It quickly became a viral sensation as the world watched a grieving boyfriend pushed to the edge of mental breakdown after being tortured by eerie Facebook messages from his dead girlfriend. Whether a hoax, made-up story, purposeful manipulation, or real spirit unable to find a means to move on – it’s so creepy, you’ll probably lose sleep over it.
The death of Emily and the breakdown of Nathan
According to posts on Reddit (in a forum where stories are supposed to be “true” and nobody is allowed to ridicule the poster), Nathan’s girlfriend Emily died in a horrific three-car crash on August 7, 2012 after a vehicle ran a red light and struck her car. She died instantly on the scene. About a year later, in late 2013, Nathan says his dead girlfriend began sending eerie messages posted from her Facebook account. Nathan says that only he and Emily’s mother have access to her account. The messages left by Emily seem to be “recycled”, past posts or snippets of conversations that Emily sent Nathan while she was alive. If Nathan is lying – he has spent a tremendous amount of time perpetuating the hoax. Some feel Nathan is mentally ill, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorder. Others however, believe Emily is indeed using Facebook in an attempt to communicate with Nathan from the dead.
Facebook messages from dead girlfriend begin
After the death of “Em”, Nathan decided to keep her Facebook account activated rather than “memorializing” it. That way, he “could send her the occasional message, post on her wall, and go through her photo albums”. Several months after her death, he noticed a few odd occurrences on the account. For instance, he would note that Facebook showed Emily was “online” and typing a message to him. However, no message would appear in his chat log. Initially, he thought little about the incidents and simply shrugged them off. Soon though, contact from Emily began in earnest.
The first message arrived on September 4, 2013, approximately one year after Emily’s death. It began with a simple “hello” that was repeated thirteen minutes later.
Nathan assumed the poster was “Susan”, Emily’s mother. Susan had little experience with computers and although she knew Emily’s Facebook account login information, according to Nathan she had “spent a total of about three minutes on the website”. Nathan figured Susan was simply confused, accidentally posting through Emily’s dormant account.
A couple of months later, a second set of messages appeared on Emily’s account. Nathan immediately recognized that the messages were snippets of previous conversations he and Emily had posted through Facebook. Specifically, he noted that “the wheels on the bus” message was taken from a previous discussion about songs to play on a road trip that he and Emily had never gotten around to taking.
Emily begins to tag herself in Facebook photos
Soon, Nathan began receiving notifications that Emily had tagged herself in a photo. He would jump onto Facebook to catch the picture but by the time he logged on, the tagged photograph would be removed. According to Nathan, the first time he finally caught one, “it felt like someone had punched me in the gut”. There, within the boundaries of the tagged rectangle, was nothing but empty space next to Nathan or in a position behind him, looking over his shoulder. Nathan recognized that Emily would “tag herself in spaces where it was plausible for her to be, or where she would usually stand.” After this turn of events, he became more concerned.
Nathan checked with Susan and confirmed that she had not tagged the photos using Emily’s account. In fact, Susan said she had not logged into Emily’s account since the week after her death. Nathan then assumed someone had hacked into Emily’s account and began challenging them, questioning the motive behind their heinous harassment.
Who is posting through the dead woman’s account?
Nathan contacted Facebook and reached out to friends with more technical knowledge in an attempt to shut down what he assumed must be a hacker. Facebook tracked the user account and said the poster was posting the messages from several different places – his home, his place of employment, Emily’s home, and places where he and Emily had spent time together. He changed the Facebook password multiple times and even turned on two-factor authentication. Still, the messages from Emily continued and began to take on a more ominous tone. She wrote:
Meanwhile, Nathan began to slip into depression. Mixed emotions – fear, and anger, were taking their toll on his health and wellbeing. He provided details of Emily’s death on public forums and posted more snippets of messages coming from Emily’s account.
“In the collision, the dashboard had crushed her. She was severed in a diagonal line from her right hip to midway down her left thigh. One of her legs was found tucked under the backseat.”
As the frequency of messages from Emily increased, he became more concerned.
Finally, a cacophony of gibberish appeared and a new word was introduced into the online conversations, a word that had not been recycled from old Facebook messages – “FREEZING”.
A man descends into darkness
Nathan began having recurring nightmares. He told online forum users,
“I keep dreaming that she’s in an ice cold car, frozen blue and grey, and I’m standing outside in the warmth screaming at her to open the door. She doesn’t even realize I’m there. Sometimes her legs are outside with me.”
Descending into darkness, he continued responding to Emily’s posts.
Finally, Nathan “memorialized” Emily’s page in effect, closing down access to the Facebook account. This post appeared soon thereafter.
This series of messages was especially disturbing for Nathan as parts of the conversation were recycled messages taken from his last posts made on the night Emily died, while he was waiting, in vain, for Emily to come home. Below are Nathan’s messages sent to Emily on the night that she died.
On June 30, 2014, Nathan posted on the forums that he was terrified. He shared this picture with a message explaining that it had just been posted on Emily’s Facebook account:
“That’s my door. That’s my computer. It’s taken from outside. I got the message three hours ago but didn’t check it until now. I’m on my tablet in my garage.”
Nathan attempted to pinpoint the location the picture was taken from. He tried to recreate the picture using his own camera. He could not. Meanwhile, Nathan seems to be on the verge of a mental breakdown. On July 1, he posted this odd, garbled rant.
“I should be scared.
I’ve occasionally opened a heart
just fu*#ed up
It’s very not me
She’s more real to me in that state”
Updates and additional information
UPDATE: Forum users researched Nathan’s story and found an accident report (in Australia) that matched much of Nathan’s description of Emily’s accident and the date the accident occurred. Strangely, no mention of a woman named “Emily” dying in the accident. A man however, was killed in the accident – his name was “Nathan”.
UPDATE: Many wonder about the odd “screened” window on the door. Some felt it hinted at some sort of “institution” rather than a person’s home. In fact, this type of door is very common in homes throughout many parts of the world (e.g. Argentina, Australia).