I Hope You Have One Heck of a Long Distance Plan: Phone Calls From the Dead

They are everywhere; on the streets, in our homes, on the trains, in the movies, in schools, and even in the church, God forbid.

I am talking about telephones, the lovely invention that allowed us to communicate with our loved ones and telemarketers. Since the advent of the modern telephone, immeasurable enhancements ultimately gave way to the modern cell phone.

I doubt Alexander Graham Bell could have envisioned a day when we would be tethered to a wireless device. When we once left the phone at home, the device is now something we return home to get should we forget it on the kitchen counter.

With voicemail, text, internet, apps, and games, the modern cell phone is more of a computer than an actual phone. One thing remains constant, though, despite the ever-changing technology.

The dead speak to us through them.

Throughout the years, there have been countless stories of a phenomenon called “Phone Calls From the Dead,” by which the voices of those who have passed on communicate with those of us still on this side through such a conventional means. The telephone.

Whenever a new phenomenon is uncovered, it is greeted with skepticism, and “PCFTD” is no exception. What must be noted is the alarming rate at which the stories of the deceased contacting their loved ones through the telephone have spread. Possible or not, such a high rate of occurrence lends some credibility to a phenomenon that cannot be proven.

The stories usually follow a similar pattern:

  • A loved one dies
  • Soon, sometimes immediately but often a day or two later, the surviving family member who was very close to the departed receives a call. The caller ID does not typically register a number. The recipient of the call greets the caller and hears a familiar voice.
  • The voice is distant and often hard to understand.
  • A message of love and acceptance is passed on from the deceased
  • Typically the call is one-sided, and the alleged deceased caller does not interact with the recipient.
  • When the recipient probes for information, the line disconnects.
  • Upon calling the number back, the recipient of the call is greeted with static, a busy signal, or a “line disconnected” message when a caller ID registers a number.

You can scour the internet for details about this phenomenon. Some sites have voicemail/answering machine messages supposedly left by the deceased. Every person who has encountered a “PCFTD” reports feeling at peace knowing that their loved one sent a final message.

The question begs, though: Is it possible? Are the claims valid?

As for the possibility, that is hard to say because technically, EVP’s shouldn’t be possible, yet we have captured them. I personally have never experienced the phenomenon. As with any purposed haunting, whether possible or not, it seems very real and very true to the person who experienced it.

The claims are most likely valid simply because the recipients of such odd-sounding calls believe it so. Who is to say that there is no way for the soul of a person who has passed to make contact with their loved ones one last time? The bonds of family and friendship and love are eternal. We always remember those we have lost.

The human mind is capable of receiving messages in ways we cannot fathom. Perhaps “PCFTD” is a form of pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon involving vague and random stimuli being perceived as significant sounds and images.

Messages from the dead have been received via other modern means. Significant codes appeared on people’s pagers after the person associated with the code passed. Reports of emails received from the deceased’s email accounts, text messages from beyond, and more.

As we rely increasingly on electronics to communicate, perhaps we are enabling the energy of those we have lost to find a way back to us.

Or, in our deepest grief, we simply will the contact into existence so that we can move on. Someone calls us, the phone rings, and they hang up right as we answer. In the moments before the disconnect registers and the call terminates, we are left with a moment of empty noise where we can hear anything we wish.

“Phone Calls from the Dead” will simply go down in the annals of paranormal phenomena that will never be proven or never accepted as fact should sufficient proof ever exist. Until then, we will simply keep an open mind and an open line with the hope that those who have crossed over have the chance to remind us that we are loved and never alone.


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