American Ghost Stories

Soulmate Notebook
I bought this notebook computer in September, 2001. It is the one which has to be shut down first before turning off the power switch. If the shut down procedure is not followed, it will do a long process of extra steps during startup.

During shut down, the read/write head of the hard drive makes some rapid knocking sounds, like di-dit, di-di-dit, di-di-di-dit, then a short message, 'SAFE TO SWITCH POWER OFF' displays on the screen before the screen goes black. The knocking sound is the central figure of this story.

Before I bought this notebook, over a year ago, I had
heard this exact knocking sound on several different occasions. I heard it regularly just before going to bed, after staying up reading my books till the wee hours of the mornings. The 'dit-dit-dit' sound had appeared to come from outside the window of my apartment. Every time I heard the sound I'd wonder what was making it, and I'd search for the source, but I never found it.

I made many guesses: a woodpecker, a toy, a water hammer used in plumbing, a lunatic knocking on something, or just about anything. It was frustrating not knowing where the 'dit-dit-dit' sound was coming from. It made it hard to sleep. But later I found a way to deal with the sound. It was by covering my face with a pillow and psyching myself to ignore it.

One afternoon, I was at a showroom of a computer store, and I was looking at a notebook computer. It was then the latest model, so I was intrigued. I bought it with little persuasion by the salesperson.

On the first night with my new computer, I worked excitedly for many hours. I didn't turn it off until 2:35 A.M. I clicked on the 'Windows' icon at the bottom left of the screen and released the mouse on 'Shutdown'. My jaw dropped. It was the same 'dit-dit-dit' sound I was being bothered by for more than a year.

I finally found out what made the sound? Could there have been an identical computer being shutdown elsewhere in the building or on the street? This was the closest possibility I thought. But then, on thinking deeper, the sound was too soft for it to have come from afar. It couldn't have come from my neighbour's apartment; the wall between my apartment and his is too thick. It couldn't have come from downstairs either; I live on the fifth floor. NO, the computer has to be no more than about 3 to 5 feet from the ears for the knocking sound to be heard. Also, the surrounding must be absolutely noiseless or you won't hear it. Finally, the computer was the newest model and it had only been in the market for a week at most.

Here is the eerie part: Since I bought
the notebook, I’ve not heard the knocking sound coming from outside the window anymore. It is only heard from my computer upon shutdown.

Could I have been hearing my own notebook computer shutting down every morning ahead of time? What else could it have been?

Do you believe there is something out there that belongs to you and
IT knows it and it's been trying to tell you about it?

Rodolfo B Martin


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