Is Your Retro Gaming Collection Haunted?


Could there be a secret menace lurking in the bits and bytes of your retro gaming collection? Poltergeists on your floppies? Apparitions in your Cartridges?

The answer of course is “No.”  But that didn’t stop our team at theBitPlanes from applying scientific-sounding principles to the question, and coming up with absolute proof that your floppy disks may be haunted!!!

The Premise

dysanFloppy disks are a magnetic medium that gained widespread use in the 1970s. Early floppy disk manufacturers had names like Dysan, Xidex, and CenTech. The rise in the 1990s of specialized prescription drugs spelled doom for the floppy disk industry, as the pharmaceutical companies sucked up all the marketing people capable of making up badly spelled futuristic-sounding names.

Today, floppy disks sit forgotten and unused in attics, crawlspaces, garages and basically everywhere else that people associate with paranormal activity.  It logically follows that the magnetic particles embedded into these aging disks are picking up and possibly trapping apparitions that pass through them, like spiritual sponges.

Of course, if this were true you would expect to see an ever-increasing rise in ghost sightings – and thanks to cable television – we do!


So now we have a good idea that our old retro game collections have been at the mercy of ghosts for all these years.  But could it really be all that bad?

To find out, we constructed the world’s first ghost detector tuned for use with floppy disks and videogame cartridges.

The Test Method

According to the app store, the best ghost detector you can buy for 99 cents is an EM frequency meter. But we aren’t made of money, so we downloaded the free ad-supported version.

To ensure that only ghostly EM emissions from the floppy disks were recorded and not spook activity from the ambient environment, we shut off lights, house wi-fi, and even ran our ghost detector on battery power only.

And then we constructed this: the tBP ghost detection device:


Not much to look at from the outside, but on the inside you can tell how seriously we’d taken our task.  The multiple chambers keep stray EM safely outside the detection area, and the double walled corrugated construction is allegedly exactly as good as a Faraday cage.


The Tests


We knew we’d find plenty of haunted disks, but we also wanted to know if any brands of disk were more haunted than others.  So we collected old disks from dozens of different manufacturers and measured each one individually, using a grounded vacuum cleaner to remove any stray EM between tests.


The highest reading briefly measured in the test chamber was 9 mG. We don’t know what mG stands for, (microGram?, milliGauss? megaGhosts?  Yeah, let’s go with megaGhosts.)


Each disk was monitored for three minutes, and the highest consistent reading was logged for each.  Finally, we mapped the data to a polar chart, the most scientific-looking style of chart.


Click to Enlarge.

The chilling finding here is our discovery that with a whopping 8 mG of whatever it was we were measuring, Nashua is clearly the most haunted floppy disk brand of them all.

“What’s the big deal,” you say?  Nashua left the disk business decades ago – to make duct tape!  Think about it – the most prevalent brand of duct and window sealing tape used in North American homes today is manufactured by the most haunted disk maker of the 1980s.  If your house was built in the last 30 years, your ducts are probably covered with this tape – and with ghosts!

What is Nashua’s role in all this?  We contacted company representatives for a comment, but they replied: “This is an automated email response, someone will reply to your inquiry within 3 business days.”

Clearly, they have something to hide.

Our next most haunted brand was Rhinoceros.  We tried to contact them but the company has been dead for years.

That’s right – dead!  Coincidence?


If you aren’t panicked after reading this article, we’re obviously not doing our job. Did we mention that we saw what could have been a hobo spider near one of the boxes of disks in the corner of the garage?  Now are you scared?



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