a new series—one which would continue to explore the nature of fear through creeptastic stories, but which would branch out from the solely Internet-based shiverfests “Creepy Things” had focused on. So in September of 2013, I pitched what would become “Scare Yourself Silly” to the lovely ladies at The Toast; to my overwhelming delight, they picked it up, running the first edition on Halloween.
Then I thought: Why stop there? I know I’m not the only one in this proverbial (and possibly haunted) boat; let’s take a step further.
At the moment, The Ghost in My Machine is sort of a pet project, so it may not get updated every day; I’ll do my best, though, to bring you as much bizarreness as I can every week. The idea is to feature everything from creepy tales (both fictional and true) to unsettling images and from bits of news pertaining to horror movies, books, television shows, and so on to “haunted” or otherwise spookily notable geographical locations—although as most things do, I expect it will evolve over time.
It’s probably obvious, by the way, that the ghost in my particular machine isn’t Descarte’s theory of mind-body dualism, or even Gilbert Ryle’s rejection of it; so whose ghost is it, then? And, for that matter, which machine? Which type of machine, even? That’s for you to decide.
So go on. Pull up a chair.
Have I got some stories for you.