We got to go to a screening of Paranormal Activity
recently, and it’s scary as hell (if it’s not playing in your area, you can go here
and click the "Demand It" button to encourage distribution to your town). The movie got us thinking about how hard it would be to convince your girlfriend that the house you’re both living in is haunted. There are many reasons for doing this: maybe she’s just too annoying to live with. Maybe you want to move and she doesn’t. Whatever the reason is, here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Lie Your Ass Off
Convincing someone of paranormal activity takes a lot of lying, and I mean a LOT. It’s hard enough to lie about things that are believable, so lying about things that are inherently unbelievable will be even more difficult. The key to any good lie is consistency. Stick to your story no matter what, and never back off. If you’re lying about having seen a book float across the room, make sure you know exactly what book it was, what shelf it was on, and where it landed when it stopped floating. Never change these details. Mention that "it was exactly like that scene in Ghostbusters", and note that they probably put that in the movie because ghosts have been known to do that. Tell this lie several times over a few weeks. Even if your lie seems completely unbelievable, your girlfriend will eventually be forced to believe you, because only a complete weirdo would lie so adamently about something so this completely stupid.
Step 2: Rearrange Things
If you’re like me, you’ve been practicing your ninja stealth skills for a long time, because you never know when those skills will come in handy. Well, this is that time, because you’ll have to do this while your girlfriend is asleep. As quickly and silently as you can, rearrange key objects in the house. Try to go for particular items, as a lot of ghosts are reported to have fascinations with specific types of objects. Jewelry and trinkets are good, as are pictures, candles, and books or DVD’s. If you’re feeling extra-bold, try switching all the dishes in the kitchen into different cabinets, and theorize later that. "maybe this is how the ghost had the kitchen organized when it lived here."
Step 3: Mysterious, Magically-Appearing Welts
The steps above may freak out an easily scared girlfriend, but for most people the problem will have to get physical before they’ll take it seriously. This means that you’re going to have to create some magical welts. First, hit yourself really hard with something like a ruler or a broken-off car antena, and be sure to hit yourself very rapidly and in a very specific spot over and over. Basically, you’re giving yourself a concentrated ass-kicking. Then, you have to get your girlfriend’s attention very quickly. Usually a good scream or cry of pain will do this. Just be like, "Aaah! Something’s scratching me!" or something like that. Then, while you’re both looking at the spot where the "ghost" attacked you, watch as the delayed welts from your rigorous ruler beating appear. This probably won’t work more than once or twice, but it can work wonders for convincing your subject that something mysterious is afoot.
Step 4: The Ol’ Hidden Tape Recorder Gag
The basic plan is this: on a handheld tape recorder, you’ll record some mysterious moans or scary sounds, and then you’ll hide that tape recorder somewhere in the house. In order for this to work correctly, you’re going to have to put yourself into your girlfriend’s shoes. If you heard a strange sound, you’d cautiously try to find out where it came from. If you walk into a room and hear the noise again, over and over, you’re eventually going to be able to locate the source of the noise, and the plan will be ruined. So what’s the answer? It’s easy: if you have a 60-minute tape to record sound on, don’t fill the whole thing with scary ghost noises. Record two creepy moans on the tape; one at about 12 minutes in, and another at about 40 minutes in. Your girlfriend is not going to hunt around a room for 32 minutes trying to find out what that creepy noise she heard was. She’ll hear a creepy noise, investigate it, find nothing, and then hear the creepy noise again later. Two times will be enough to convince her that she wasn’t imagining it, but not enough to tip her off as to the sound’s source.
5. Super-Scary Ghost Video
This is definitely the most difficult part of your plan, but it’s also the most effective. Tell your subject that you’re going to set up a camera while you’re both at work today. Then, unbeknownst to your girlfriend, take the day off of work. Go to Radio Shack and buy some really big magnets. Set up the camera frame so that you can’t see under the table. Put one of the giant magnets in a vase, and then drag it from under the table with another magnet. Experiment with it and you’ll figure out the best way to pull of the illusion. Basically, the entirety of the videotape should show nothing happening for 20 minutes, and then the vase or bowl sliding a few inches (pulled by you and a magnet from under the table) over the next 40 minutes. The movement of the object should be completely obvious when the tape is played in fast-forward, but a little hard to see if watched at normal speed. Then, just remove the magnets and move the object a few more inches, so that you can say something like, "..and when I got home, the object was all the way over here, which means it kept moving even after the tape ran out!" After this demonstration, your girlfriend should be completely convinced that the house is haunted. After all, the only other explanation would be that you lied repeatedly, secretly re-arranged things in the house, beat yourself severely with a ruler, hid a tape recorder filled with creepy sounds, and took a day off of work to rig up a shitty magic trick using giant magnets, and that’s all just too ridiculous to be true.