One of the most high profile accounts of a call from the dead was made to none other than the best-selling author Dean Koontz, which he would later relate to author and biographer Katherine Ramsland. Koontz claimed that one day he received a call on his unlisted office phone and that when he had picked it up he could hear the voice of a woman, who sounded as if she were “far away.” Koontz explained that the woman spoke out with great urgency, giving the simple yet chilling statement of, “Please be careful.” When Koontz asked who it was, the voice did not acknowledge him, but rather repeated the same warning three more times, as the voice started to fade into the distance, after which the line fell silent leaving the author to sit there pondering what he had just heard. Eerily, he would claim that the voice had sounded exactly like that of his mother, who had passed away 20 years earlier, and he remarked, “It was such a strange call.”
Two days later, Koontz went to visit his father at a mental health facility, where he was being treated for unspecified “behavioral problems.” Allegedly, when Koontz entered the room, his father inexplicably lashed out at him with a small knife. The author was able to wrest the weapon away and claims that when he exited the room holding the knife he was confronted by armed police officers who ordered him to drop it. Koontz, who was still bewildered by the fact that his own father had just tried to kill him, tried to explain the situation but was warned that he was going to be shot if he didn’t comply. Finally, he did drop the knife and the situation was resolved, but not without sticking in his head forever. Koontz would later ponder whether the strange call he had received had been a warning from beyond the grave from his mother.
An even earlier account of ghostly phone calls comes from 1969 when a New Jersey rock musician named Karl Uphoff claimed he was called by his grandmother, with whom he had been close and who had died two days earlier. The elderly woman had been deaf but had still always called on the phone to him or his friends to ask if Karl was there, even though she couldn’t hear the response and much to the annoyance of his friends and bandmates. Karl claims that one night in 1969, he received a call while hanging out with some friends. On the other end of the line, he says he unmistakably heard the voice of his grandmother. When he asked how she was able to call when she was dead, the woman hung up. Over the next several days there would be numerous calls of this nature, and each time Karl asked her where she was or how she could call the line went dead. This went on for some time until the calls suddenly stopped.