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?