Ghost in the TV

The first time that the TV turned itself on was back in November. I was nowhere near the remote, busy in the kitchen when I heard voices. Because I don’t hear voices (often) when I’m alone in the apartment, it scared the heck out of me. How did that happen?

The second time was shortly after the New Year began. Again, I had put down the remote after turning the television off and had walked into another room. But this time it didn’t freak me out so much because I had Googled.

Was it a ghost annoyed with me because I interrupted his or her favourite TV show? There are several theories as to how a “ghost” turns your television on. The bottom line, no one really seems to know why this phenomenon occurs. Here are the top five hypotheses:

1) Accidentally setting the “wake-up” timer feature for the TV (I didn’t)
2) Remote batteries are low (since I really can’t remember when I put in new ones, it’s a possibility)
3) Remote power button might be stuck (also possible)
4) Neighbours could be accidentally turning the TV on through the window, especially if they use a similar universal remote like the one a cable company gives you (since I live in downtown Vancouver, this is the reason that made sense to me, but the most recent occurrence happened when the drapes were closed)
5) Some other piece of electronic equipment is activating the TV’s sensors (I don’t really have a lot of electronics in the living room)

The third time it happened was just last night. Around 5 p.m. I was all TVed out and wanted to sit in my chair in the bedroom and read before starting to make dinner. I opened my book, found my place on the page and heard voices. The TV managed to turn itself on. But this time I was really, thoroughly freaked out. I had just seen the episode of CSI: Cyber titled “Fire Code” where someone starts fires through the internet by targeting programmable appliances.

That is probably not even possible in my case since the television was bought in the late 90s (yes, it still has tubes). Still it scared me enough to wonder if someone from the cable cable wasn’t watching me jive around my living room on Monday nights when Dancing With the Stars was on.


2 comments on “Ghost in the TV

  1. We have the same issue with our garage door. Does someone have a remote on the same frequency or is it something else? If it is the same frequency, do they also wonder if their garage door is spooked, because we could be opening theirs? I don’t know, but I wonder…

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