Apartment Stories: The Tale of the Haunted Dishwasher


Ghost in the machine: When you move in to your new apartment, be sure to ask your property manager or rental agent about any unique characteristics that your unit might, uh, possess. (dizfunkshinal via Flickr)

When I moved into my current apartment, my boyfriend and I were having a lot of fun moving the furniture around and putting everything away. Before long, we had managed to get things mostly situated, and it was turning into a lovely new place to live.

After a week or so, dishes began to pile up, as they have a tendency to do, and I decided that it was time to try out the new dishwasher! I was so pleased that the kitchen was filled with nice new appliances just waiting for me to break them in.

Add the dishes, add the soap, lock the door, and … nothing! Nothing was happening! I turned the knob around and pushed all the buttons, and yet nothing would come on.

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Surely it couldn’t already be broken.

It was evening, so I decided to leave it be and figure it out in the morning. There was just no need to call the emergency maintenance number over a dishwasher.

As usual my boyfriend returned home late at night when I was already snuggled in bed. He had brought home a few things for the kitchen and set them on the counter.

Moments later, WHOOSH, the dishwasher sprang to life. Surprised but unconcerned, he went to bed.

Imagine my chagrin when I awoke the next morning to find all the dishes nice and clean! Was the washer haunted? Was it nocturnal?

I put away all of the dishes, eyeing the dishwasher suspiciously the whole time.

About a week and a half later I got the dishwasher all set up, and this time it started! Hoorah! The next week it wouldn’t budge. What in the world was going on here? I finally just had to give in and call maintenance. Surely they would know what possessed my appliance to be so temperamental.

The man came to check everything out and, as far as he could tell, nothing was wrong. The machine was in perfect working order. As he stood up he set his toolbox on the counter, and the whole machine came on!

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So what was the secret? As it turned out, I had unwittingly set my coffee maker in front of what appeared to be a light switch for nothing. But when we nudged the coffee maker, it would hit the switch and voila, the dishwasher would work. Hit it again and it would turn off.

All I could do at that point was shake my head and laugh. So, the lesson here is to always ask your rental agent about any oddities, unusual switches or haunted appliances in your apartment when you move in!

Keep reading our blog for more funny apartment-renting stories.

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