Nancy Roman

My Ghost Makes Crank Calls

An old post for Halloween:

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.


  1. Al

    Cue the Twilight Zone music.


    • Yeah, in retrospect, it was Twilight Zone creepy. But it happened so gradually, it didn’t seem anything more than a little weird at the time.


  2. So strange. I think I would have just moved the fridge.


  3. mo



  4. A LITTLE strange? How about totally weird? I’m glad you got out in time to share a real live Halloween ghost story. You had me glued to the screen waiting for apparitions.


    • What’s really funny is that it didn’t freak me out at the time. We only thought it a bit strange.


  5. Holy crap, are you kidding me????? The phone would say “hello” to you? If there was ever a “wtf” moment then this is it. I feel like I’m going to be thinking about this for a while…


    • Yeah, it would. “Hello? Hello?” in a tinny little parrot voice. And what was even stranger was that we just got used to it.


  6. Hmmm….. that is very strange…


  7. wowza! Great story, great time to share it 🙂


  8. Heh. Heh. I believe every word. Yep those things happen. Timely story for end of October. I’ve had creepy visitors in one house but they never spoke aloud to me. 😉


    • My husband refused to acknowledge it. Said it was just static on the line. Static that spoke English…..


      • I guess he’s the type who believes things must make scientific sense. 😉


  9. Somewhat creepy, no let me rephrase…totally creepy.


    • At the time, it seemed only a little creepy.


  10. Yikes! What a fabulous creepy story! And you’re so cool: “I’m sorry. But I’m really busy, so I just can’t talk right now.”… I’d have been pulling the phone apart.


    • You know in the movie “Poltergeist” how the mother at first thinks it is kind of funny? I had the same reaction. Looking back on it, I should have been freaking it. Especially because this all happened AFTER “Poltergeist” and I knew how THAT ended!


  11. Let the Games Begin!

    We now live in the house my husband grew up in – and where his father, Andy, died suddenly and unexpectedly at the ripe old age of 57. For the first few years, Andy used to appear to me – always in my peripheral vision but would disappear when I looked straight on. Sort of like the star you can only see when you don’t look it at. I knew he was just scoping things out and meant no mischief. The Hubster, of course, said I was nuts (not necessarily for this reason) but regularly smoked out the rooms with very church-y incense. Haven’t seen Andy for quite a while now, so I guess everything checked out to his satisfaction.


    • You’re right – he was probably just making sure you weren’t screwing up his house.


  12. I had a ghost in my old house built in 1728. A peanut butter ghost-the spirit of a little girl who died there in the late 1800’s and ate the peanut butter in the cupboard


  13. Sounds like you had a party line connection to the Great Beyond!

    We had a real-life call similar to that. My husband’s great-aunt’s all lived in the same house in his hometown, except one sister who had married and moved away. One by one they died and, when we moved to town a couple years after the last was gone, we bought the house. We didn’t bother to change the phone number.

    One day we got a call from a man named Bobby who was looking for his mother. I told him he had the wrong number. He called several more times before we discovered that he was the middle-aged son of the aunt who had married and moved away. He was deeply troubled and had lived in a mental institution for 30 years. His mom had died years earlier, but not wanting to upset him, nobody told him.


  14. Everyone should have a friendly spirit to talk to when they are home alone. It’s those other ones that give them the bad rap.


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