I am an author and paranormal enthusiast who has published numerous books and articles on the subject of true unexplained phenomena.
Before We Begin
Phone calls from those who have passed on are far more common than one might think. Thousands have been documented in nearly every corner of the globe. Some are heartwarming, others, not so much.
It is important to keep in mind that spirits aren't magical beings than can make things happen at will. Contacting the living is not an easy task. It takes a great deal of energy that not every soul can harness. Some are able to find their voice while others use up all of their strength placing the call, leaving them unable to produce discernible sound through the static.
In the end, any contact is remarkable. For those who wait for a communication that never comes, don't despair, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Disembodied souls are around us all the time, whether we realize it or not.
Never To Part
In the 1960s, Sheila Goldstein* had fallen head-over-heels for a free spirit named Johnny. Warm and outgoing, he attracted attention like a magnet attracts steel. Everyone wanted to be close to him, but he only had eyes for Sheila.
As their relationship blossomed, the pair decided to share a home in California. They spoke often of their intention to marry when the time was right. Unfortunately, fate had other plans for the young lovers.
Sheila was away visiting her mother on the East Coast when she had a strange feeling that something was wrong. She and Johnny normally spoke several times a day when they were apart, but on this occasion, she hadn't been able to reach him.
Late that night, just as she was giving up hope, the phone rang. When Sheila answered, she could barely hear Johnny's voice through the thick wall of static. He sounded, to her, as if he were a million miles away.
In spite of the bad reception, she managed to make out his somewhat nonsensical words, the gist of which were that he loved her and was sorry if he had ever done anyone wrong.
As his voice trailed off, a loud crack of static signaled the end of the call. The line went dead and the connection was broken. Sheila held the receiver in her hand for a few seconds afterwards, mulling over Johnny's words as she listened to the droning of the dial tone.
Unable to shake the feeling that her boyfriend was in trouble, Sheila tried calling him back. Her apprehension continued to rise when no one picked up on the other end.
Retiring to bed, she lay awake for hours trying to make sense of his words. She had never known Johnny to be mean to any living thing. Quite the contrary. If anything, he had always been exceptionally kind; bending over backwards to put everyone at ease.
The bond between Sheila and Johnny had been somewhat uncanny. They were so in tune that they often knew what the other was thinking. Their effortless ability to finish each other's sentences never failed to amaze those close to the couple. They were, simply put, made for each other.
When she awoke the next morning after a fitful night, Sheila says that, for the first time since the day they met, she had no sense of Johnny. Somehow, in those moments, she knew that she had seen her fiance for the last time.
Several hours later, Johnny's mother called. Her voice broke as she informed Sheila that the man who had been the center of both of their worlds had been shot while sitting in his parked car. He died instantly.
With those words, Sheila's worst fears became reality. Johnny was gone, something she had already known in her gut. The only thing that kept her going was the knowledge that he had felt compelled to reach out to her, even as his own life ebbed away.
Upon learning that the murder had occurred at least five hours before Johnny's last call to her was placed, Sheila came to the seemingly impossible conclusion that he had contacted her not before his passing, but after.
It is important to keep in mind that these events occurred long before the advent of cellphones. Given that his body was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car, there was no conceivable way that Johnny could have made the call prior to or at the time of the shooting.
Although she eventually moved on with her life, Sheila never forgot her first love or his final act. Johnny's devotion had come as no surprise to her. He had always put her needs above his own and, apparently, still did.
*Name has been altered to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.
Because She Can
An employee of a well-known cellphone carrier shared the story of an agitated customer who came in one day with a complaint he would never forget. The woman was visibly upset as she handed him her red flip phone.
When he asked her how he could help, she surprised him by saying that he would think she was crazy. After being assured that she couldn't tell him anything he hadn't heard before, the woman laid out her story. She explained that she worked in a funeral home and that, quite simply, something connected to the business had commandeered her phone.
Her troubles began when a man contacted the establishment in need of services for a family member who had recently passed. After providing him with the information he requested, the woman had hung up and all but forgotten the conversation. It had been an interaction like any other, or so she thought.
Later that same day, she missed a call on her cellphone from someone named 'Emily.' She was a bit taken aback since she had no contacts by that name. This puzzled the clerk as well. He knew that unless a name has been previously entered into the device, there would be no way of knowing who was calling other than by the incoming number.
The customer said that she would have let the matter drop had it not been for what occurred in the ensuing days. She asserted that after that first incident, every call she received, no matter who was on the other end, was identified as coming from Emily.
She explained that, although she hadn't immediately made the connection, it later dawned on her that the man who had phoned the funeral home requesting their services just prior to the onset of the calls had said that he needed to make arrangements for Emily.
Neither the clerk nor the customer could understand why the name would appear on the woman's cellphone since the initial call had been received on a landline. Not to mention that the original caller had not been Emily, but someone acting on her behalf.
To add to her dilemma, the employee could not find any record of the call having been noted in the funeral parlor's daybook, an oversight she could not explain. As a result, there was no way to contact the man who might have held the key to solving the mystery. She added that they had not arranged for anyone named Emily to be interred in the days following the inquiry.
The skeptical clerk decided to perform a simple test. He dialed the flip phone from the store's landline. To his amazement, although the correct number appeared on the screen, the caller was identified as Emily.
No longer doubting the customer's account, but still curious, he tried again using his personal cellphone. Sure enough, his call was attributed to Emily.
As flummoxed by the events as the woman standing before him, the clerk issued her a new phone. Before sending her on her way, he handed her his card and asked to be updated on how things went. Since he never heard from her again, he assumed that getting rid of the old device had put an end to Emily's antics.
Who Emily was and why she targeted the innocent funeral home employee has never been explained. The entire episode just goes to show that the dead are under no obligation to justify their actions to the living; something they know all-too-well.
On September 8, 2008, a California commuter train carrying over two hundred passengers collided with another locomotive. Twenty-five people lost their lives that day. Among the fatalities was recently engaged father of three Charles E. Peck.
After hearing a news bulletin regarding the accident, several of Peck's family members, including his fiance Andrea, raced to the scene. No bodies had been identified at that point, giving his loved ones hope that he had made it through unscathed.
Try as they might, they could not locate Peck among the dazed survivors. As emergency crews searched tirelessly through the rubble, relatives of passengers who remained unaccounted for were advised to go home and await further instructions. At that point, no news was good news.
Over the next several hours, Peck's son, sister, stepmother and fiance all received calls from his cellphone. Relieved to find that he had survived, they eagerly answered only to be met with the crackling of static.
They pleaded with Peck to say something, but nothing could be heard over the interference originating from his end. In each instance, after a brief interval, the line would go dead.
They would immediately phone him back, but their calls would go directly to voicemail. Over the next eleven hours, a total of thirty-five calls were placed to various family members from Peck's cellphone.
On the twelfth hour, they received word that his body had been recovered from the wreckage. An autopsy would later confirm that he had died instantly upon impact.
Although many of the passengers' personal effects were subsequently found in the debris, Peck's cellphone was not among them. It has never been located, nor has it been used in the years since the accident. Investigators concluded that it had most likely been destroyed in the crash.
No one knows for certain who placed the calls during the interim when Peck's fate was still unknown. Perhaps a passerby had somehow slipped past the security detail and happened upon the device.
With nothing better to do, they then started calling everyone on a perfect stranger's contact list only to remain silent as static flooded the line. If this was indeed the case, why they abandoned the ruse moments before Peck's remains were positively identified, never to use the phone again, defies explanation.
The most widely accepted theory regarding this famed account is that Peck seized the opportunity to reach out to those he held most dear while he was still between worlds. Once his death was officially declared, the window into this realm closed for good, making further attempts at contact impossible.
Since those whose lives are taken suddenly by violence often refuse to believe that their time has come to an end, it has been speculated that Peck initially made the calls fully believing that he had survived the crash.
Finding his efforts to communicate stymied by the impenetrable interference, it is possible that the harsh reality of the situation finally set in. The fact that the last call was placed just before his body was removed from the rubble indicates that it was at that moment that he knew there would be no coming back. Only then did he surrender to fate.
Source>Most Amazing Official; latimes.com; ranker