Shauna Kelly gives us an overview of Twitter's most petrifying ghost: Dear David.
If anyone has been paying attention to Twitter’s trending topics, besides Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy and Trump’s latest jab at North Korea, you might come across “Dear David” appearing on the list. While the name might come across as a typical question and answer segment frequently seen in newspapers, the reality of the phrase is slightly more chilling.
It all began on August 7th when Adam Ellis, an illustrator who goes by @moby_dickhead on the site, began his series of tweets detailing how his apartment is, in his words, being haunted by the ghost of a dead child who is trying to kill him. Not exactly something you’d expect to hear from an illustrator on Twitter, but still attention-grabbing nonetheless. The thread of tweets is quite extensive too; full of the details of his dreams and even a drawing of the supposed ghost whose name is David.
Originally, Ellis states that the ghost of the boy would sit in the chair next to his bed and later reach towards him—but he would always wake up before David could actually get him. This apparently continued until he had another dream a few nights later, where he was in a library with a girl who said, “you’ve seen Dear David, haven’t you?”
In short, the girl in his dream claims that David is indeed the ghost of a dead child that only appears at midnight. She states you can ask him two questions as long as you say ‘Dear David’ first—but if you ask him a third question, he’ll kill you. Not the most pleasant thing to hear in your dream.
So, low and behold, Ellis dreams of Dear David again—and of course, he asks him three questions instead of two—that being the condition for Dear David to come and kill him.
However, nothing happens. It looks like it’s the end of the ghost story—until he moves into the apartment upstairs, and his cats begin acting a little bit more suspicious than cats usually are. They gather at his door, meowing at it at the same time every night, even though the door itself just leads to the hallway. Later, when he looks out into the hallway through a peephole, he spots something indistinct lurking. He claims he became so paranoid that he purchased a sleep recorder and a nanny cam, to bear witness to what is happening while he is asleep.
He feels David has taken a drastic turn—he no longer haunts him in his dreams but in reality as well. This can all be seen on the compilation of tweets pinned to the top of his account, which features more unusual and supernatural occurrences that continue in the following days. Yet, it raises the question—is Ellis actually being haunted by the spirit of a child?
It really depends on who you ask.
Looking at the whole situation realistically, most would say no. Ellis himself says that he suffers frequently from sleep paralysis, which is a condition where when you cannot move both when you wake up or are falling asleep—and a symptom of this condition is threat hyper-vigilance. When you are frozen in place, you instinctively become more aware of potential threats. It’s a natural thing; your body feels vulnerable to attack so you become more aware, but this hyper-vigilant state of mind can also lead to hallucinations or vivid visions. But, sleep paralysis doesn’t really explain the oddities happening outside of his bed—the cats, the photographs, the anonymous phone calls.
Another way to look at the whole scenario is to consider who Adam Ellis is. He is an illustrator and an author. He could be taking advantage of what a popular medium Twitter is nowadays and using it to his advantage as a new means of storytelling to a wider audience. His tweets have blown up over the internet since he started telling it, and while he maintains it all to be real, that could easily be explained as a means of making the story more immersive.
Regardless, it is an interesting story whether or not you are a die-hard believer of the supernatural or occult—and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. While Ellis has since updated his Twitter to say he’s off on a trip to Japan and claims that he feels it “all might stop if I just leave for a couple of weeks,” the story of “Dear David” will likely return when he does, much to the anticipation of his hundreds of new followers.