Hifi things go awry without a logical explanation? It can only be The Hifi Poltergeist!

Hifi Poltergeist

A ghostly apparition

We live in an old house in an old village and about twenty metres from the house there was a big accident where a train hit a school bus and lots of children were tragically killed – we are going back decades with regards to the accident. I’m telling you this for no other reason than to appeal to your paranormal curiosity and hoping you put two and two together to make five.


About fourteen years ago our eldest son was bought a computer for Christmas. The computer worked fine for months and then went belly up. Obviously, we searched for the receipt but couldn’t find it anywhere. At that time, we were living in what was the flat above our now house with the restaurant and bar below. We turned the flat upside down to try to find said receipt to no avail. We contacted the accountants to see if it had been submitted with our year’s expenses, but it wasn’t there. We gave up. Mid December comes by and Linette nips into the little kitchenette in the flat to make the morning’s breakfast…and there is the receipt just sat on the side of the work-surface looking all innocent. Obviously, the kitchen had been used several times a day in the run-up to finding it. We looked at said receipt and it was that day that the twelve-month warranty was up – at around midday. So twelve months to the day since the computer was bought. We batted through to the shop and exchanged the computer. I’m telling you this for no other reason than to appeal to your paranormal curiosity and hoping you put two and two together to make five.


We live in a small hamlet outside a town and the total population of the commune is around four-thousand people. There are a few immigrant families, including ourselves. Just prior to us moving here another English family bought and moved into a house in town. The family stayed there for a matter of weeks but whilst there had the local priest in to exorcise the house because they were convinced it was haunted by malevolent spirits. They left never to return and the house, commonly known as the haunted house in town, has remained empty. I’m telling you this for no other reason than to appeal to your paranormal curiosity and hoping you put two and two together to make five.


When we first moved here the kids obviously went to school and made English friends. We obviously got to meet the parents who told us the following story about their house.

In the cellar there was an old metal sink. At night and repeatedly there would be a sound that would come from the cellar and sound like something metal being bashed against something else that was metal. Furthermore the metal sink began to show dints in it. One night the banging started again and the father went into the cellar and shouted “F..k off, we live here now!” and thereafter the banging stopped.

That family moved on and some new English people moved in who we got to know very well. They made a beautiful job renovating the house and turned the cellar into a very nice snug. After several years we told the couple about this story – the metal sink had been in the space where the snug was. This couple had a boxer dog that would go into a bit of a trance-like state and stare at the spot where the sink had been – but obviously the folk now living in the house hadn’t known this. The bloke of the couple also said he felt a bit odd in the room and thought that part of the wall often looked “strange and blurry”. I’m telling you this for no other reason than to appeal to your paranormal curiosity and hoping you put two and two together to make five.

Hifi Poltergeist

Things that go missing in the night!


So, what has this got to do with Hifi then, I hear you ask. Well, a fair old bit. Stuff sometimes just seems to happen and without any obvious cause to the HiFi.

For instance, a few weeks ago, I came down into the main room to put a record onto the turntable only to find that two of the wires and their tags into the back of the cartridge had been removed. Now the obvious cause would obviously be that they have been caught when someone has brushed past the turntable. Or, and perhaps more likely one of the cats had been playing some tunes whilst we were in bed and all of a sudden realised they didn’t have opposable thumbs and made a complete hash of it all. Or, and I think this is even more likely, a poltergeist that was born well before the time of sophisticated record players came down in the middle of the night from wherever it is that poltergeists hang out and pulled just two of the wires out by way of mischief-making.

There was a time when neither for love nor money could I get the HiFi to make any sound whatsoever. I tried everything and worked everything back as logically as I know-how. I checked the interconnects to make sure they were correctly sorted. Likewise with the speaker cables. Checked the DAC was correctly set up for the right source. Made sure the preamplifier was set to the right source. Used a turntable as the source to make sure it wasn’t the digital source that had gone belly up. Nothing. Naturally, the only explanation was that I’d somehow blown both the speakers. Not great!! I then realised that the power amplifiers bright red LEDs weren’t illuminated and a quick reach under each of the amps had them glowing and I had music again. A good hour or so all this messing about took. Naturally, my first instinct was that our poltergeist (we call him Phil) had been turning the amps off whenever I turned my back. What other explanation could there be?

There are also things like the Hifi sounding particularly spectacular at certain times of the day. Clearly, paranormal activity going on there, for sure!

Don’t get me started on things getting moved whilst I’m fitting cartridges and the like. Only the other night I was fitting the arm to our newly acquired turntable and had laid out all the nuts and bolts in front of me on a sheet of paper so that nothing got lost or misplaced. Imagine my surprise when I had almost finished the job in hand to find the last bolt I needed wasn’t there. I’d not moved more than a couple of feet from my sitting position the whole time. Undoubtedly the poltergeist at work again! What’s more, when I investigated I found the bolt UNDER the sheet of paper. Now that’s just sneakiness on the part of our ethereal companion.

Don’t get me started on my specs, either. I can put them down and the next minute they are lost. Completely gone. It’s not funny or clever of our spectre, Phil, at all.

What really gets me is how Phil has managed to suss the complexities of digital media storage devices. Now I’m useless with them, but it seems that Phil the Phantom has been taking an Open University course on digital storage and can make files disappear and reappear at will.

I also think Phil is in league with the courier companies’ pet poltergeese (that’s the plural of poltergeist). I mean, there is absolutely no other explanation as to how the courier company can be in touch, send a message to say they will be here on Thursday, then Friday and then finally arrive on Tuesday. My theory is that Phil, what with his extensive knowledge of computers and their workings, is in cahoots with the goats (sic) in the machines of the courier company and malevolently changes delivery times. This can be the only reason given that no one, including the driver themselves, has any idea of why they arrive days later than they say they will.

The list is endless: A cartridge that tracked beautifully only the last record now decides to take up skating and glide across the surface of my newly acquired vinyl inexplicably drawn to the delights of the centre spindle. Records completely in the wrong place in my meticulously filed collection. CDs that played flawlessly only several houses ago now refusing to play despite me having wiped all the wine I spilled on them the night before off. Speakers playing out of phase and the cables being the wrong way round despite me only having changed them the day before.

Now I know what some of you are thinking – many of these apparent poltergeistial happenings could surely be explained away by pointing the finger at the author of this piece and his incompetence. I’m sticking with blaming Phil the spectre and his (he may be she but I’m unsure of how to sex an apparition) ghostly cohorts.

Stuart Smith   



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