Today actually being Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share a good old fashioned ghost story which today’s guest author assures me is based on actual events that happened to her.
I met Leslie A. Borghini aka "The Angel of Horror" by way of a referral from mutual friend (and CRF guest) C.K. Webb. In addition to the post you’re about to read, Leslie has also agreed to be a guest on my show to discuss her novel “Angel Heat”. Be on the lookout for that interview a little later this winter.
Leslie, the floor is yours…
A Grave Call:
I see dead people, they see me, and sometimes we talk. This is an account of one of those times. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the living and to respect those that have passed on.
July 23, 2012:
I had run some errands and stopped at the grocery store. When I arrived home, I was in a hurry to put the frozen food away. I noticed the phone message light was blinking, but I was sweating and wanted to take a shower. The message could wait. If it was important, they would have called my cell.
In the shower, something kept nagging me to listen to the message. It became so hard to dismiss that I got out of the shower and grabbed the phone. I hit the playback button. There was an eerie dead silence followed by a sound I could only compare to the noise I heard when I put a seashell up to my ear. I was cold, dripping wet, and kicking myself for bothering. Then the static started. Not a little static, but a thunderous static that forced me to jerk the phone from my ear. It softened slightly, and I heard an elderly male voice.
“Johnny, it’s me. I’m trying to leave, and I can’t get my ticket. Please call me back. I need my ticket. Thanks, I love you son.”
I thought I should call him and let him know he had dialed the wrong number. This poor old man was probably stuck at some airport and missed his flight, so I checked the caller ID and hit redial. After a few rings, an older woman answered.
“Hi, my name is Leslie. I just listened to my answering machine, and I think someone may have dialed my number by mistake. An elderly gentleman left a message. He’s trying to call his son. He can’t get his ticket. I just wanted to make sure the message gets to the right person.”
After a substantial pause the woman said, “How did you get this number?”
I explained, “I called the number on my caller ID.”
“You must have dialed the wrong number.” The woman sounded worried.
“I hit redial, but I apologize for bothering you. There must be a glitch with the phone. I was concerned for the old man. Thank you, anyway. Goodbye.”
As I was about to hang up, I heard her yell, “Wait, please!”
The woman’s voice sounded nervous. “What did the message say, exactly? Please, tell me.”
“Are you alright?” I thought I had somehow freaked out the old lady.
“I’m not sure. What did the man say? Please, it’s important.”
I related the message verbatim. I heard a clang as she dropped the phone. I yelled, “Are you alright, ma’am? Are you there? Lady, answer me!” Shit! Now I had caused this woman to have a heart attack. After a few seconds, I could hear her picking up the phone.
Crying, the woman said, “I’m sorry. This is such a shock to me.”
“Is he your husband, ma’am? Do you have a son named Johnny?”
“Please, call me Julie.”
“Okay, Julie, I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“No, you didn’t. Well, I guess you did, but that’s alright. It’s just that my husband has been dead for two weeks, and our son is named Johnny.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss. Please don’t think I’m a crackpot. I really did get the message on my answering machine.”
“No, dear, I believe you. Are you a psychic?”
I explained that I had certain gifts, but this was only the second time I had received a phone call from beyond the grave.
She found solace telling me about her wonderful marriage. We were on the phone for almost an hour because I didn’t have the heart to stop her. We exchanged goodbyes, and she asked me to please call her if her husband John called again.
“I will,” I agreed, not thinking it would happen.
July 25, 2012:
While I was preparing dinner, the phone rang. I answered it. There was silence followed by the sound of rushing air and then blaring static. I knew who it was.
“Hello, John, is that you?”
“I talked to Julie. She misses you.”
“You have to tell Johnny it wasn’t his fault. It’s not his time. He can’t come yet. Tell him I love him, and we will dig for treasure again, but not now.”
The line went dead. I looked at the caller ID. It was the same number as before. I hit redial.
I didn’t even let her speak when she picked up the phone. “Julie, your husband just called.”
“What? Leslie, is that you?”
“Yes, listen, he said you have to tell Johnny it wasn’t his fault. He said it’s not his time and that he loves him. They will dig for treasure again. Does this make sense to you?”
“Yes, it does. When Johnny was a young child, his father would take him on treasure hunts in the woods. Oh, my God, Leslie, it really is John! Two weeks ago, they had a huge fight, and Johnny stormed out of the house. That night, my husband died of a massive heart attack. Johnny blames himself. He has been very depressed and talked to his wife about suicide. She called me, hysterical. I got on the phone with him and tried to convince him that his dad had a bad heart, and it wasn’t his fault. But he kept insisting he killed his dad.”
“How is Johnny now?”
“His wife Mary and I had him hospitalized for seventy-two hours. They sent him home with a lot of anti-depressants. They said he was no longer a threat to himself, but he’s still very depressed. He took a leave of absence from his job and stays at home.”
“You must call him and tell him what his father said.”
“Leslie, I can’t thank you enough. I’ll call him right now. Can I call you after I get off the phone with Johnny?”
“Yes, of course.”
After a while, Julie called.
“Oh Leslie, he was so relieved that he didn’t kill his father, he cried like a baby. The part about digging for treasure was the key. He knew you were telling the truth. Only Johnny, his dad, and I knew about that. He never told Mary. He was so young when they did it, he’d forgotten all about it. I can’t thank you enough. You saved my son.”
“I didn’t do anything except relay a message. Your husband saved your son.”
We hung up with Julie shedding tears of joy.
July 25, 2012 (about 2 a.m.):
The phone rang.
My husband rolled over and said, “Who the hell is calling at this hour?”
I stumbled out of bed and answered the phone. “Hello.”
By the sound I heard on the other end, I knew it was John.
The line went dead. He had his ticket to leave. Rest in peace, John.