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Who's Calling?

 

Back in the early 80's, I lived in a farm house that had been converted into an upper and lower apartment. We hadn't lived in the upper apartment very long, maybe a couple of months, when I began to hear an odd phone ring: 3 short rings followed by a long ring. This was not the sound our phone made. The lower tenants had moved out quite suddenly one night, and I thought perhaps they had left behind their phone and I was hearing it. It sounded as if it was in our bedroom, which had no phone, and that was the only logical explanation I could come up with. Unfortunately, when the landlords came around to check on the now empty apartment, no phone was found, nor anything else to explain this odd ring.

The odd ring would happen 3 or 4 times a day, and anyone who happened to be over heard it too. So at least I knew I wasn't totally nuts. Perhaps 3 weeks after the ringing began, I went to make a call and, much to my surprise, heard a conversation in full swing. What's more, the two other parties could hear me. For some odd reason my private line was acting like a partyline. At times it sounded as if someone on the other end was using a pay phone, as I could hear coins drop. This was confirmed by one of the callers.

Needless to say, I had the phone company come out. The tech said that a squirrel had gotten into the equipment at the top of the pole and had crossed some lines, and that the problem had been fixed. I nodded not really understanding how a squirrel had 'crossed lines'. I then started to ask him about the odd phone ring I could hear.

The man looked at me as if I had just announced I was giving birth or something. Just then we heard the ring. I took him into the bedroom to the point by the wall it seemed to be coming from. We both stared at the blank space. The only thing there was a small box near the baseboard, which he said was an old phone jack from when phones were hard-wired into them. He tested the two painted-over wire stubs that still protruded from the top and confirmed they were dead. He then called the company and was told there was no service to that line. By now, I was probably looking at HIM like he had said he was going into labor or something just as impossible. Finally he decided to remove the box, saying if that didn't stop it he didn't know what to tell me.

I never did hear the phone again after that, but I can't help wondering who was trying to call?

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, valkricry, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

LemonDrop_Pop (guest)
 
2 years ago (2015-07-11)
I don't think there were any ghosts involved it was just the box. 🤔
Triskaideka (2 stories) (363 posts)
 
4 years ago (2014-02-03)
Ok, that sounds like someone dialing a phone number then, not an emergency. Phew! Though I know what you mean; years can distort memories.
I sent you an email. 😊
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2014-01-29)
Hahaha on me. Yes 3 shorts and a long. I swear some days I just don't know where my mind has gotten to. 😕 Can I blame it on the flu?
It wasn't a terribly long pause maybe 3 or 4 seconds? Please bare in mind that this was 30 years ago now.
I looked at your profile, but your email isn't on it. How ever mine is on mine. I wouldn't mind your digging about at all.
Triskaideka (2 stories) (363 posts)
 
4 years ago (2014-01-29)
Oh also important, some phone companies used that pattern of rings (...-) for house 17. I peeked through some old phone directories, and it looks like there was a series of numbers for the locals, and a code for the operator. If you email me the address of this old house, I may be able to dig something up for you. Let me know if you're interested.
Triskaideka (2 stories) (363 posts)
 
4 years ago (2014-01-29)
Wait, I thought it was three short rings? Three dots followed by a dash is V. Three dots with a space and a dash is ST.

Three quick rings was a signal to everyone to hurry to their phones, and a long ring was a signal to the operator to pick up. How long was the pause? Because I didn't want to say it last time but... The most common reason for three quick rings was to alert everyone that a building in town was on fire... And if this is the same town where that orphanage burned... 😨
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
+1
4 years ago (2014-01-28)
Triskaideka,
Thanks so much for reading, commenting AND telling me what the rings stood for. Figures it stood for number 13 😆! Fortunately for me 13 is a 'lucky' number.
Because of your suggestion of 'Morse code', I did some googling of my own and found an online 'translator' for Morse http://www.onlineconversion.com/morse_code.htm
I typed in the ring as best as I could recall it, substituting dot dot for the 2 short rings space for the pause and a dash for the long... And it came up as "IT" 😕 Freaky, huh? 😆
Triskaideka (2 stories) (363 posts)
 
4 years ago (2014-01-28)
Three short one long means house 13 in whatever number of houses were on that party line (old code and "new"). You may be able to find old phone directories from your area which would list the number. Then you could identify the family being called. 😊
Triskaideka (2 stories) (363 posts)
 
4 years ago (2014-01-28)
If this were a movie, that ring that other people heard on a crossed-wire call means that you're tied together in some way, either in the past or future.

I did some quick googling, and apparently the way those party lines worked was like morse code. Two short rings and a long might have been assigned to your house, whereas the next house may have responded to one short, a long, and a short. That weird rings was definitely tied to the box. Maybe the people whose conversation you joined resided in houses wherein the people often gabbed with those who resided in your house. So... Perhaps a ghost was hijacking the line in order to contact an old friend? Just a thought.
sds (14 stories) (1357 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-13)
Dear Val, perhaps living in America, you might not have had the experience of having heard what looked like a 'conference call'. In our country, even though it has reduced considerably now, we used to get such sorts of calls, where our calls get merged to some other persons'. We call it cross-talk. This can happen owing to technical reasons of wires getting looped to other wires. So I can understand what you heard over your phone when you encountered "cross-talk", may be from a payphone.

But what sounds weird is you and the telephone person both heard the "ring" from out of the blue. But it is quite strange as to how the ringing sound stopped as soon as the box was removed.

I enjoyed reading your experience. Nice narration.

Regards and respects to you.

SDS
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-12)
Excellent story! This raises all kinds of questions and gives me the chills.
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-11)
Hi Marine,
I just have to wonder, is there anything significant about 2 AM for your Dad or family? Like someone close to a member of the household passing?
Marine (6 stories) (42 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-10)
Hi valkricry - really interesting story. We had a similar experience at my dad's place. Already hard of hearing, dad decided to install a doorbell so he'd know If someone was the the front door. The funny thing was that it would chime every morning at exactly 2am and no one would be at the front when you check. Dad got fed up with it that he decided to cut the line. It would still sound at exactly 2am even after the line was disconnected. It only stopped after I completely dismantled the buzzer.

I always love your stories. Thanks for sharing
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-10)
LOL, Spockie, I didn't even know what the box was for until the repairman told me! I do wonder though, if I had been able to do that - would I have been able to answer the call?
Spockie (7 stories) (157 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-10)
Heck! I would have tried to wire an old phone into the jack and see if I could get that call!
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-10)
Hi kristine021,
There's this gizmo people can use to make their number appear anyway they want on a caller ID. A lot of scammers use the 000-000-0000. But it is freaky that you heard someone in your house! What did you do then? Call the cops? Investigate on your own?
kristine021 (1 stories) (1 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-09)
Wow. This reminds of a day I was home alne and got three odd calls in a row from a number 000-000-0000. I know prank calls and all that, but as soon as it rang the second time, I heard someone in the house... And there was no breathing or hanging up on the other line...
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-09)
Thanks,babygoatpuller. I'm glad that you like my experiances. I must say, that even though I have had a few let's say unpleasant encounters, the positive far exceeds them. I'm just glad that neither is a 'daily' experience for me.
Wishful, the phone guy's face was priceless! 😆I sometimes wonder what he did with the box. Keep it as a souvenier? Toss it? If it still rang even after removed? Questions with answers I'll never know.
Hi ryan, thanks for reading. I hope my other stories find favor as well.
rynne (51 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-09)
Hello Val-
Found your 'Pacer and pants' experience more interesting! That is something. Onto reading your other stories.
WishfulNull (151 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Loved this one! Definitely gave me chills... I wonder if you had never let the people on the line know you heard them, if you would have heard a name or a piece of conversation that would give a hint of who was talking... Or what year it was (or a juicy piece of gossip, haha)? 😲 How awesome that the phone repair tech guy has a paranormal story now, too! Thanks for sharing this Val... This is one that I wish I could have witnessed... (If nothing else, then to see the phone guy's face!) 😆
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (358 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
i love your stories val! Other than that creepy "posession" one, (I think our fathers were brothers of other mothers), they're so upbeat and great reads.
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Fergie, how weird was that!? Having your own number call you with a stranger on the other end, is just bizzare!
Casper, well since I couldn't answer we'll never know whether residual or intelligent, I guess. I'm not even sure it qualifies as a 'haunting', but it sure was one of those 'what the heck' experiences.
Argette, mmmmm... I wonder if that portal would run ghost to ghost or only locally? 😆 Interesting theory though.
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Hi Talon,
From what I understand - if I understood, was there are times that the lines inside the transformer can become 'crossed' when something re-loops the connection. Like a squirrel or something getting fried up in there. (All together now - 'oooooooooooooooo, disgusting!') I guess it creates a new circuit of sorts and 'crosses' the wires. I wouldn't have thought much about it, except for the non-existant phone ringing. Besides it gave me a good excuse to call the phone company in.
My luck, if I had been able to answer that phone it would have been a phone solicitor wanting me to switch phone carriers, or selling grave lots! Lol
TalonWalt (3 stories) (69 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Recently my moms phone rang, and she answered it. A man was on the phone. She asked him what he wanted and he said, "You called me, I didn't call you." She told him the same thing. Then a 3rd voice said, "I didn't call either of you. My phone rang and I answered it." So I guess it's not uncommon for phone lines to act as party-lines. However, I wonder who you would have talked to if you could have plugged a phone in that old jack.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3312 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Perhaps: No, I'm sure you weren't being haunted 😆. But in this account, the line where the ring originated was inoperable sooooo...
Perhaps (2 stories) (5 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
I was raised on a farm... And we only had the landline back then.
It wasn't uncommon for us to pick up the phone and hear the party line... And it also wasn't uncommon for our phone to give off a faint ring which wasn't intended for us. It had something to do with the party line. Every time we heard the faint ring which wasn't the normal loud ring, we would pick up the receiver and hear another conversation happening.
Techonology wasn't what it is today... And I definitely don't think we were being haunted. I just call it "the 90's".
Fergie (36 stories) (1094 posts)
+1
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
OMW Val, did you have a link to another time, or the 'other' side? I am talking about the strange ringing. What a stroke of luck that the 'phone' would ring for the repair man. Crazy stuff!

Yes, I too remember when 3 or 4 people could be on the line, at the same time... Most annoying!

I think the scariest call I ever got, was shortly after I was given my first cell-phone. At that stage, I could never remember my own number - so, I entered it into my phone, as "My Phone". Late one night, my phone rang. Anticipating something 'nasty', because of the late hour, I looked at the caller ID before I answered. It read "My Phone"! In shock, I timidly said "Hello", a strange male voice answered, speaking in a language I could not understand. I hurriedly switched the phone off. This happened on two other occasions... I still wonder who the heck it was.
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
SerSpud,
After my initial 'hello?' and their "Who the heck is that?' to each other, the conversation, which was very short consisted of us trying to sort out why my phone was acting like a party line, when it was a private line. I don't recall what they were talking about when I picked up on my end.
valkricry (39 stories) (2731 posts) mod
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Granny! You were an eavesdropper? LOL
I do know that house had at least one ghostie upstairs. I became pregnant while living there, and had bought 2 pairs of maternity pants. Being short, I needed to hem them and I had them lying on a chest at the foot of the bed. They disappeared. We (then husband and I) looked everywhere for them. One night the Pacer as I called it would not let me sleep. I could hear its constant pacing across the bedroom floor by the vanity. From the door to the far wall and back, light foot steps (those of a woman I believe), over and over. I was tired and a bit out of sorts. I sat up and whispered into the dark, "Look, I need to sleep. If you need something to do- see if you can find my dang pants!" With that I laid back down and slept. The next day the pants were laid out across the top of the chest in plain veiw - and the kicker? Someone had hemmed them!
SerSpuddTheDemonKnight (1 stories) (8 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
I really like this one, although, you mentio. You could hear them talk, and they seemed to hear you. Also, that they confirmed one was on a payphone. Do you recall anything that may have been said? That, to me, would make for some interesting reading.
SpookyCasper (8 posts)
 
4 years ago (2013-05-08)
Hey Valkricry,

Interesting Story! Makes me wonder if some ghost was trying to call you or someone else. (But Personally
I think it's a residual haunting but i'm not too sure.) Or like Argette Said a portal from one dimension to another.

Thanks For Sharing 😁

Casper.

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