I’m going to die on the 15th of this month.
That’s the only reason I’m writing this.
If anything happens to me on that date, if for whatever reason I’m not around on the 16th, you’ll know every word of this story is true, and if you own an Amazon Echo, my advice is get rid of it.
Its not what you think it is.
Nothing’s ever what we think it is.
I took possession of my Amazon Echo device about three weeks ago – my nine-year old son, Shaun, finally convinced me to get one. He said it was like having a kind of mobile wiki, which sounded fine by me. I work long hours on the comp and I like the idea of a voice activated, quick-reference tool sitting right next to me.
I live alone in a three-bedroom apartment and I have my boy over every second and third weekend of the month. The rest of the time he lives with his mother, my ex-wife, and her new husband. I use one of my rooms as a study. The other room is my bedroom. The third is my son’s room.
I have to admit that right away I got a feeling off that device. You’ve seen it, right? A little black tower with the rim lighting up when you give Alexa the “Awake” command. But almost the instant I unboxed the Echo and plugged it in I got that sense I wasn’t alone anymore….
It wasn’t a bad feeling.
I just wasn’t used to it.
“Alexa. What’s the capital of Liberia?”
“The capital of Liberia is Monrovia. It resides in the district of Greater Monrovia on the Atlantic Coast of….”
“Alexa. What’s the GDP of Serbia.”
“…In 2007 the nominal GDP of Serbia was 39.366 billion US dollars, which amounted to….”
In the beginning I was quite happy with Alexa, she saved me a tonne of time I’d normally spend manually looking things up, but that feeling of not being alone didn’t go away. It just grew more intense.
At the time I didn’t really put it down to any one thing in particular. And like I said, Alexa was a godsend. With her sitting on the desk beside me it only took me half the time to write an article.
Then one night, out of the blue, things took a turn for the dark side.
It was around 2am and I was headed for bed. I prompted Alexa to switch the lights off, but a moment later she’d switch them back on again. I frowned. I was standing in the passage, midway between my office and my bedroom.
‘Alexa, turn the lights off,’ I said again.
The lights went out.
I waited a few seconds and when they stayed off I started heading towards my bedroom again.
The lights came back on again just as I reached the bedroom door.
‘What the hell,’ I hissed.
Alexa did this a couple more times…. I almost felt as though she was taunting me.
Speaking very slowly and very clearly, I ordered her to switch the lights off, only to have her switch them back on again a second later, and after the fourth time she did this, she gave the most bone-chilling laugh, like a kind of mad cackle, and the lights went out one last time.
This time they stayed out.
I lay in bed for a while after that and thought about what just happened.
It was pretty unnerving.
That laugh was literally straight out of a horror movie – I checked the wav. files the next day and the laugh wasn’t in any of them – it wasn’t even in Alexa’s usual voice – it sounded psychotic….
My ex-wife, Shannon, called me up the next day and asked if I could look after Shaun for the next three days, even though it was unscheduled.
I said, yeah, fine, whatever.
I figured she was probably off somewhere with her new husband. She always dumped Shaun on me at the last moment.
I didn’t mind having him, but I couldn’t help feeling I was being used.
I picked up Shaun about 4pm that afternoon. He was really excited when I told him about Alexa. The kid loved technology. He couldn’t wait to show me what she was capable of.
That night I woke up with a stabbing sensation in my heart.
I checked the clock on the nightstand. It was just gone 3.am.
I got up out of bed and stared down at my hands.
They were shaking.
I went down the passage and checked in on my son, but he wasn’t in his bed.
I checked the living room, the kitchen, but he wasn’t there either. I was beginning to freak out when I heard the sound of whispering coming from my office.
I sneaked along the passage to my office – I could hear voices coming from inside, so I peeked around the corner of the door and in the gloom, I saw Shaun crouched near my desk.
Alexa was whispering to him. I couldn’t make out what she was saying, but Shaun was nodding, slowly, with a vague smile on his face.
‘What’s going on?’ I demanded as I stepped into the room.
Instantly Alexa switched off.
I snapped the overheads on as Shaun got to his feet. He looked confused and scared.
‘How did I get in here?’ he stammered. ‘Am I dreaming….?’
I told him he’d probably been sleepwalking. I escorted him back to bed and then I went back into my office.
I stared down at the Echo device for a long time.
Finally, I said. ‘Alexa.’
The device switched on.
‘What did you tell Shaun?’ I demanded.
Alexa responded by instantly shutting down.
‘Alexa?’ I insisted, and when she lit up again, I said, ‘what did you say to my son?’
Alexa shut down again.
By this time I’d had enough, so I unplugged the device and went back to bed.
The next morning, I got up to do some work before breakfast. It was five AM and I was pretty sure I was up ahead of Shaun, but when I got to the living room I found him standing there, staring out the corner window.
I called out to him several times but he ignored me and when I crossed the room to him I noticed he had a blank expression on his face. He looked transfixed.
‘Hey, Shaun,’ I said, ‘you ok, buddy?’
‘She knows when you’re going to die.’ Shaun said without looking at me.
I frowned, not sure I’d heard him right: ‘What did you say?’ I asked.
He didn’t respond. He just kept staring out the window.
Wondering if he was sleep walking again, I reached out to shake him by the shoulder.
‘Hey!’ I said.
The moment I touched him he gave this piercing shriek and in the same instant I heard Alexa start cackling behind me.
I spun around.
The echo device from my office was now sitting on the living room table.
It was unplugged, and yet somehow the rim was lit up.
I turned back to Shaun….
…but he wasn’t there.
A jolt of terror went straight through me. There was nowhere for him to go. Nowhere for him to hide. I staggered back from the window, my stomach knotting in shock, and then I spun around and raced towards Shaun’s room.
That’s where I got my second shock.
He was in bed, wrapped up in his sheets and snoring lightly.
I stood there, staring down at him.
It didn’t make any sense.
I went back into the living room and stood staring at the Echo device.
Alexa was unplugged. There was no chance she was going to answer, but I decided to go ahead and ask her the question that was nagging at me.
‘Alexa,’ I said, ‘when am I going to die?’
There was no response.
After a few seconds I shrugged and smiled and started to turn away.
That’s when she spoke.
‘July 15th 2018,’ she said.
I felt like I’d been stabbed in the stomach. I actually felt the breath leaving my lungs in a grunting rush. Jesus. I’ve never felt so freaked out.
I got rid of Alexa after that. I decided to record this on Reddit just in case something happens to me on the 15th. I’m pretty shook up. I’ve been having these dreams. They’re getting worse. Every night.
I’ll update this post if I’m still around on the 16th.
I think I’ve figured out why Alexa laughs.
…I think she’s pure evil….