November 25, 2022

Let The Phone Ring – a spooky true story


The house was ideal – sure it needed a good clean – but it was in good shape, with the right number of bedrooms for the three of us, and the back yard was perfect for the dogs. It was even the right price, and just a week after going to see it, Valerie and I were happy to pay over the rent and bond and move right in.

When the phone rang, we thought nothing of it – and we didn’t bother to answer it either. ‘Don’t worry about it,’ I said. ‘I guess the people who moved out haven’t had their number disconnected yet.’
We didn’t worry about it, even when it rang again a couple days later – and the day after that. I don’t quite know why we never picked up the phone and spoke to whoever was calling more days than not. I guess we just thought that eventually they’d give up, or the people who’d lived there before us would finally change their number over to their new place. Neither Valerie, myself, or my daughter liked answering the phone very much, and we really thought that the last residents simply hadn’t told all of their friends they’d moved yet.

But the phone kept ringing. Not every day now, but every couple or few days. In fact, it got to be a bit of a joke between the three of us, me, Valerie, and my teenaged daughter.

‘Oh, our ghost is calling again!’ one of us would say, and we’d all laugh.

We were living in a farmhouse, built in the 1950’s, so when the phone rang, it wasn’t the actual phone we were hearing, but a great big old telephone bell that would go off in the back hallway, so that wherever you were in the house, you could hear it. Or if you were outside in the garden or near paddocks too, I guess. Anyway, we’d seen them in other houses from the same time, and now apparently we were lucky enough to have one too.

Not that we needed it, since all three of us had our cell phones, and only used those. We didn’t bother with a landline – that just seemed like a waste of money.

 A month later, and the phone was still ringing. We’d stopped making jokes about it though, since it now just seemed pretty weird. Whenever we talked about answering it, we gave each other uneasy looks. None of us were really certain anymore that it was someone trying to call the previous tenants. Surely they had changed their number by now?

Eventually, walking past the landline phone one day, I simply pulled the cord out so that it wasn’t connected anymore and stuck the old push button phone in a cupboard. I thought that would probably solve the problem.

It didn’t, but the big old telephone bell rang less often, until a few weeks had gone by, and I said to Valerie one day, ‘When was the last time the phone rang?’
She shrugged. ‘I don’t know, but I’m glad it’s stopped.’ We all were.

It was much later when I went to find Valerie one day, my face pale.

‘What’s wrong?’ Valerie asked.

I just shook my head. ‘Come with me,’ I said. ‘You’ve got to see this.’

Valerie followed me to the back hallway where I’d been changing a fuse. I shone my torch on the electrical board, spotlighting the fuse that went under the label ‘bell’.

‘It’s empty,’ I said. ‘That old telephone bell isn’t even connected.’

Valerie stared at me. We both knew what this meant.

There was no way we should ever have heard that bell ring, and yet all three of us had, regularly.

For a long time after that, whenever I walked past that old farmhouse bell in the back hallway, I paused, wondering if it would ever ring again, but it never did.

Afterword: When Valerie and I moved into that house, we’d only living together for a few months, and it had been a pretty intense time. Coming together had awakened a lot of past life memories, and we were doing a lot of healing work. We were in touch with energies and our guides in deeper ways than either of us had been for some time. I think now, and Valerie agrees with me, that this is why the phone kept ringing. Nothing to do with the house’s previous occupants, but everything to do with us. We were stirring things up.
A lot of other things happened while we were in that house. Strange scents, whisperings, doors opening and closing. Birds appearing in closed rooms. Things that I might tell you about some other time. We moved out after a couple of years and some of these things still happen to us. Not telephone bells now, because we don’t have any, but smoke detectors. The spare one at the back of the closet under the pile of winter blankets.

When that one goes off, we look at each other and nod. One of us will call out.

‘We hear you! We’re paying attention.’

Katherine Genet is the author of the Wilde Grove mythic/visionary fiction series, as well as complementary non-fiction. She has been walking a pagan path for 30 years and is a shamanic Druid, spirit worker, and priestess of  Elen of the Ways.

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1 Comment

  1. suebee497

    Stepping into the Grove is a welcoming step, as it feels like steeping into liquid peace. The weaving of your stories upon the breathe of your travels opens hearts. I feel like a wayfarer coming home.
    Home is Burdock’s wisdom and frolicking nature which reminds me to be generous with the wagging of my tail. Home is Erin folding into Stephen’s embrace, their swirling green blue energy. Home is Ash Cottage garden. Home continues to call
    me through each book. This reader finds soul stirrings within each series. This reader delights that you flow in your sharing. World Upon World Upon World
    We are not alone.


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