Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dead Ringers

September 12th 2008 4:23pm. A Metrolink commuter train with 225 aboard slams into Union Pacific freight train on winding route in Chatsworth. It left 24 people dead and almost 150 injured.

On of those who died in that horrible accident was Charles Peck.

Medical examination of his body showed that he had died quickly after the collision, almost instantaneously.

But for hours after his death, his family received a total of 35 calls from his cell phone.

At 9:08PM nearly five hours after the crash, Peck’s fiancé Andrea Katz received one of those calls. But when she answered, all she heard was static. Despite hearing nothing from the other side she told him to hang on and that help was on the way.

Whenever they tried to call him back all the calls were routed to the voicemail.

When the rescue efforts stopped at the scene and the rescue workers turned to the grim task of recovery another call came from his phone and the search crews decided to trace it. They found it had come from the first train, so they went back to scour the rubble in hopes of finding him alive. The last phone call came from Charles Peck’s phone at 3:28AM, almost an hour before they found his lifeless body.

This story made national news when it happened and has now become very well known. A few weeks earlier I myself had a close shave with death and had been in the hospital for a week with Cardiology issues. While I was there a case management services person had visited me and offered help with getting my affairs in order in case the unexpected might happen. I don’t remember how we came to the topic of the paranormal but she eventually stayed a while and told me some amazing stories. She used to be a caregiver at a hospice and had experienced amazing things. There are extraordinary paranormal happenings that occur at the end of life of terminal patients.

Although the stress that had put me in the hospital to begin with was not pleasant, I knew God had brought me there for a reason.

This I am sure was one of them.

In the last few months of research that I have made in the area of the supernatural and the end of life I have been astonished, amazed and comforted. I am gathering these astonishing stories together in a book which I am tentatively calling, “Ushered through the Veil”. One of the most frequent phenomena that occurs at the end of life with terminal patients is the same occurrence that happened to the family and fiancé of Charles Peck.

Phone calls from the dead.

Sometimes like in the case of Peck, the family receives a phone call from the phone of the deceased. It could come from a cell or a landline in the deceased’s uninhabited home. Other times just before the terminally ill patient dies they receive a phone call from a long departed loved one. In many instances the numbers had even been disconnected. But they still appeared on caller id.

Every time the living picks up the phone all they hear on the other end is static. There have been instances of those who receive the calls recording them only to find voices in the recording that were not perceptible to the human ear at the time.

Here are two of the tales that I have received, one of each type.

Mark Prebost had lived a good long life and had outlives most of his family and friends. Tragically he had outlived many of his children as well in reaching the ripe old age of 93.

When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer he took it with a grain of salt. He would often say he lived longer than he would ever have thought, but still he would miss his family. He especially loved the parties.

The disease ravaged the elderly man and the pain was severe and constant. His elderly daughter and her children took care of him in his home, rotating the times they stayed with him until the cancer that had spread through his body finally took his life one cold October day. The daughter was relieved since her elderly father had gone through so much pain in the last few months, and even though she did not believe in an afterlife she comforted herself with the fact he was no longer suffering.

His funeral was sparse since he had few friends and relatives left alive. And after the funeral those who did attend went to the daughter’s house for a memorial service and dinner. As the night wore on they kept getting phone calls with dead air. Finally the daughter noticed the caller ID. The calls were coming from her father’s house. There was no one there, she had the keys. They received a few more calls during the evening and she let the answering machine pick them up.

The next day out of curiosity she reviewed the final two phone calls that the machine had recorded. She heard on the tape the faint voice of her father saying, “It’s ok Margie, I’m ok” and “Your Momma is with me, all is good”

Like so many EVPs the speech is faint and hard to hear. But Marge was sure of what she heard. Her father was saying goodbye and letting her know that he still existed in some form. A form that was safe, happy and with the wife that he had loved and lost so many years ago.

It did not look good for Lisa. The teenager had gone through years of treatment but the anguish of the chemotherapy seemed to be all for naught. The leukemia had finally overwhelmed her body and she was in the last days of her short young life.

Her father sat in vigil beside her, holding her hand and wiping her brow as she sweat while the final battle raged within her fragile body.

Her mother had passed a few years earlier in a horrific car crash. In those last days her father sat by powerless as Lisa cried out for her mother. He tried to comfort her but it seemed that his presence, even though ever caring, was not enough.

As the father sat with her on her last night with a nurse by her side the phone rang. He left Lisa a lone with the nurse for a few moments to answer it, but on the other side there was a large amount of static. He thought for a second that through the static he had heard a woman’s voice say something but it was indiscernible. After he turned the phone off he checked the caller ID to see who it was that had called.

The answer stopped him in his tracks.

The phone number was that of his house five years ago. The number had long been disconnected, right after the death of his wife. He tried to call back but got the familiar robotic woman’s voice advising him that the number was indeed no longer in service.

Immediately he was called back into the room by the nurse. His daughter was passing. She died within a few minutes of the mysterious phone call.

A phone call that he still believes was made by his long deceased wife. And upon reflection he is sure the faint words he had heard through the static had said, “She will be safe with me”.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope

Vote for me to be a take part in the new paranormal show from the Discovery Network, click the link below and vote! You can vote every day!


Sly said...

As usual, I love your writing Pastor Swope. This particular story reaches my heart and moves me deeply.

I hope you are doing well too. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Your stories are the best.Lets send some healing energy your way! Take care Pastor Swope.

Barry said...

I can't recall anything like this happening after the passing of any of our family members. But now I'm interested enough to ask around.

By the way, where do you find your remarkable photos. Do you take them. Are they commissioned by you? Or does it involve a heck of a lot of searching?

Aaron said...

Wow.. I read that and am left speechless. Thank you...

Anonymous said...

Makes one wonder what Thomas Edison was onto and might have achieved in his attempt to buid a device to speak to those in the afterlife.


Louann said...

Pastor Swope, I love the beautiful stories you have written here. It gives us all hope for the afterlife. After going through 10 years of hell in a extremely haunted home, it's good to hear of positive hauntings. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened to me when my parents died. The phone kept ringing and there was nothing but dead air - an open line - like long distance and no voice. That was before caller ID.

It also happened to a friend of mine when her son died. Caller ID showed his name and phone number.

Thanks for the affirmative stories.

Anonymous said...

The Bible is very clear about what happens when a person dies.

"The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." "There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Bible say not to talk to the dead though? Perhaps demons are calling to give you false hope that "all is ok" in the afterlife to sway you from a rightful path with God.

Susan said...

Before my mother passed she couldn't talk so while she was in the hospital we had asignal to say ,I've been thinking of you and I love you' we would let the phone ring 3 times then hang up,After she passed on the morning of her viewing my sister,sisternlaw and myself all recieved a call. No one was on the line and the caller ID said 'out of area' w/000-000-0000 as the number,we all like to believe that was her saying goodbye and she loved us, It makes us feel better anyway. So thank you for the stories and I am looking forward to the book, Susan

Anonymous said...

Just after my beloved grandmother died over 25 yrs ago, my sister & I were talking on the phone. We both heard her voice cut in on the conversation, calling our names. Unfortunately, we were too shocked to answer. Shortly after that, I had a vivid dream where she visited me, young & beautiful again, telling me not to grieve & that she was just fine.

robert said...

Pastor Swope,
The stories touched my heart God Bless you Pastor Swope.

Anonymous said...

This happened almost 32 years ago, way before it was "acceptable" to discuss such matters for fear of being perceived as crazy. I received a phone call from my deceased father 6 months after he died. As you said, static was all that appeared on the line and becomming frustrated and anticipating a crank phone caller on the other end of the line, I hung up the phone--- 3 times--- before I finally heard my father's voice say..."Lisa, I love you. I love you very much." I swear that this occurred . I believe it was because my father needed to communicate his love to me in order for me to let him go. In essence, for him evolve spiritually and for him to not be held back by my grief.

Anonymous said...

Great blog...!!!

I'm a sound-designer/artist and have been on the hunt for 'good' EVP's and VALIS's type phone call recordings. Do happen to know of a resource or someone who may have more telephone call recordings for those that have passed on? If so it would be a great help in my current creative endeavor. If you have any tips, info, or insight please email me at

Thanks a ton...


Anonymous said...

A good friend I've known since grade school shared with me that a few days after her father died their home phone rang and she answered. She heard static, but she also clearly heard the voice of her deceased father. She told me that she heard him address her by name, and then say, "I don't know where I am..." and then the line hung up.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to my mother when her father (my grandfather) passed away. It was a week after his death, and two days after his funeral when the phone rang. Mom answered it and immediately became hysterical, screaming "Daddy, daddy!"

She said that when she answered the phone she heard her father on the other end saying "Peggy? Peggy? I can't hear you. Peggy?"

She is still absolutely convinced that it was her dad who called her...a week after his death.

cryptidsrus said...

Another great set of stoies, Swope. For some reason the theme to "Ghost" kept running through my head after reading this. Sentimental, but correct in this context. :) Hope your ticker is OK.

Anonymous said...

I had something similar happen and have been wondering if this could have been my dad.
Back in September my dad was in the final stages of Alzheimer's and in a nursing home. One Friday afternoon I received a call on my cell phone from my brother, who was in the parking lot of the nursing home. He said my mom was with my dad in his room. While we were speaking my phone beeped and I told my brother I had another call and would call him back. When I answered the call there was no one there and the call was coming from my parents home. There was no one home at the time. I checked my mom's phone bill and there was a call from their house to my cell phone. My dad passed away a few days later and I've been wondering if this was him saying goodbye. After reading this blog I'm thinking that it was. I'm so grateful I found this site.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Swope,

Something similar happened to my family after the passing of my great-grandfather. After his death, for about one week, our phone would ring at the exact same time every night. It was always around 1:00 in the morning, and it would never ring long enough for anyone to wake up and catch it.
Of course, we never traced the call, and there very well could be a rational reason for this, but it comforted me to think perhaps it could be my great-grandfather.

Thank you for your stories!

Daniel said...

Wow. Goosebumps.

I wish you all the best in regard to your medical issues.


Anonymous said...

Yes- this happened to me after my Dad passed. We used to call each other at 6PM alternating Fridays. The first Fr. I was home after his funeral, we were sitting having supper and at 6PM the phone rang.
I looked at the clock and thought it might be him. The phone sounded hollow and far away. I was so sorry I didn't say "Dad is that you??" I know it was him. I had another visitation from him in a dream.

I think you have to be open to these things. A very good friend died and I dreamt I went to his funeral and as I was leaving, he came down a set of stairs in a beautiful royal blue jacket and I said "Bob, you're dead" and He looked at me and said"Not really" and floated away.

It is very reassuring to have these visits.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are well and will keep writing for a long time. I enjoy reading what you write.

Anonymous said...

The day after my stepfather was buried, my mother and I were awakened by an early morning call. I answered it, and heardDoll? Doll? Take care of your mother, Doll', and then static.

My stepfather called me Doll.

Pastor Swope said...

Dear Anonymous from,

You do know that Ecclesiastes is a poem right?

It does contain scriptural wisdom. If you take Scripture you have taken out of context to its logical degree then there is no Resurrection. Just like the Sadducees did in the time of Christ.

Pastor Swope said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for the comment:

"Doesn't the Bible say not to talk to the dead though? Perhaps demons are calling to give you false hope that "all is ok" in the afterlife to sway you from a rightful path with God."

The phenomena I am reporting here is neither Mediumship nor Necromancy. I have many reports of 'Born Again' Christians who are 'Filled with the Spirit' experiencing the same thing. There is no false theology being espoused, in fact many of the dead who have called back were people of faith who lived simple and Holy Christ like lives.

It is a phenomena, just that. What is a Christian suppose to make of it?

Read Hebrews 12:1 in context.

If you do not understand what I am taking about in reference to your comment seek out a Biblical Theologian or a good Bible Study Guide.

Pastor Swope said...

Thank you all the Anonymous Commenters who have similar experiences as I reported here. I would love to hear more in depth about your experiences and would love to include them in my book. Please feel free to write me at or just click the Paranormal Narthex link and shout me out an e-mail with your experience. Anonymity is guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing/sad that no one can see a rational explanation for these stories. Since they believe in an afterlife they jump to "it must be my loved one calling from beyond." It is interesting to note there have been no reports of calls from "souls" who have gone to "hell." Only stories from believers...

George said...

On the night after my father died in 1992 my sister, who had very little interest in the paranormal, received a call that was nothing but static. She nervously said. "maybe it was daddy calling". I didn't want to scare her by telling her she was probably right.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment anonymous,

I find it amazing/sad that someone can take a phenomena that can inspire hope and make it a dismal experience of self conceived and closed minded pessimism.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I am so relieved to read this! My son just sent this to me to read hoping it would help me verify what happened.
My Mother and I had a very close relationship. I was with her when she died from pneumonia at the age of 86. As I was leaving the hospital my cell phone rang. I didn't check it right away because I was crying so hard. Later that day I checked my phone and the call had come from my Mothers house. That phone had been disconnected for 3 months as she had been living in a nursing home! I called the number and of course got the recording that this number was no longer in service. Eleven days later I got another call when I was not at home, and again it was from my Mothers old phone number, but this time it was on her actual BIRTHDAY! Well, at first I was shaking and crying but then came to realize that this was a blessing and that Mom was just letting me know she was Ok.

Anonymous said...

This very thing happened to someone in my family.

George Bailey said...

Really love your blog, Pastor Swope! I hope you can get that book published. in fact, a book with all of the articles from your blog would be great too.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pastor Swope,

I just wanted to say that I absolutely love reading your stories & I hope you get better soon. Take Care!

Anonymous said...

I was in Hawaii when my phone rang, and it was my deceased mother. My mother died in our native Virginia. All I heard was her calling my name "Patsy". No one but my parents ever called me that,and I recognized her voice and her Virginia accent. After that, there was nothing but static. I later found out that at this exact time, my ex husband was molesting my daughter. My mother was trying to warn me.

Robert said...

Another great post.. I always look forward to reading what you come up with next.. always great stories!

Milan said...

My love died of breast cancer, on October 8. 2007, Monday. Next Friday, I was at my place, devastated and tired, after all the events that took place so suddenly. I felt drained from the funeral home, sense of things not happening, dealing with 200 people, mourning for her... I fell into deep sleep.

When I woke up Saturday morning around 7am, I noticed a phone call that came from her place. Her daughters live there so I thought they called - except the call came at 2am. I frantically called back, thinking that they were in a crisis and that I am now 5 hours too late - when they told me that they never called. The younger one did have the phone with her when she fell asleep.

Until reading this, I always assumed that she maybe shifted in sleep (and to stretch the truth, maybe my number was on redial) and somehow the call was made.

Now after reading this article, I would have given quite a bit to have been able to answer that call.

Brenda said...

When my teenage son died in a car crash in the middle of the night in 1989, our phone started ringing (this was before cell phones of course). My oldest son lived in another town, and my third son was out of state visiting friends. One by one family members at the house answered the phone to nothing but silence. When my 2 out of town sons arrived, the phone rang twice more, and after each son answered the phone to silence, the calls stopped. There was no doubt in any of our minds that my deceased son was making contact one last time with his brothers, me and his father. Bittersweet!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Swope said...

Dear Anonymous,

I would thank you for the comment, but you did not leave one you just left this link:
which leads to a clinical study on grief hallucinations. That you could not phrase a comment of your opinion but instead try to promote a produce that from your intent seems to dismiss so many people's experiences as hallucinations does not give credence to your views.

In fact it shows callous and deceptive ulterior motives from my perspective.

Anonymous said...

That you could not phrase a comment of your opinion but instead try to promote a produce that from your intent seems to dismiss so many people's experiences as hallucinations does not give credence to your views.

In fact it shows callous and deceptive ulterior motives from my perspective.

So let's see. There have been stuides that PROVE people in grief hallucinate. Well that must prove that these stories ARE actually the dead reaching out from six feet under. Why would it dismiss so many people's experiences? Perhaps it IS because their "experiences" aren't real.

And I find a pastor calling a hard science deceptive ironic. And typical. And calling a point of view opposite yours deceptive and did you put it? Ah yes, "closed minded pessimism."

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for finally making a comment Anonymous,

It just proves my perceptions are right. Am I dismissing the possibility of Grief Hallucinations? No.

I have had enough time around death and dying to know that it can and does exist. However in my reading and personal experiences such hallucinations are more conclusively so as they are products of desires mixed with overstretched emotions.

I also know there are things that cannot be explained.You do a disservice to these people by calling something a 'hallucination' and dismissing the supernatural.

You dismiss those who have had genuine experiences and you dehumanize them.

And yet you have no firsthand experience yourself.

I call that arrogant ignorance, you obviously think you are the sum of all wisdom.

Who then has the closed mind?

I would have to say you do,and its not a personal attack. Just an observation of the statements that you have made.

Anonymous said...

You dismiss those who have had genuine experiences and you dehumanize them.

And yet you have no firsthand experience yourself.

It has been proven that people under stress and grief hallucinate. How can you possibly know what is and what is not a hallucination? The person experiencing it believes the hallucination to be true. There is no convincing them otherwise, which is part of the reason why their stories seem so believable. The same application can be used to pass a lie detector test.

I'm not dehumanizing anyone. Their experiences are nothing more than "wishful thinking" caused by their brain.

And you would be correct. I have no firsthand experience. Is it because all those close to me who have died have no wish to let me know they are ok? That would have to be the case for anyone who believes it's possible for the dead to talk to the living.

Or, it could be the same reason why I have had no dreams of dead relatives in heaven or hell, or in an afterlife period. I don't believe in it; therefore, my brain doesn't process anything related to it.

I think many people here underestimate the power the brain has over the body.

wabbity1 said...


After reading your latest broadside, I felt prodded to comment.

It's quite a mental contortion to claim that hallicinations include phone call logs, and calls from an empty house. There's nothing wrong with giving a few anecdotes; this is not a research journal. Sure, some could be hallucinations- so what?

"I'm not dehumanizing anyone. Their experiences are nothing more than "wishful thinking" caused by their brain."

I wonder if you'll agree, Anon, that *summarily* dismissing the entire topic (spirit messages, and by extension spirituality itself) as pure wishful thinking, immediately after disclaiming any intent to 'dehumanize anyone', is err... a bit ironic?

You'll no doubt cry 'foul' and say that you're simply trying to stamp out human delusion, etc. But the whole point is that the debunking mindset you seem to represent has done extreme damage (not only in this area) over a period of many, many years by *summarily* dismissing all the [mountains of] accumulating evidence as hogwash. Try doing some homework for a change, and try informed, as opposed to uninformed, criticism.


Pastor Swope said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for you comment. However it is evident that this phenomena is not just hallucinations. The log of caller ids from those who have passed and the fact that they have called from disconnected numbers speaks volumes in and of itself. Also there are 3rd party witnesses who have observed the phenomena who are not in the midst of grief. In fact the story that introduces this article is a news story with documented fact.

So it leads me to think you have other issues to deal with than a mere article on a phenomena. Perhaps you should deal with that, be it the death of a loved one or whatever it is. I too lost my parents to terminal illness and did not receive such a phone call. Just because I personally did not observe this specific phenomena does not mean I do not give credence to those who have.

I hold the same position with ALL my articles in this blog. No matter how fantastic they may seem, and whether I have witnessed the phenomena first hand. I have lived long enough to learn not to discount what I cannot explain.

Yusuf said...

A wonderful story of hope and awe.
In the Islamic tradition the recently deceased will sometimes visit the remaining family and friends in dreams. The phone calls seem to be a new 21st century technological transmutation of this very thing. I think we will see more of in the future, as more and more of the departed are familiar with the technology.
It is also good to hear that you are in better health. I would miss your insight, wit and knowledge.

Peace be unto you.

C. Deff. said...

With all due respect, I don't see why the dead would waste time doing such a thing: "calling" people via 000-000-0000

C. Deff. said...

the 000-000-0000 thing may be the people who don't know what they're doing with Skype, either. You know, that phone service gone digital?

Either or - interesting reads, though.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comment Yusuf,

Not only have you made my day, you have made my week a lot brighter!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Swope, if you do compile this material into a book, I hope you can provide these call logs.

Here's why:

Such a thing has never happened to me. Such a thing has never happened to anyone I know. All my knowledge of paranormal activity is "I read about it on the 'net," or "a friend of a friend." It's all classic urban myth stuff.

I'm inclined to believe the other Anonymous; these are grief hallucinations of those who believe that such a thing could happen. Such a hypothesis would predict that atheists and believers who believe that spirits cannot speak to the living (i.e. when they appear to, they are demons) would not have these experiences.

In my own life, one of those two categories comprises everyone I know. I am the former, raised (very strictly) as the latter. At no point in my life has the idea of the dead talking been considered a possibility. As a result, I suspect that none of this could happen to me.

Finally, with all due respect, and this is absolutely my upbringing talking here, although I like your writing and enjoy the fun of your articles, I think your reading of the Bible is very different from most Christians if you allow for ghosts and mossmen who want to get back to their original grave sites, etc.

Just sayin'.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the Comments Anonymous,

Although many Christians don't frequently speak of these in church, and neither do their pastors you would be absolutely shocked at the large numbers who will speak of such personal experiences when a happening should bring the subject up.

Evangelical Conservatives, Pentecostals, Catholics and the like. Well, I have yet to have a Liberal Theologian give me a good tale, that's usually because they have no belief in the supernatural.

Such stories as you see here have been in the lore of the church since its inception. The 18th century neo-puritan American revivalists of the likes of Charles Finney tried to put Christian faith in a legalistic black and white box.

I like grey.

It is makes me look thinner.

Anonymous said...

I took care of my terminally ill wife as she lay in bed dying of ovarian cancer.

Her last days were strange. She spoke of dead relatives telling her things and then would/could not explain.

She was religious and I am athiest, but she always said that she would give me a sign. I told her to instead give me the lotto number - as a joke.

One hour before she died her telephone woke me. I woke her sister downstairs who came up and I told her about it. She said "it's a sign!" I said, "Nonsense, if it's a sign, give another." Just then, her phone alarm went off.

Within one hour my wife died as I held her hand. When she took her last breath, I felt a strange tap or electric shock in my arm.

I am still atheist with regard to organized religion, but do believe that there are things we do not understand.

Anonymous said...

I took care of my terminally ill wife as she lay in bed dying of ovarian cancer.

Her last days were strange. She spoke of dead relatives telling her things and then would/could not explain.

She was religious and I am athiest, but she always said that she would give me a sign. I told her to instead give me the lotto number - as a joke.

One hour before she died her telephone woke me. I woke her sister downstairs who came up and I told her about it. She said "it's a sign!" I said, "Nonsense, if it's a sign, give another." Just then, her phone alarm went off.

Within one hour my wife died as I held her hand. When she took her last breath, I felt a strange tap or electric shock in my arm.

I am still atheist with regard to organized religion, but do believe that there are things we do not understand.