RU Electric SLIder or He's A Magic Man

By Jessica Teal

Do you know what a SLIder is? Until last week I had no clue- though the word brings some vague recollection of early 90’s time travelers on the Disney network or something like that. Anyway - it’s a person who affects streetlights and other electronic devices simply by walking by. In other words, a SLIder is the person who walks down, oh, say, Nichol Ave and as he/she passes under the street lights they go out. This person can also affect porch lights, house lights, appliances and other electronic stuff. There is no logical explanation for why this happens consistently to a very small portion of the population. The best and most common explanation of this “ability” is that the SLIder has some weird magnetic energy or electrical outbursts emanating from their body. SLIder stands for “street lamp interference” and now my friends, guess what? - Rutgers has its very own SLIder on campus and he very recently dazzled the RR team with his strange “effects” right on campus.

First let me say, this guy was the real deal – 100% genuine. He has requested to remain anonymous to the general populace, so for now we’ll call him “Tim”. Tim is an undergraduate at Rutgers College in his senior year who contacted the RR Team after he read the Targum article about our investigations on RU. He told us over the phone about his effect on lights and electronic equipment and offered an in-person demonstration to us so that we could see the truth with our own eyes.

We agreed to meet up with Tim on a recent cold and rainy night in front of one of our favorite RR paranormal spots – good old Little Theater on Nichol Ave on Douglass. As we drove down Nichol Ave, co-investigator Ray and I had no problem locating Tim as he was standing under an unlit streetlight across from the theater and it was pitch black around him as all the other nearby streetlights were also out. We immediately asked Tim if he thought he was the reason why so many lights were out and he said “yes, actually I’ve been here waiting for a few minutes and at least four [lights] have gone out”. Eager to start seeing his power, Ray and I began to get out our recording equipment and started interviewing him. We walked down Nichol as we chatted and it was a very odd stroll indeed, as sporadically, yet fairly consistently, streetlights and porch lights would either flicker or go out in our vicinity. Please understand this - I’m not saying that every light we walked under went out at our approach, but maybe every fifth light or maybe every couple of minutes something electrical, be it a house light, porch light or street light, would flicker or go out. The range of this effect was large – we’d be maybe 20 yards away from a light and it would go out. Tim told us that he has absolutely no control over this power and that it usually happens more when he is distracted or not paying attention. If he focuses on it, normally nothing happens and if he gets emotionally charged nothing happens as well, which is very different from the CNN Story on a SLIder who claims that her emotions affect the power. Keeping this in mind, I chatted innocuously with Tim while Ray recorded the sporadic blow-outs of lights in our general vicinity. I asked Tim about his background and if his SLIder “abilities” started at an early age. Tim claims to have had a fairly normal childhood and that he only really noticed the intensity of being a SLIder in the past four-five years. It seems that his abilities are increasing somewhat with age and this seems to frighten him a little as Tim does not know anyone else with this ability and he’s really hoping to learn about it from a genuine source. Tim also mentioned how he cannot wear a watch as it will “die in a few days”, how he “constantly has to replace lightbulbs at home” and how, as he’s a musician and works with tube amplifiers, he constantly has to replace his equipment. Tim also goes through swipe-cards, credit cards and anything with a magnetic strip very quickly.

While Tim gave me all this info, we walked across campus and circled around the Jameson Dorm areas. Tim’s ability manifested itself here as several lights went off at our approach and also went back on as we gained further distance. Our stroll continued near Voorhees Chapel on Douglass and sure enough, more lights along the library and one even on the Chapel itself went off at our approach. We continued and circled around to Nichol and again a lot of streetlights and porch lights went off as we were walking. The real proof for the RR team came after Tim departed for the evening and we re-traced the path we took. While good 30-35 lights went out during the stroll with Tim in a 1 hour period, during our re-tracing only maybe two went out. SLIders are the real deal, kids. Also, Ray’s camcorder battery, which has faithfully stood the test of time during our investigations and has at least a 4+hour life cycle, went dead after about 40 minutes. After teasing Tim about it, Ray used his back-up battery which normally lasts at least 2 hours. The back-up battery went dead after 15 minutes. Tim openly admitted that experiences like this are the norm for him. “My friends and I have batteries go dead and other things drained really quickly like this when I’m around” Tim said. Clearly this “ability” has its drawbacks.

So now the RR Team is making a plea to anyone who knows anything about this unique and very strange but definitely genuine phenomenon – call us, e-mail us –let us know if you know somebody or are yourself a SLIder. Tim is looking to learn more about this ability and the RR Team will respectfully applaud your bravery in coming forth about this talent. Remember “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” Chinese Proverb


©Rutgers Rarities and Unexplained Phenomena, 2005