Nancy Roman

My Ghost Makes Crank Calls

Many years ago, my husband and I bought an old house. Built around 1840, we didn’t know too much about its history.

We did know about one lady who lived there. Her grandson, now our age, was our neighbor. She must have been a pretty nice Grandma, because Jim didn’t really want us to change a thing about the house. Or the porch. Or the driveway. Or the sidewalk.

“My Grandma always had her refrigerator on THIS wall,” he told me once.

As mildly interfering as he was, when we had trouble with the well, Jim walked over to a spot in the yard and said, “Dig here.”  And sure enough, there was the well.

When we first moved in, we noticed something odd about the phone. Once in a while, instead of all the phones in the house ringing, only the extension in the kitchen would ring.

Most of the time, there would be no one there when we answered. But once in a while, there was a garbled voice, as if we were listening in on someone else’s call from a distance.

After a while we learned that if only the kitchen phone was ringing, we shouldn’t bother to pick it up.

But that’s when the phone started to speak.

It would ring and ring, and we’d ignore it.

And then it would start saying, “Hello?  Hello?”

But we hadn’t picked it up.

I began to think that Jim’s Grandma was trying to speak to us. The house had a lot of owners in all those years, but most of them wouldn’t have been familiar with telephones.  Maybe Grandma wanted us to put the refrigerator back on the south wall.

I’m not into creepy movies, so I don’t know that much about ghosts. But I figured it would be wise to be polite.

When the phone would start to say “Hello? Hello?”  I’d just say aloud, in the general direction of the ceiling:

“I’m sorry. But I’m really busy, so I just can’t talk right now.”

After about a year, she stopped calling.

We moved away several years ago – into a house we built ourselves.  No feng shui ghosts.

But our old neighbors don’t particularly like the family that moved in. They wish those new folks would move out.

Maybe Grandma could make a phone call.

wikipedia image, public domain (altered)


  1. Karen

    I love a good ghost story at Halloween.


  2. brilliant story!


  3. I love these stories. How odd only the kitchen extension rang.


    • I figured when the ghost lived there, she must have had only one phone – the one in the kitchen. So that’s where she rang.


  4. interesting! kinda creepy actually. :-


  5. At least no one died there. Too bad the smell of baking cookies didn’t come with the house! That I would have enjoyed.


  6. Grandma ghosts are among the most benevolent. It’s those crotchety old GrandPA ghosts that scare the hell out of me!


  7. Wonder if Grandma ghost likes the new residents??? Did you put a disclaimer on the house when you sold it??? You know –like you have to do about leaky roofs and other “faults” with the house? 🙂


    • We actually had a murder take place across the street. I figured if the buyers could handle that, no need to tell them anything about our old telephoning ghost.


  8. A friend of mine moved into a house that had been the scene of a double murder suicide and he swore it was haunted, his wife wasn’t so sure. The family dog would NEVER go inside the house from day #1. He said cabinets would open, doors would slam shut, furniture would move.

    Then one night in the middle of the night, someone or something grabbed his hair when he was in bed and liked to pulled it out.

    They moved the next day.



  9. True Halloween ghost stories are always the best! I loved yours! Great blog, by the way. I’m so glad a friend let me know about it!


  10. Well, I totally believe you. My kids and I have been followed, by what we’re not sure, but we know it’s benign. My husband (new at the time) was pretty skept of our stories at first, that is until he was sitting in the living room, and suddenly a cucina sitting on the mantle slid, on it’s own to the end of the mantle, then fell. We weren’t having an earthquake, and there were several other cucinas on the mantle that were undisturbed. My daughter and I, used to this sort of thing happening, just looked at each other and grinned knowingly… while my husband’s chin dropped to his knees and we had to help him close his mouth . . .

    Great post!


    • Sounds like the makings of a great halloween post of your own… go for it!


  11. Great tale and the telling is toothsome. Happy Halloween.

    My first house was an 80-year-old house. I saw things there that scared the **** out of me. Things started falling on the floor and even my three year old daughter knew SOMEthing. I told her to do something one time and she said, “No, the lady upstairs won’t like it.” Did I want to move immediately. Yes. But we didn’t and the house finally settled down. I even talked to a medium and she told me to keep talking about what was going on to anyone and everyone. Spirits don’t like that. Maybe that’s how we finally won peace. I’ve no idea.


  12. Wow…I’m impressed by your response to the phone-calling ghost. I would have run out of the house screaming.


    • It was all so gradual. First the single extension ringing. Then after a while the “hello” coming out of the phone…it’s almost like we got used to it before we realized we should be afraid. And then it just as slowly tapered off. I think my ghost thought I was too boring to talk to.


  13. Great story and I totally believe it!


  14. What a cool story! Fun, and scary too… I’m glad you found my blog so I could find yours! Cheers!


  15. Your own poltergeist – yeah! I think old houses have such great atmosphere and character that it wouldn’t surprise me if grandma just couldn’t let go. Bet you miss it!


    • I miss some of the quaint things about the old house. But I LOVE where we live now…the house, the quiet of being out in the woods, and the MODERN conveniences that old old houses just can’t accommodate I love luxury..


  16. Funny. I love old houses. They have such character.


  17. Ahhh…reminds me of the book I’m currently reading: Before the Poison by Peter Robinson. 😉


  18. JSD

    Great story! My house is only about 110+ years old, and I don’t have spirits living with me. But I would want to take your approach if they had ever appeared. After all, they were there first, right? 😉


  19. critters and crayons

    That’s pretty freaky. I think I’d have moved out immediately. haha! Thanks for linking up at the Halloween Blog-Hop!


  20. This post reminds me of some very strange things that happened after my Dad passed away last year.

    I won’t mention them all, but one of things that happened was a phone ringing in a room in my Mum’s house where there has never been a phone…


  21. Love that a kitchen phone might talk!! Ghosts from past lives..haunting!



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