This week’s Folklore Friday:

In September 1984, Ken Webster of Cheshire, England was experiencing “poltergiest events” in his home: objects thrown around or moved, and strange noises, mostly in the kitchen. One day, he accidentally left his computer on in the kitchen, and when he got home he noticed a strange new file saved to the floppy disk. The computer was very early technology, a BBC Micro, which he borrowed from the school where he taught. He opened the file, and found a mysterious, vaguely threatening message.

Ken Deb ni cThe Vertical Plane, by Ken Webster
True A re The NIGHTmares
Of a pErson t hat FEARs
Safe A re The BODIES Of tHe
Silent WORLD
Turn Pr etty FlowER tuRn
TOWARDS The SUN
For Y o u S HalL GroW
AND SOW
But T he FLOWer Reaches
TOo high and witHERS inThe B urning Light
G E T OU T YOU
R BR ICKs
PuSsy Ca t PUSSy Cat
Went TO LonDOn TO
Seek
FamE aND FORTUNE
Faith Must NOT Be
LOst
For ThiS Shall
Be YouR REDEEMER.

Creeped out, but curious, he borrowed a different computer, checked it over for mysterious files, and then left it on in the kitchen. More mysterious messages began to appear, even mentioning Ken’s girlfriend Debbie. Over time, they began to communicate with the message writer, who claimed to be a man named Lukas from the 16th century. During this time, there were notably fewer poltergeist events occurring. Lukas claimed that he was under suspicion of being a witch because of his “light box” which he used to talk to Ken. Suddenly, another correspondent started chiming in to the conversation. The new person claimed to be from the year 2109, and left even more cryptic and threatening messages. Eventually, Lukas admitted to being actually named as Thomas Harden, which Ken promptly researched. He did find evidence that such a person existed in the 16th century, and experts claimed that the dialect the messages were written in would be authentic for that time.

Eventually, the messages from both Lukas/Thomas and 2109 ceased, and Ken wrote a book about his experiences. To this day, no one can prove if it was an elaborate hoax, or Ken really did have a time traveling haunted computer.