If You Got A Mysterious Text This Week, Here's Why

The Twitter-verse is ablaze with reports of ghost texts being sent in the middle of the night, ranging from mildly strange statements about diabetes to the downright disturbing — "Help me."

Out of context, these are seriously freaky things to receive at 4 a.m., so just what the Hades is going on? According to Popular Mechanics, you're not going crazy, and no one's in danger — it's just a glitch causing old messages that were sent on Valentines Day to pop up out of the blue. "U.S. Cellular confirmed that the ghost texts are the result of a glitch in telecommunications infrastructure, specifically to the "cross carrier messaging system," which is a joint venture that the four major phone carriers committed to in late October," the article read. 

The goal of the new system is to improve group chats across different carriers, helping to ensure you don't see an eggplant emoji when you're supposed to see a tomato. It's early days for the system, and understandably, there are still a few bugs to be worked out. But without knowledge of the bug, it's a little unnerving to have your phone send a seemingly random message to somebody. What if that eggplant got sent to your boss?

The company responsible for your ghost texts

While this particular glitch might not explain every instance of a ghost text, it's the leading theory, which seems to be tacitly confirmed by this T-Mobile statement, reading "This is not a T-Mobile issue, it's a third party vendor issue that also affected other networks. We're aware of this and it is resolved." That third-party vendor seems to be a cellular messaging company called Syniverse. A representative from the company told Quartz that during some routine maintenance, "168,149 previously undelivered text messages were accidentally sent to multiple mobile operators' subscribers."

William Hurley, chief marketing and product officer at Syniverse stated that "While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again, and actively working with our customers' teams to answer any questions they have."

So, if you were creeped out by one of those texts, you can let your fear melt away — it's like you won a scratch-off lottery ticket, only the prize is a text from your ex asking you to open the door in the middle of the night.