Phone Calls From The Dead

by Shelly Barclay

Sometimes, the creepy plot in a thriller draws from a real-life scenario. One of these scenarios is the phenomena of “dead calls” or phone calls from the dead. As with all things paranormal, it is not always possible to prove any of the countless stories regarding this phenomena. But these days, almost everyone has Caller ID. and that is where the concept gets a lot creepier.

What Are Phone Calls from the Dead?

A phone call from the dead is what it sounds like. A dead person allegedly makes a phone call and scares the daylights out of a loved one. It is usually a family member or significant other on the receiving end of these calls. Some occur before it is known that the person is deceased. These calls even happen years later, according to recipients.

Nothing can be more frightening than receiving phone calls from the dead.

Nothing can be more frightening than receiving phone calls from the dead.

Similarities in Calls

These phone calls from the dead tend to have similar descriptions. There are cases where the line only offers static. Other cases involve actual speech from someone that sounds like the deceased. The calls typically involve a single repeated line or calling and saying the same thing a few times before the line dies. It’s horrifying. Sometimes, the call is a bit more coherent, but they never last long. The line is almost always poor with crackling or the voice sounding very distant. Which is understandable if the person is truly calling from the beyond.

Influence by Popular Culture?

Because there are so much information and so many stories about phone calls from the dead, it is impossible to say whether they hit reality or popular culture first. Therefore, there is no way to say if one influenced the other. Nonetheless, calls from beyond the grave are at least traceable in fiction as far back as 1964. It is an episode of the science-fiction series “The Twilight Zone” titled “Night Call” which had a story about the phenomenon.

The main character of “Night Call” is a woman who has lost her fiancé in a car crash that she caused. She reflects that her fiancé always did what she wanted him to do. When she started getting what she thought were prank phone calls, she told the caller to leave her alone. She then discovers the calls are coming from her fiancé’s grave. That is a little too literal for reality, but it made for a great story. When she reached him again, she begged him not to go, but he told her that he always did what she wanted so he had to leave her alone. Few stories of dead calls involve this much communication.

Charles Peck: A Documented Example

Charles Peck's cell phone made 35 calls to loved ones following the train collision in which he died instantly.

Charles Peck’s cell phone made 35 calls to loved ones following the train collision in which he died instantly.

We hear stories of brief calls from the dead and even calls being traced to the deceased. Caller IDs usually tell us who is calling.  But it’s possible that the calls may not be coming directly from dead people. It could be their phones are certainly acting up in unexpected and unexplained ways.

One verifiable instance of a dead person’s phone calling loved ones is tragic and unexplained. It involves a train crash in San Fernando Valley that killed 25 people on September 12, 2008. Among those killed was Charles Peck, a 49-year-old with a fiance and two adult children. He died on impact, but they did not immediately find his body. Searches for Charles Peck were guided by 35 phone calls his phone made to his loved ones in the eleven hours following the crash.

Emails from the Dead: The Jack Froese Story

Peck’s family never heard the sound of his voice or anything other than static. Yet they held on to the belief that he was alive in the wreckage. How else were they getting these calls? They discovered his body twelve hours after the crash. His phone had stopped calling them an hour before. It is uncertain if they discovered the phone, but it helped find the body. According to Snopes, investigators never announced finding the phone.

Dean Koontz Receives A Call From His Deceased Mother

Author Dean Koontz believes he received a call from his deceased mother.

Author Dean Koontz believes he received a call from his deceased mother.

Another example comes from the famous author Dean Koontz.  On 20 September 1988, he received a strange phone call from a female voice which simply said: “Please, be careful!” The voice sounded very distant and she repeated the warning three times, sounding more distant with each warning. Koontz stated that although he didn’t know who it was, the person on the phone sounded very much like that of his mother. However, his mother died almost 20 years ago.

Two days later Dean Koontz went to visit his father, Ray,  who resided in a facility. Ray had some behavioral issues and recently assaulted another resident. When Dean met his father, Ray grabbed a knife from the drawer.  As Dean wrestled the knife away from his father, the police were called. The police arrived just as Dean was walking back into the hall with a knife in his hand. To the police, he looked like the perpetrator. He was repeatedly told to drop the knife, but Dean froze in fear. But he quickly realized that if he did not drop the knife the police would likely shoot him. Dean dropped the knife and the situation became resolved.

Dean looks back at the phone call from two days prior and recalls how it had made him more vigilant. It possibly saved his life. Was it his deceased mother trying to help him?

What causes a deceased loved one’s phone to call you?  Is it simply an explainable machinery malfunction or have spirits tried to communicate with us the only way they can?  Share with us your thoughts and experiences.

Updated: 24 August 2019 by Paranorms staff.

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