The SONY Trinitron That Didn’t Need Its Remote: A Real Ghost Story
I’ve heard of haunted houses, hotels, schools, forests, roads, and castles; but a television set? If the idea a house being
repossessed possessed stretches the limits of your imagination, hold on to your sensibilities. These events, like everything on my blog, are true. You could ask the other eye witnesses—Chuck, Alex, and Wolfer, Georgia, and Dusty (pets)—but both dogs and the cat are in the spirit realm and only speak when summoned by special people like me. Alex has tried to forget the whole incident, and Chuck isn’t speaking to me as far as I know, so why would he speak to you? (I know this because he hasn’t spoken to me since he expressed his dismay about this very same blog.)
Remember Mémé of The Evil Eye fame? She had a love affair with her television set. It was a case of serial TV monogamy: when one beloved SONY would die, she replaced it with another, equally beloved and more technologically sophisticated one. The last one she owned was a color SONY Trinitron with a remote control. She adored that thing. It was one of the few possessions she took with her as she moved from her own home to an assisted-living home, then to a nursing home. It was large and heavy and hers. Even the remote control had presence. She felt so strongly about her TV that she left explicit instructions about who would get in after she died—my younger sister, Lisa.
Mémé lived a long life and her increasing dementia mellowed her. After she got through the paranoid, combative stage, she was a docile, content Finnish-speaking old lady that everyone loved but no one understood. When she died at 93 years old, we were sad but knew her time had come. Since I was Executor of her will, I made sure her pittance not spent by the nursing home was divided equally and the few material possessions she had left went to their designated heirs. Lisa didn’t need another TV and asked me if I wanted the SONY. Having only one TV at the time, the “Broken House” needed an infusion of technology, so I accepted. Mémé’s TV became the centerpiece of our living room.
I’m not sure if Mémé was upset that I got the SONY or that she would’ve taken up residence in it wherever it went, but between the time she died and the time she was buried, that TV had a life of its own. I swear these things really happened:
- As Chuck, Alex and I were watching a show on our “new” SONY, the volume adjusted itself up or down without human intervention. Several battery changes in the remote control did nothing to stop the volume fluctuations. Neither did unplugging and re-plugging the set. We figured there was a defect in the volume regulator.
- Then TV randomly turned itself on and off. Again, we did the usual things one does to a TV to fix such problems: bang the side of it, bang the top of it, check the one plug at the back of it (this was before we had cable and 69 cords to fiddle with). Nothing stopped the TV from deciding when it wanted to play or rest.
- Deciding we got a bum TV, I unplugged the thing and went to bed. I was the first one up and I went downstairs. I noticed a faint bluish light coming from the living room. When I entered, the screen on Mémé’s SONY Trinitron was casting the loveliest light blue glow. Mind you, it was unplugged. I double-checked. I plugged it in and turned it on. A black and white movie appeared with a bluish glow behind it. The volume started rising and falling willy-nilly. I shut the TV off and the blue glow remained. Rarely did I wake Chuck up, but I thought this was worth his attention, mostly because I was freaking out. He came downstairs and saw the same thing I did: blue glow TV that was unplugged. We looked at each other and said simultaneously, “Mémé.” Her eyes were that very color.
Chuck plugged the TV back in to watch the news. It shut off in the middle of the financial report after some volume modulations. Chuck asked me if I knew a way to get her out of the TV. I’d said I would call someone I knew. Together, this man (not a TV repair man, but a funeral director) and I gently asked my grandmother to leave her beloved TV and go to where her soul could rest.
After her funeral and burial, the TV never acted up again. When it finally gave up the ghost, as it were, I was sad to replace it. I felt like I lost Mémé all over again.
So, there you have it. You now have a ghost story of a haunted TV.