Our Spooky Tales: The Haunted VCR

by Joy Stephens

2 min readOct 19, 2023

October is one of our favorite months of the year. These are our favorite scary stories to share with each other when sitting around a campfire or when traveling together for work.

This week’s story comes from our colleague Joy Stephens as she reflects on a spooky time in her youth. You’ll never guess the twist in this story, so we recommend you check it out for yourself…

When I was in middle school, I had a birthday party and my mom allowed me to have some friends sleep over.

One of my friends suggested we put on The Exorcist, which we were too young to watch at the time. Being the enterprising and dumb kids that we were, we found the videotape, waited for my parents to go to bed, and turned the VCR on to watch it as soon as we felt the coast was clear.

The movie was super scary (as expected) and the one friend who asked to watch was the only one of us “too cool” to be afraid.

BUT! Right at the exact moment when the possessed girl, Regan, spews green vomit at the priest, the VCR snapped off and the screen turned to static; at that EXACT MOMENT!

Everyone started screaming and running away, which made my dad get up, and since the house was creaky, his loud, heavy footsteps down the hall scared us even more.

We were all crying by the time my mom came in, cussed us all out for being awake, and called everyone’s mom to come get them at 12:30 pm, in the middle of the night.

A few years later we learned the twist to the story! It turns out that our VCR had a glitch in it, which caused it to turn off every night when the clock resets at midnight… but we didn’t know that because we’d never stayed up that late before.

After spending 25+ years in Corporate America, Joy decided to strike out on her own to pursue her passion of improving company cultures across the US and abroad. She is an executive coach, master facilitator, and the Chief Consultant of New Heights Academic & Leadership Consulting, LLC. She is an avid gamer, reader, anime fan, and foodie. Joy can be found on LinkedIn and YouTube.




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