With Halloween upon us, supernatural text messages are buzzing between handsets. It’s one of the easiest pranks in the book: use a third party service or buy a PAYG phone, send a friend (or enemy) an SMS purporting to be from beyond the grave, and listen with barely-concealed glee as they relate their terrifying experience.
But what if you received a text message from a relative who died years ago? And what if you had buried them with their phone because they were such a prolific texter?
Spooky, but that’s exactly what happened to a British family who lost their matriarch three years ago and decided to place her phone in the coffin as a way of commemorating her love of SMS. The family even sent periodic text messages to inform her of the latest family news. Then the unthinkable happened.
Three years after the funeral, the woman’s granddaughter sent one of her usual family updates. Her blood curdled when she immediately received a reply saying ‘I’m watching over you, you’ll get through this.’
The 22-year-old – who is not superstitious and doesn’t believe in paranormal events - sent a response demanding to know who was behind the text. An unidentified man eventually responded, apologizing for his text and saying he had been given the number a few weeks prior after signing up for a new contract. He said he had been receiving text messages from unknown phone numbers and, thinking they were pranks from friends, decided to turn hoaxer himself – not realizing the true identity of his victims.
The family learned granny’s number had been reallocated after she died. The original network – O2 – are attempting to retrieve the number from the new owner so the family can continue texting their dear departed without fear of reply.