Can the dead truly call the living? Or are claims of calls after death nothing more than wishful thinking? In July, I shared three strange cases in “Phone Calls from the Dead.” Here are three more eerie tales. What do you think of the stories?
A Call from an Old Friend
The following account comes from a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald. Author Charles Waterstreet writes:
“How long do you leave a dead friend on your contacts list on your phone?
I left the late Adam Cullen and got two messages in the past few months under his name in the middle of the night. The first one when I was in New York, on January 2, just as I tried to fall asleep. He noted he was watching Rake on Foxtel, and added: ‘Makes me wonder why the f— I am at liberty to do so. Love you buddy. Be good.’
I couldn’t sleep much after that.
On February 9, I received a dirty joke from him. It sounded like something he would say, but I doubt Adam would have access to a phone – he was cremated in 2011.”
Waterstreet checked the phone number and learned it was still in his deceased friend’s name. The friend’s father has no idea where the phone is. So who, or what, was behind the calls?
“It remains a mystery,” Waterstreet says.
Dean Koontz Receives a Warning
In an online article for Psychology Today (September 27, 2013), Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D., relates a tale Dean Koontz shared during an interview. She writes:
“He was at work that day in his office when the phone rang. He picked it up and heard a female voice that sounded far away. She spoke with a sense of great urgency. ‘Please, be careful!’ she said.
A bit startled, Dean asked, ‘Who is this?’
When the line fell silent, Dean sat there listening for a while, uncertain what to make of it. The voice had sounded eerily like his mother’s, but she had been dead for nearly two decades.”
Two days later, Koontz’s father attempted to stab him with a knife. The police initially thought Dean was the aggressor and came perilously close to shooting him. The harrowing experience inspired Koontz to write a similar scene in his 1993 novel, Mr. Murder, and the mysterious phone call helped inspire 2010’s What the Night Knows. The best-selling author still doesn’t know what to make of the call imploring him to be careful.
“I don’t claim that it was a ghost. I don’t know what I believe,” Dean told Ramsland. “I think you always have to keep some skepticism about things like this, but it’s comforting to think that there may be a realm where the personality survives.”
A Strange Call
The following story comes from CNN’s “Do Loved Ones Bid Farewell from Beyond the Grave?” (September 23, 2011). It starts with a woman named Simma Lieberman who received a strange call from her boyfriend in the the late 1960s. Reporter John Blake writes:
‘While Lieberman was at her mother’s home in the Bronx, the phone rang and she answered. Johnny was on the line, sounding rushed and far away. Static crackled.
‘I just want you to know that I love you, and I’ll never be mean to anybody again,’ he said.
There was more static, and then the line went dead. Lieberman was left with just a dial tone.”
Lieberman tried calling Johnny back, but couldn’t get through. The next morning Simma learned that someone had shot and killed Johnny as he sat in his car. Simma believes Johnny reached out after his death to say goodbye.
“The whole thing was so bizarre,” she said. “I could never understand it.”
While reports of calls from the dead are scarce in mainstream media outlets, several online forums and sites are full of such claims. Check out the links below as well as a few relevant books.
- Freak Phone Calls – About.com
- Ghost Phone Calls from the Dead – Angels & Ghosts
- Phone Calls from the Dead – Yahoo! Answers
- Phone Calls from the Dead – Virginia Ghosts
- Phone Call from a Ghost: Strange Tales from Modern America by Daniel Cohen
- Telephone Calls from the Dead by Callum E. Cooper
- Phone Calls From the Dead by Dr. Scott Sago and Raymond Bayless
EDIT: According to a story I found on Reddit today, an operator from a non-profit in Chile dialed a number and spoke to a man who identified himself as Mr. Gonzalo. The conversation was unremarkable and ended when Mr. Gonzalo said he’d have to check with his wife about making a donation. The operator called back a few days later and Mrs. Gonzalo answered. When the wife learned the operator had spoken to Mr. Gonzalo she was shocked. Why? Mr. Gonzalo had died in a traffic accident 14 months earlier. The audio for both calls is here, though they are in Spanish. What do you make of the tale?
Has anyone out there received a call or text you just can’t explain? Share your story here!