Ghosts are not real. In this house, the only ghost we acknowledge is 13-year-old Devon Sawa in Casper making us feel all kinds of weird things during our childhoods. Also Patrick Swayze. But that’s it. Because ghosts are not real. Armed with this certainty, I would like to direct your attention to a spectral saga currently playing out on Instagram involving a “ghost,” a tub full of “blood,” and several members of the Orange Is the New Black cast. A saga of which I am highly suspicious and on which I am also entirely hooked.
To begin, let’s go back six days ago when Emma Myles and Julie Lake — Leanne and Angie on the show, respectively — were co-streaming an Instagram Live Story. (A note: I did not watch this story in real time, so all I’m going on are the sections of the stream Lake later posted to her Instagram as video clips.) At some point in the stream, Lake exits the frame leaving Myles, sitting on a couch with a cat, staring into Lake’s empty apartment. Or is it an empty apartment? [Play “I am Frau Blucher” dramatic lightning and horse whinnying cue from Young Frankenstein here.] A woman (the “ghost”) whose long dark hair and white dress lead me to believer her stylist has recently seen The Ring, appears from behind Lake’s empty couch. In the next clip, Lake is scrambling around her kitchen, frightened and arming herself with a knife. Myles insists she call the cops and get out of the house.
Lake journeys on, discovering a door off her kitchen — she says she did not open it herself — is wide open. Through the door we see the woman (the “ghost”) outside. She appears to set something on the driveway. The final few seconds of the clip show Lake, knife in hand, headed out to the driveway whispering, “I’m so scared! I’m so scared!” How convenient that all of this happened while the two women happened to be live on Instagram where they have hundreds of thousands of followers.
In her Instagram caption, Lake says she called the cops, who searched the apartment and “didn’t find anything.” Since then she had been staying with fellow OINTB-er Kimiko Glenn out of fear. But on Tuesday, Lake and Glenn returned to Lake’s apartment, waving a giant sage stick as protection, so she could gather some of her belongings. “I’ve been staying on Kimiko’s couch and I don’t have any underwear,” Lake says. (Again, this all went down in an Instagram Live so all we have are the clips Glenn posted on her Instagram after the fact.)
Once inside the apartment, Lake suggests the two part ways. “Do you want to go check the kitchen while I grab my stuff?” This is, obviously, in clear violation of every “how to survive a horror movie” guide ever written. Don’t split up! This is suspect. Glenn heads to the kitchen while Lake heads to the bathroom, saying she needs to get her toothbrush. Girl, it has been nearly a week. A toothbrush is cheap to replace. Are you telling me you haven’t brushed your teeth in a week? This is also suspect. In the bathroom, Lake turns on the light to discover her tub is full of what appears to be blood. Actually, she enters the bathroom and discovers the blood before turning on the light. Also suspect! Who doesn’t turn on the light first before entering a room in your so-called haunted apartment. The word “MOMMY” is smeared on the tile. She screams, calls Glenn to come see, and then the two flee.
I have so many questions. First, let’s zoom in on that bloody tub. In the video, the word “MOMMY” is splashed across the tile but the water in the tub itself is entirely clear. It’s a gross, rust-colored water, sure, but it’s transparent. In a separate photo Lake posted on her Instagram, there’s some serious gore going on in the water in the tub. You can’t see the bottom of the tub in certain sections. Almost like this photo was taken immediately after the “blood” was poured, before it had time to dissolve and settle into the water, as it looked when Lake discovered it. Which, to beat a now-very-dead horse, suspect!
Is this some kind of stunt? Is this a promo for a YouTube mini-series? Are the women attempting to show off their look how well we do scared acting chops in the hopes of getting cast in some upcoming flick? Worse yet, is all this “real?” And by real, I mean there is a human person fucking with Lake and her apartment. (Lake said the police are “testing the blood” in a comment on her Instagram post.) Please feel free to email me at Madison.Kircher@nymag.com with any leads. If you are in the L.A. area, please, somebody, bring Ms. Lake a toothbrush.