I would like to preface this listing by acknowledging two things:
This will be a long listing, but I feel obligated to tell the whole story.
This listing will probably read like the overview of every generic horror movie ever, but I'm not asking that you believe me. All I want to do is sell this item with a clean conscious.
Wikipedia has very little information about Dictaphones, "The name "Dictaphone" was trademarked by the Columbia Graphophone Company in 1907, which soon became the leading manufacturer of such devices. This perpetuated the use of wax cylinders for voice recording, which had otherwise been eclipsed by disc-based technology." Mostly the article was about the company and not the machine, but this isn't a history lesson on antique office appliances. I don't want to inform. I want to sell. I want to be rid of this thing.
The Dictaphone came into my possession via craigslist, but it wasn't what I wanted. I was shopping for some music instruments/gear when the seller pointed to the antique Dictaphone sitting in the corner of his garage. He said, "You can have that thing if you want it."
I replied, "what is it?"
"Yeah, it was my grandpa's. I used to have it in my house, as decoration, but weird stuff started happening."
"Well. . ." The seller pauses and looks at me. I guess he was trying to judge if I would believe him or not. "Once I was playing banjo and singing and I someone started singing harmony with me. I was home alone and the sound was coming from the Dictaphone."
I didn't say anything. I was willing the seller to say more. I guess that I have an interest in things of that nature, but it turns out that my interest only extends to hearing stories. I found out later that I like to be far removed from the events. The seller didn't have anything else to say. I told him that I would take it and he only said one other thing of note. As I was loading the Dictaphone into my truck, it was quite heavy, the seller asked, "do you have any kids?"
"No, I don't."
"Good, I wouldn't feel comfortable with you taking this thing into a house with children." I left with those words running through my head.
Needless to say, the antique went home with me. This was on a Thursday.
Flash forward to that very same weekend. Here is what happened:
My wife wouldn't' let me take the thing in the house. I left it out on the porch.
Friday night, I locked my keys in my truck. A friend had to take my wife to get the spare key. The friend's child had heard us talk about the Dictaphone. When they pulled up to the house, the child jumped out of the car, ran up on the porch, and started messing with the Dictaphone.
The next day, the child passed out while playing, for no apparent reason. He had to be taken to the emergency room via ambulance.
That night, as my wife and I lay in bed, an odor invaded our room. The smell could best be described as a combination of human excrement and several dead rats. We traced the odor to our front porch. It could have been coming from under the porch. Maybe something crawled under there and died, but to me it seemed as if the smell was coming from the Dictaphone.
The next morning, we woke up and headed to get some breakfast. My wife was in the drivers seat of her car. She started her KIA up and I began, as is my habit, fiddling with the satellite radio. The first channel sounded like screaming. Some sort of weird interference, I thought. I pressed the scan button. The second channel sounded like screaming. I pressed the preset to my favorite country station, but nothing but screams came out of the speakers. It was unnerving, to say the least. It didn't sound like one person; It sounded like a whole army wailing from a distance. By this time, my wife is about to pull out on the road, and just like that, the screaming stops and a country song begins playing. My wife looks at me and adamantly expresses her distaste for my most recent antique acquisition. She said that she wants it gone. Coincidentally, so do I.
Was it all a huge coincidence? Probably. I like a good horror movie as much as the next guy, but I want this thing gone. I'm asking 100.00 dollars, but I'm a motivated seller. Make me an offer. One other thing, there's a drawer on the side that I can't get open. Who knows what it might contain?