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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pour one out for the people living through quarantine with ghost roommates

Illustration for article titled Pour one out for the people living through quarantine with ghost roommates
Photo: Todd Warnock (Getty Images)

Living in quarantine is never going to be much fun, but for people with shitty roommates it must be especially difficult. This certainly seems to be the case for those who are currently sharing their homes with ghosts, entities that are notoriously bad about not keeping quiet at night (when some people have to work in the morning, goddamn it!), cleaning up after themselves, or chipping in for rent and groceries.


The New York Times has published a look at these poor jerks, stuck in quarantine with what sound like extremely annoying ghosts. The article mentions people whose asshole specters have begun to make an already-stressful time worse by performing classic ghost pranks like shaking window frames and doorknobs, walking up and down the stairs at all hours, or showing up in the kitchen in the middle of the night “wearing a well-worn, World War II-era military uniform and cap.”

The Times article includes an interview with John E.L. Tenney, “a paranormal researcher and ... former host of the TV show Ghost Stalkers,” who says he was getting “reports of a haunted house” about two to five times a month last year, but has seen those reports increase to “five to 10 in a week” recently. Tenney, a real killjoy, attributes all these ghost encounters to “our heightened state of anxiety [and] our hyper-vigilance” while spending more time in a home whose regular noises we might not hear when at work or out and about. He says a similar increase happened right before Y2K, when people were freaked out about our electronics failing en masse or, like, coming to life and strangling us with their power cables. This is reinforced by input from an associate professor named Kurt Gray who says “perceived hauntings” rise during “times of great unease or malaise, when there is an increased drive to find meaning in chaos” or when people are particularly lonely.

There are plenty more stories of those living in quarantine who have been getting a thorough spooking from ghost roommates that like to bang around, flip on lights and be a general nuisance. There’s also, on the other hand, some kinder spirits highlighted, including ones who like to help out by returning lost items or adjusting the sheets at night.

To the former people, we can only offer our condolences. This is a hard time for all of us and the last thing anyone needs is some spectral dickhead running up the utilities bill or making us waste precious Lysol wipes by leaving their ectoplasm all over the counter.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.