Now you might think of IT support staff as logical, rational beings. But truth be told, we’re all quite superstitious. While the celebration of Halloween has slowly been on the rise in Melbourne, we’ve always been concerned about the occult side of computers.


So with the Spooky Season upon us, I thought I would run you through the 5 biggest occult related fears IT support staff have, and a few of our recommended solutions.


1 - Cobwebs


Now while cobwebs are not inherently dangerous, they do tend to gather around computers. It’s also usually a symptom of a dusty computer area, clogging your computer up with dust just leads to a drop in performance.

Not to mention spiders.

No one likes spiders in or around their computers


Our Recommended Solution:


Luckily, Halloween occurs in the spring here in the Melbourne, so we recommend a bit of Spring Cleaning for your computer desk.

Giving the area around your computer a good dust, and clearing out those cobwebs will help keep your computer safe in the Spooky Season.


2 - Frankenstein’s Website


This one is a bit more common. I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen one, but you probably haven’t noticed it. Websites get updated all the time, and you might think that the website is loaded from the internet fresh each time. But what if I told you that the websites you visit the most are made of bits of older websites. Sometimes cut up and assembled just to save time.


Some websites are kept alive in what’s often referred to as The Cache. This is a collection of old website parts that your computer keeps, to save time your computer refers to The Cache to build websites. To use Facebook as the example, you might notice that the blue-bar at the top usually loads first, before the rest of the site. That’s because it’s the thing each Facebook page has in common with every other Facebook page. So a copy of it is kept in The Cache on your computer, and your computer is able to cut it up, and stick it up the top before it has to download anything new.


Now here’s the spooky part. Sometimes the website you’re looking at is a dead version of a website. An update to a website might go live; this update might completely change how the website looks and functions. But due to the existing version of the website in The Cache, you don’t see the update for days (Can you say Zombie Websites)

Our Recommended Solution:


It’s a good idea to clear out your internet cache frequently, bits of old code can exist in there and will sometimes mess with things. You can find instructions for clearing the cache at this handy website.


3 - Duplicate Emails             

        

Like ghosts from the past, emails occasionally return from your deleted items to haunt you. There are many different types of haunted email. The most common one is your basic correspondence with old colleagues whom no longer work with you. These are merely annoying, and can usually just be deleted again.


The more dangerous variety of evil email is the Duplicate Demon. They can be trickier to detect, they usually duplicate emails of importance. For example: doubled invoices, twin payment summaries. Some of the weaker Duplicate Demons just copy your existing emails, whereas the stronger demons actually cause the duplicated emails to have real world impact. Things like; that duplicate receipt has actually been paid twice! Better call the bank.

Our Recommended Solution:


The way to deal with these demons is to place a circle of salt around your mouse while you delete the email. You may still need to call your bank afterwards to deal with that duplicate payment that has come out of your account.


4 - Laptop Skeletons


Not much is known about this incredibly rare phenomenon. As I am sure you’re aware, most laptops are made from metals and plastics. Neither of these elements are prone to decomposition. However, on rare, spooky, occasions we find old laptops have completely decomposed, leaving behind their skeletons.


What’s more, these laptop skeletons are made of bone. We’ve asked a few manufacturers, and none of them use bone in the construction of their laptops. Where do these skeletons come from? Why does this only happen to some laptops? We just don’t know.


Our Recommended Solution:


Salt the bones, and burn them. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If your dead laptop’s spirit ever gets loose, you might be in trouble. It’s best to burn the bones to ensure that your laptop can rest in peace.

5 - Possessed Computers


We’ve all seen the movies like Poltergeist and Ghostbusters. Possessed electrical equipment floating around and harassing helpless individuals. It’s a harrowing thing to experience first-hand, and not a lot of IT service providers are prepared to deal with possessed equipment.


Symptoms of Computer possession include: Mouse wandering, or moving out of your control, programs opening up and closing without your input, unexpected shut downs, levitation, and strange, red fluid dripping from the CD drive.


There are many factors to be aware of when dealing with possessed computers. First and foremost is, what is doing the possessing? There are two main categories of possession, Demonic and Spiritual. Or in layman's terms: Ghosts or Demons.


Ghosts are the easier type to deal with, traditionally ghosts are less powerful beings. These are usually responsible for your minor symptoms, like sporadic mouse movement, or programs opening and closing without warning. Sprinkling pure salt over the device, or the right kind of anti-virus software can deal with most ghostly possessions.


Demonic possession however are, by nature, more difficult. The first thing you would expect to reach for is some holy water. While this will usually be powerful enough to excise the demon, it will simultaneously destroy electronics, like regular water would. A good priest or someone experienced in the rituals involved around exercising demons can perform rites to remove a demon from your device. Depending on the quality of the exorcism, it may be costly.

Our Recommended Solution:


While the above options are effective, we would rather advocate for prevention here. It’s much easier and less costly to prevent the possession in the first place. Having your IT staff bless your computer can add a layer of protection that most minor level demons can’t bypass. More heavy-duty protection can be purchased, talismans and amulets widely available, these are usually unnecessary. Unless you’re actively dabbling in the occult, possession by powerful demons is rare.

We find that a simple blessing by the IT staff will handle most things.


Image credits: Ben Taylor 2016