TV Mystery

Engsiong Tan
4 min readApr 21, 2023

When TV meets life

Last night, I saw a real-life mystery on TV. The program on TV was some period drama which is not important to the story. The story is about why my TV turned on by itself around midnight. The reason I knew it was turned on at midnight was that I slept in the living room and I was woken up by the program.


The television was recently purchased. I was taught by the installation person doing the how to turn on the TV by using the remote. That is all. It might have a physical power button but I have yet to find it. I also figured out how to cast certain apps on my phone to the TV. The television set was purchased so that my mother could watch her programs. She was asleep before I went to bed.


As it is a mystery, I have not decided what is genre the story go under. Is it a supernatural occurrence and I am playing the part of a ghost hunter/ exorcist? For pedantic readers, I am fully aware that exorcism can only be performed with the permission of the Catholic Church. I doubt that the institution will bother with my request for a rite to be performed on a TV. I am not interested in being a ghost whisperer or even a medium.

Photo by Drew Tilk on Unsplash

I doubt I want it to look like a sci-fi or science related matter. I cannot understand why an advanced civilization would want to turn on my TV. Or why my future self would want to turn on the TV. (Spoiler Alert: I was watching Star Trek last night and it is about time travel.)

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I also do not want it to look like a typical sleuthing program like Sherlock. A genius that solves all the mysteries that humans create for others. I hate to be a suspect. It is worse when I am the unwitting perpetrator. For those of you that think I could have sleepwalk and turn on the TV by myself, I need to point out that I would need pretty fine motor skills to find the remote in the dark and press the power button. I know that because even with the TV illuminating the room, I still had to spend time looking for the remote and then a few more seconds to locate the power button. For readers that think that the mystery is solved, the remote was on the TV counter so I did not accidentally roll on to it in my sleep.

Photo by Chamindu Perera on Unsplash

Finally, there is the nature documentary. Could it be done by an animal? I do not have a pet although my neighbour’s cat is known to invite itself over. But it is usually more subtle in its visit. The pests that could have turn on the TV are rodents and the common house gecko.

Photo by Adél Grőber on Unsplash

Pilot Episode

I found the physical power button. It was placed use the TV and I needed to fiddle quite a bit in order to turn it on. It is now possible that a rat could have bump its head against. I then set up several tests to see how easy it was to turn on the TV using the remote or the TV’s power button.

I have also checked on YouTube as to the cause. It has not yielded any results. The trusty Google has produced a list of the possibilities but nothing concrete. Bing gave some rather unhelpful suggestions and will not return in future episodes. I have also tried using my smartphone to trigger my TV but it could not detect it when the TV was powered down.

Next week: Could the tablet be the suspect? We turn to ChatGPT to try its hand in solving the mystery.