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Late Husband Communicating Through Old Vcr Tapes?


Good evening. I've spent much of my afternoon reading this site with interest and could not resist writing to you all (on this dark and rainy post-holiday evening). I've spent years noting to myself dozens of incidents that seem paranormal, but have only recently been curious enough to look around on the internet, and your site seems really legit -- caring and intelligent. I'm an educated, grounded and stable individual, a Christian and former newspaper columnist, currently teaching and a mom of four great kids. I've lost many loved ones in my almost 60 years, but have always loved my life, felt quite strong and consider myself to be a happy warrior for my "causes." Guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm a busy, suburban mom, living near a large southern city but every now and then some compelling things happen and the mysteries of life compel me to seek out those who might know more than I do, on a topic I know little about (except for tv shows and a real appreciation for Dean Koontz novels).

A couple months ago I was finishing a basement cleanup that's dragged on for months. We live in a great suburban home, very bright and cheery, incuding the basement, which is more of a terrace level with windows everywhere and not creepy at all. I ran across a small box of VCR tapes that had not been transferred onto DVD and decided to take a look at them. As background, I'll share that my first husband, a Marine aviator, passed away 26 years ago after a lengthy and serious illness, leaving behind two daughters, ages 2 and 3, and me. Over the years, I feel like he's found small ways to let me know he's still with us... Some of them are really fun, but I'll stick with this one thing. So I'm in the basement about 3 in the afternoon. Middle schoolers (with my second husband) won't be home for a couple hours and I'm dying to see these videos from almost 30 years ago, one of which is titled, "Best Tape for Dad." I locate my 90s-era small tv with a built in VCR player and set it up on a chair. Sitting on the floor I put in the first tape and it's some great snow day footage of my daughters as toddlers with their Daddy, just charming (they're both grown and married career women now). I pull out my i-phone to take some snips to send to them at work (and to just have on my phone). I start noticing as I'm holding up my phone, taking video of the video, that in the phone camera there is a black line that pops up, not horizontal or vertical, but crossways like a slash through the screen. It's not on the TV or the video tape, just on my phone screen. I didn't think too much of it and kept taking videos of this tape in short segments. Then I started to notice that the black slash only happened at certain moments in the video. Mostly it popped when the camera panned to my late husband, but also during closeups of a precious little face or another tender moment. I notice the black slashes on my phone seem to be appearing at moments of significance, and sometimes more dark black than others a moment later. I know so little about the technology, but I wondered if a spirit was trying to watch with me, whether they could take energy from the pixels or something, which would make the black area. As I watch the tapes, I start talking out loud a little bit, something I've done before at certain moments, and the black lines seemed to almost happen more as I narrate the tape just a bit, sort of remembering. (i.e. "Oh, here comes the snowball" as in the video he throws one in my direction).

Next thing I know, my middle schoolers were home off the bus, and I was upstairs telling my 8th grade son, a really smart kid about electronics and other things, about this black slash going through my i-phone video. I joked that I thought it might be some "ghost guy stuff" which is what we call it (based on my recent interest in Ghost Adventures-type programs, for which I get teased relentlessly by all my kids). So my son was intrigued and wanted to see this black line, and I wanted to show it to him, maybe for validation... Or maybe hoping it would not be there when we went back down. So we did and I turned on the tape (sorry if this is getting boring) and there's the black slash on my i-phone again. How is it not on the tv or VCR tape? We discuss it, how it seems like there's a pattern to the line... Then as the tape is playing I suspect the line is actually popping up in response to my comments. I go way out on a limb and say, "OK, can you do an SOS?" (a military thing, haha) After which the black line flashes out _ _ _ __ __ __ _ _ _. (I might actually have that backwards). But we both were a bit amazed to say the least and reacted with big, "OH WOWs." The slash DID respond with an SOS! This is when you just blink and think, "Holy cow, is this SOMEthing? Or am I wishing/imagining/pushing it?"

Well, that's about it. I've not wanted to try it again since, something about not wanting to mess with things I don't understand. But has anyone ever heard about something like this? Also, when I viewed some of the video snips on my computer, which has a large screen, there were some places in the videos that I feel I could see... My late husband's likeness. And all I can say on that is, I think I've gotten pretty good at seeing ghosts in photos (stories for another day perhaps).

Thank you for letting me share this. I know about EVPs, so it seems like if you can catch a ghost in a photo, positive imaging, then what I got was some kind of negative imaging... Or a portion of the picture was just not relayed... Maybe this is easily debunked? I'm wide open to all thoughts. I understand I can upload a photo at some point, which I'll do if possible.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, MrsRamsay, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

MrsRamsay (guest)
5 years ago (2019-08-03)
Hello all, and thank you for your comments. Truly appreciated! Yes, my husband was definitely a Christian and I honestly believe he is in God's hands. A series of dreams over the last 25 years leads me to believe he's actually a warrior for our Lord, but those are completely other stories and not sure if they fit this website. One of them, however, was had by my youngest daughter by my current husband, who had this dream right before being baptised when she was ten (we had to wait to have her baptized due to husband being in military and deployed a whole lot). She dreamed of an "evil man" who was chasing her down our street and then a pickup truck "full of military guys" came around the corner (in her dream) and forced the bad man to go "down into the ground." One of the men, who she said looked just like her older sisters' daddy (we have photos of him still that she's familiar with) said to her, "You don't know me, but I know all about you!" and then they got in their big truck and drove away (in her dream still). When she told me about her dream, it made quite a bit of sense to me, that perhaps my late husband, a former Special Forces guy and all around GOOD GUY, actually does have some heavenly A-Team and goes around helping people. I do have an active imagination, however, when I have a First Intuition about things, I tend to think there's something to it. My attitude is, if it's NOT TRUE (and there's no way to prove one way or another) well, that's ok too. But we DO have intuitions, and we can connect dots on things over time IF we are paying attention. As for the pareidolia, Anno, that is always something I consider. And I think my son tried to explain to me the phenomena you suggest, but at 13 didn't have the words or expertise. Again, who really knows? I am going to submit a photo I took when I stopped the frames on the video I took, and let ya'll take a look. Not sure how long before it will be posted here. I'll send to the e-mail. Thank you all again!
Maelstrom (23 posts)
5 years ago (2019-08-01)
Hello MrsRamsey

Filming television screens in general will typically show lines. Vertical and horizontal. I have never seen diagonal.

It is highly unlikely that any kind of flashing or whatever lines pop up, will do an "SOS" by itself. Especially after you requested it. And from a ghost who was an aviator. Coincidences like that do not happen by chance.

Maybe do it again, coinciding with an audio recorder. See if you pick anything else up.
tace (37 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-31)
_ _ _ __ __ __ _ _ _ is Morse code for SOS. You did ask if they could do SOS. Incredible 😲
LuciaJacinta (8 stories) (291 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-29)
I'm sorry for your loss. I think I've seen lines like that on vcr tapes too. It could've dust or static or a plausible reason. But, that doesn't mean that your husband wasn't using that to communicate with you. Spirits generally like to use electronic items to speak to loved ones when they can. The vcr tape might have been the opportunity for him to get his message across. Although, I don't know if he needs SOS. Was he a believer in the afterlife and a soul? Was a believer in a God or religion? If he was, maybe he'd like you to pray for the repose of his soul... Not sure what you believe but this is a pretty common thing in some religions. If you aren't a believer in stuff like that, maybe just visit his grave with some flowers and an offering of good intentions.

I really enjoyed this story and your other one too.
Anno_Domini (3 stories) (167 posts)
5 years ago (2019-07-25)
Hi MrsRamsay,

Vertical / horizontal & diagonal lines across your screen can occur due to framerate mismatches. IIRC back in the old days the frame rates for home videos weere about 25-30 frames per second (fps). Modern phone cameras go all the way up to 60 fps, maybe more. When you are taking a video of a panning scene, these frames display lines due to the different frequencies of the TV and the mobile phone that is capturing the video. There may be further visual artifacts depending on whether your tape was recorded in PAL or NTSC format. Also videos taken at different times will display different artifacts because the mismatches will occur on different frames (due to the different times you start your phone's video.

To summarise, I think that what you have witnessed is natural phenomena, and the rest of it is pareidolia, where our brains try to make sense of random patterns. I'm glad that your family has old video to remember him by.

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