Phantom Phone Calls 3

True stories that will make you think twice before answering the phone

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Can the dead manipulate electronic devices? Can they reach back through the fabric of time and space, from wherever they are, and influence the workings of our communications devices -- our phones -- to leave one last message... to say one last goodbye?

As fantastic as it seems, the mystery of phone calls from the dead is not an uncommon one. Those who have researched the phenomenon have determined that these calls usually occur within the first 24 hours of the death, but there have been cases in which the calls were received as long as two years after. The call is usually filled with heavy static and the phantom caller's voice is faint, as if far away. Far away, indeed.

Following are some remarkable instances of phantom phone calls, as told by the people who experienced them. In some cases, it's the phantom who answers the phone. But in every case, the experience remains unexplained.


This happened to my older brother, Matt, about a year ago, just a few weeks after my eldest brother Jeremy's best friend, Joe, died of heart trouble. Matt received a telephone call from a person that sounded exactly like Joe. He said something like, "Matt, it's Joe. Is Jeremy home? Something really strange is going on." Matt freaked out and could hardly answer, "No, he's not. Sorry." Then the phone hung up and Matt looked at the caller I.D.; it read, "Out of area." So Matt tried *69, but they were unable to trace the call. We never got another telephone call from Joe. It still scares Matt to think of it. -- Janaye S.


My husband lost his grandfather a long time ago. But just recently he has been experiencing something really weird. He has seen his grandfather's name on our caller ID. So we thought someone was calling from his grandfather's house. That was the first time, and no one was even home. Just today, for the second time, he was at work and clearly, along with co-workers, heard the phone ring. He answered it on the first ring, but only heard a dial tone. When he looked at the phone's directory, which has no caller ID, but lists who he has called, he saw the grandfather's name again. What could this mean? How could it be happening? -- Leroy L.


One of my clients related this story to me a few years ago. At the time she worked for the Department of Social Services and one of the services she offered was checked for emergency expenses. She had issued a check for $100 to one of her clients for utilities and was about to close the file when her phone rang. On the line was the woman to whom the check was issued. The woman sounded vague and distracted, but clearly said, "I won't be needing that $100 after all." My client made a note of it and went on with her other work. That evening at home she was reading the newspaper when she saw the obituary of the woman she had talked with on the phone. She had died the previous day! - Mary B.


Three years ago, my mother passed away. We were very close and I miss her daily. Last Christmas evening, I went to bed and woke up to the phone ringing. I answered it and a voice that was very familiar to me said, "Hello there." It was my mother's voice. The line had a static noise and the sound cut in and out. I said, "This can't be you, mom. You're dead." She said, "Oh, come on now." She sounded a bit agitated, and then we were cut off. My 16-year-old daughter was sleeping in the next room and also heard the phone ring that night. I know it was my mother's voice; she has a Norwegian accent. It was her. -- Bonnie O.


About three nights ago, my husband got a phone call at 1:57 a.m. I remember it was a very stormy night. He answered and the phone was giving him little bleeps, but nobody would say anything. Then the phone went dead. I was asleep by the phone, but I never heard it ring, and I always hear the phone ring. Only he heard it. He called the number back on the caller ID, and it said, "This number is not in service." The number is still on our caller ID.

The same night, at 4:00 a.m., his mother, who lives about an hour away, also got a phone call. Her son, who was asleep in the house, also never heard the phone ring. She heard the same bleeps and it was the same caller ID. She called it back and it was also a not-in-service number. About 5:00 a.m., his mother was lying in her bed and she saw a man standing at the foot of her bed looking at her. She said he was tall and thin, had dark eyes and dark clothes. He stared at her for a minute and then darted across the room and disappeared.

We are very freaked out about this and cannot figure out why this happened all on the same night, and nothing like this has happened before. Why did I not hear the phone ring and my husband did the phone is right in our bed? My husband lost his brother about six months ago -- a tragic death. -- Vicki H.


I just found out that one of my phones calls the other day was a dead lady.I was at my mom's house and I was calling a friend who lived nearby. She was at her cousin's house. So I looked up the number in the phone book. It was the only "Owens" in the phone book, so I knew it was my friend's cousin's number. I called and it didn't even ring, but an old lady answered. She said, "Hello." I asked, "Is Amelia there?" (Amelia is my friend Jessica's cousin.) The old lady said, "No, dear. Amelia isn't here, sweetie. I should be expecting her any minute now." So I thought nothing of it and hung up. I thought they left for a bit. I knew Amelia lived with her mom at her grandparents' house. What I didn't know is what I found out when I talked to Jessica. I told Jessica about it and she said, "Amelia's grandma is dead. And we were there all day long. We were sitting right by the phone. It never rang all day."  -- Crystal S.


I was staying at a cottage in North Wales (UK) in 1997. The cottage was owned by my best friend's grandfather and was in a fairly isolated location, but still on tracks which lead to the main road. It was very basic, but it had electricity and a boiler for hot water, although no central heating. It was a three double bedroom property with no outhouses. There were six of us staying in this cottage one Easter weekend and we spent much of our time lazing around and visiting local sites of interest.

We decided one Saturday morning to go out to the local market, calling off for a pub lunch on the way back. While sitting at the pub eating our meal, other friends of ours, who were staying in a nearby town, entered the pub and sat at our table saying they were glad that we were still here and they hadn't missed us. When asked how on earth they knew where we were, they said they had phoned the cottage where we were staying and the lady who answered the phone told them.

There was no one else staying at the cottage. There was no cleaner or any other person tied to the cottage. I spent the remainder of our time there sleeping with the hall lights on and have never returned. -- Clare E.


I have never been a believer in ghosts, but after what happened to me, I can't help but reconsider my position on this. I am a telephone sales representative and at the time of this occurrence, I was marketing a phone service. Here is what happened to me at work.

On Thursday, April 26 I made a sales call to Pennsylvania. It started just like any other call. "Yes, I need to speak to Mr. or Mrs. B_____." The woman identified herself as Mrs. B_____ and I continued on with the normal sales call. She seemed very interested and asked a lot of questions, but when I came to the decision making a part, she quickly stopped me, insisting that I had to talk to her husband. Her objections were the same every time I attempted to close. She explained that she had tried to get him to change phone carriers before, but in her words, "he was married to AT&T and refused to make any changes."

She also quickly pointed out that since his retirement he spent a great deal of time fishing and was not easy to get in touch with, and it would be best to try early in the morning before he left for his favorite hobby. She also indicated that their long distance bills were getting out of hand because he made lengthy calls to North Carolina and felt that the plan would be beneficial to them. On that note, I decided that perhaps this was worth a callback and told her that I would call her husband the next day.

The next day I made a call that I will probably never forget! On the callback, the husband did answer the phone. I introduced myself in the normal fashion and explained that I had been talking to his wife the previous day and she had suggested that I speak to him. You can imagine the shock and horror, when he distraughtly stated to me, "Lady, I don't know who you were talking to, but my wife died and I am not in any mood to speak to anyone!" With that, he quickly hung up the phone. -- Mary B.