By: Rich Coleman
PHILADELPHIA, PA – Trick or treat or… magic? That’s what Manayunk resident Marcia Graystone, 31, is asking after encountering a “spooky” incident this past Halloween Night on Twitter. Graystone started her Halloween day searching for “cozy winter boots” on Amazon.com. After browsing and clicking around on several different listings of boots, Graystone decided to postpone her search.
While waiting for her train, she took out her phone and logged onto Twitter. Then she saw it. “Sure enough, staring at me right in my face was a picture of the same boots I looked at on Amazon earlier,” Graystone said, visibly shaking. “My mouth was open for 5 minutes and I just stared at this picture. I thought to myself, ‘Have I been hacked?’ and ‘Is someone watching me?’
Jack Corning, a press relations representative for Twitter, could offer no explanation, but recounted a similar harrowing experience from his own personal life. “A few years back — before my time at Twitter — I used Facebook quite religiously. But I’ll never forget the Blue Apron ads,” Corning said while holding back tears.
Joseph Graystone, Marcia’s father, isn’t buying it. “This world is going to hell in a handbasket and these Twitter scams are just the tip of the iceberg,” Joseph, 64, said. “I drove down from Kennett Square and took my daughter’s phone to Geek Squad and St. Patrick’s Church the second she called and told me what happened. I’ve heard of Halloween mischief, but this is going too far.”
For now, Marcia Graystone is awaiting word from Father Murphy, the head pastor at St. Patrick’s Church in Rittenhouse Square, who is regarded as the top phone exorcist in the Philadelphia area. “I’ve seen my fair share of demonic smartphones. Demons usually hide away in Tracphones or Androids,” Murphy said. “But when Joseph brought me his daughter’s iPhone 4… well, the spawn of Satan isn’t out of the question”
Graystone isn’t yet sure whether she’d prefer to be the victim of petty Halloween hackers or the son of Satan.