My husband likes his Xbox. Not only do we have both an Xbox 360 and Xbox One connected to our main TV, but there’s an additional 360 wired to the small TV hanging in front of our treadmill. That last one, by the way, may not be the greatest idea for my husband’s safety.


“Sweetie, you okay?”

“Yeah, just walked off the treadmill again…”

Seriously. Playing Minecraft on that thing might kill him if he keeps trying to walk with his character. I’m thankful he hasn’t started playing Halo in there yet.

Since our home would make it appear that we worship Microsoft (or at least Master Chief), it only seems appropriate that the creepiest thing to happen in it was directly related to one of the machines. It didn’t seem like much at first. We walked into the room one day and my husband looked at the TV, which was displaying a faded image of his Xbox One Dashboard, and said, “huh, I thought I turned that off.”

It happened again when we came home from visiting the in-laws. We were both sure we’d turned it off that time. Not only was it weird, but it was a waste of power. Our TV is set to turn on and off with the Xbox, so both were running for no reason.

We thought maybe the two terrors we allow to live in our home (read: cats) had figured out how to climb up to the Xbox, and were turning it on while trying to get the Harley Quinn figure I had sitting next to it. We moved the figure, turned it off, and went about our evening, only to find it on again. That’s when my husband announced he was going to play detective.

It's not cute! It's the face of TERROR.
It’s not cute! It’s the face of TERROR. Okay, it’s adorable and spoiled. Fine. It’s still a terror.

The video camera didn’t come out until the next day (when, yes, the Xbox had turned on by itself again), but as he fiddled with it, making sure it was positioned to get a clear view of the TV, I had a terrible, terrible realization.

We were in a horror movie.

I checked to make sure there weren’t any cameras on us. No. Maybe we were in a comic. Could I see all four walls? Yes.

It was still creepy.

A couple hours later, we went to check, and weren’t surprised to find the TV on, displaying the Xbox dashboard once again. Husband snatched up the camera and had the recording on the computer in no time. Before we watched it, I had one stipulation: If we saw a freaking ghost or demon or anything else to indicate that our lives were not real, and we were in the slow beginning of a movie with a deathly end, we were leaving the house, going to a hotel, and cutting the film short.

He laughed.

I was only 80% serious.

Just over an hour into the recording, we saw the lights on both the console and the Kinect flicker and turn bright white. No cats. No ghosts.

Okay, so I hadn’t quite packed my bags. I know ghosts aren’t real. Most days. Still. I’m a little relieved our camera isn’t good enough to record anything too well. Some part of me is still convinced that if we could slow it down, we’d see the briefest figure of a person, reaching up to hover their fingers over that button to turn it on, and then glance back at the camera with an evil smile.

I know that’s silly of me. Why do I always have to think of things so negatively? Surely, we would have seen a jolly ghost giggle to himself for playing a prank on the “fleshies” or “humanies” or something else ending in “ies.”


Quality art of a ghost turning on a TV. Obviously.
Quality art of a ghost turning on a TV. Obviously.

Or… we’d see the Xbox turn on more slowly, with no other-worldly assistance. Whatever. Husband did a hard reset on the thing, and it hasn’t done it since. But maybe I’ll avoid being in the room alone with it for awhile…