The Cemetery Caller

With Halloween nearly upon us, it may be necessary to take another look at the latest urban legends.  And with all the widely told creepy stories, it seems one of the more disturbing and rare ones commonly told as truth throughout the United States is the legend of the deceased caller.

In this legend, an elderly woman receives a call from her deceased husband.  As she answers the call, she hears a man groaning in the background.  The voice sounds unmistakable.  It has to be her husband.  The only problem is, her husband died only weeks before.  As she hangs up the phone she decides it must be an elaborate well placed prank so she picks up the phone again to call 911.  Only as she picks up the phone it once again connects her with her husband’s voice calling her name as if he is in great pain.  She goes to her neighbor’s house to use their phone, but her neighbor informs her that the phone lines are down.  In a state of panic, she tells her neighbors she needs to get to a phone to call the police.  On their way into town they pass by the cemetery in which her husband is buried.  From the road they can see the source of the problems.  The phone lines running over the cemetery have been knocked down and the wire is running directly over her husband’s grave.  As they get to town a technician informs her that it’s impossible that she would have received a phone call.

There are three variations to the end of the story.  One variation sees the old woman deciding she would be better off ignoring the whole matter and going on with her life.  Another version sees the woman dying of fright and being buried in the graveyard next to her husband.  The final variation tells of her going back to the graveyard and telling the groundskeeper to dig up her husband’s grave.  As they exhume the body they discover that he is not dead.  When asked about the phone call he says he simply had a dream that he was able to contact her thus saving his own life.

While this story is largely considered nothing more than a fictional account, it is still told around Halloween in some areas as a real ghost story.  But what was its real origin?  In a 1964 episode of the Twilight Zone known as “Night Call”

But truth may be stranger than fiction in this case.  In 2008, Charles E. Peck’s cell phone repeatedly called several of his loved ones after he was involved in a fatal train wreck that killed him instantly.  The phone was never discovered, but was suspected to be amongst the wreckage with no discernable way of calling his loved ones as it was separated from himself or any other passengers.  Experts agree the phone call would have required several different buttons being pushed, but cannot figure out how so many phone calls were made after Peck had died.  It is to date one of the most unexplainable paranormal events of the century.