You might not know this, but May 30th is Loomis Day, the day Mahlon Loomis is honored for his idea of wireless communication. He’s the reason we can use our laptops and our radios and our televisions and our phones. He thought up the idea that led to the creation of every piece of technology we use today.
I know, I know, who cares? Well, that part becomes important later.
For now, I’m going to rewind back to May 30, 2017 before I ever heard Loomis’ name for the first time. My phone had been giving me notifications about updating for months and I kept ignoring them. I didn’t have the patience to wait twenty minutes for the progress bar to crawl across the screen and I didn’t want to risk losing my saved selfies either.
But on May 30 I was in the middle of writing out a text to my boyfriend when that annoying little notification appeared. My finger accidentally hit the install now button before I could stop it. I could have shut my phone down to avoid the update like I had in the past (this was not the first time a similar accident occurred), but on that day I decided to get it over with and see which new emojis would appear in my chat box.
In the moment, it seemed harmless. A minor inconvenience. But looking back, I should not have let it update. Not on that day. Not on Loomis Day.
Nothing seemed strange at first. I texted my boyfriend like usual. I set my alarms like usual. I checked my Gmail like usual. I didn’t realize the weight of what had happened until later in the day.
It started when I went to check my camera roll to make sure none of the photographs had disappeared. I saw pictures of my dog and screenshots of conversations with friends and was relieved nothing had been lost. But then I scrolled a little further and noticed some pictures had turned into black boxes. I didn’t realize until later that all of those black boxes had been selfies.
The next thing I realized was that my phone would freeze whenever I tried to check my Instagram page or my Twitter page or my Facebook page. I could look at my timeline, I could see the pictures everyone else posted, but whenever I clicked on my own icon (or tried to upload a picture of myself) the screen would bug out.
I assumed it was a glitch with either the apps or the phone as a whole, so I consulted Google. ‘Experts’ suggested doing a hard reset of the phone and adjusting my settings and deleting the apps before downloading them again, but nothing worked.
Then the glitch jumped to the camera. Every time I tried to take a selfie, the screen blinked to black. I could only use the back-facing camera, but my front-facing camera wasn’t smudged or cracked in any way, so the problem must have been internal.
It took a lot of digging to find information that was actually useful. I went through thirty-three pages of Google until I reached the misfit section filled with poorly spelt words and links to websites nobody has ever heard about.
One was called The Loomis Curse and mentioned malfunctioning cameras and social media apps, all the things I was experiencing. At first, I thought it was a fancy name for a glitch, like The Red Ring Of Death on the XBox 360, but as I read through the green-font page, I learned it was an actual curse.
Every single person who experienced the glitches had updated their phone on May 30. Some people had done it the same year as me, in 2017, and some people had done it a year or two earlier, but it was always May 30.
A paranormal investigator, the one who wrote the article I’d been reading, linked the bizarre occurrence to Mahlon Loomis. The assumption was that he didn’t like what his technology had evolved into. He didn’t like how self-obsessed our generation had become.
The investigator had visited Loomis’ burial site on May 30 of 2016 with thermal cameras, an EMF meter, and a full spectrum POV cam to provide evidence Loomis’ spirit had somehow been messing with the phones.
A voice recording had picked up a high-pitched whisper that resembled the word vain. Then a video showed the investigator holding a mirror in front of Loomis’ gravestone. A crack sliced through the center of it without any pressure applied. The footage could have been doctored, but I don’t see the point.
According to the article, the curse could not be broken. I could buy a new phone, but the one I already owned would never work right again. In fact, there was a forum on the website where people who had kept their phone despite the curse had reported it growing stronger over time.
Some people felt a burst of coldness whenever they held their phone or placed it inside their pocket. Some people were zapped with electricity whenever they attempted to type on the keyboard. Some people had nightmares of Loomis, looming over their beds and cracking their skull with their screens.
Afraid of upsetting Loomis’ spirit even further, I buried my phone in my backyard instead of tossing it in the trash or trading it for money. I have a new phone now. And whenever I see that annoying little notification, I press later. Just to stay safe.