Don’t you hate when you’re just trying to make breakfast and your toaster burns the words “Satan lives” into your bread? June O’Brien, who appeared on the Today Show in the US in May of 1984, wanted the world to believe. And even if you’re a sceptic, it’s hard to disagree with the fact that not only is this haunted toaster the perfect spooky gadget, the woman who owned it is very convincing.
The Today Show segment first went viral in 2012 during the lead up to the Mayan Apocalypse scare (remember that bullshit?), but the video is a timeless artefact of gadget spookery. What most amazes me is that O’Brien never seems to break. By which I mean she really sells the idea that she believes this thing is haunted.
I don’t believe in ghosts. But I really want to believe in the haunted toaster. Not because I think the devil actually inhabited the thing. But because this woman really, really seems to believe it.
What do you think is going on here? Did some family member scrape “Satan lives?” into her toast? Did someone rig the thing with flames without her knowledge? Or was O’Brien in on the prank the entire time? I don’t need to believe that the toaster was haunted (it obviously wasn’t) but I really want to believe that she believed. It seems like such a more innocent “fake news” belief compared with the depressing shit we’re confronted with today.
O’Brien tells the producers, one of which was Richard Dominick who would go on to work for the Jerry Springer Show, that the spooky toaster talks and sounds like Eli Wallach, a character actor from the 20th century who died in 2014.
You can watch the entire segment (complete with other weird tabloid stories) over on YouTube. What’s your take? Did Ms O’Brien convince you? Are you a true haunted toaster believer now?