Graveyard Shift This Man Kept Calling His Loved Ones… Even Though He’d Been Dead For Hours  

Erin McCann
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Mysterious phone calls from the dead make for excellent horror movie plots, but this eerie phenomenon also happens in real life. Many stories of unexplained phone calls show that they're not just the result of grief-stricken imaginings. Although people try to explain these odd occurrences by blaming malfunctioning cell phone technology, reports of phantom phone calls go back to at least 1967.

Charles E. Peck's Metrolink death is one of the most prominent and creepy stories about phone calls from dead people since author Dean Koontz's deceased mother phoned to give him a warning. Peck was killed instantly in a horrible 2008 Metrolink commercial train accident, but before anyone knew he was dead, his family members received 35 calls from his phone for several hours following the disaster. Whether it was due to phone damage or the train rider reaching out from beyond, we may never know, but it's nice to believe that even those who have passed are only a phone call away.

Coroners Confirmed Peck Died U... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list This Man Kept Calling His Loved Ones… Even Though He’d Been Dead For Hours
Photo: Craig Wiggenhorn/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Coroners Confirmed Peck Died Upon Impact And Wasn't Alive To Make The Phone Calls


Although rescue teams were excited because the phone calls might mean Charles Peck was still alive, that wasn't the case. They discovered Peck's body an hour after the last phone call was placed. Peck's fiancee Andrea Katz recalled, "[Rescuers] were so excited. They had this incredible adrenaline rush at thought that they could possibly find another survivor... We gave [them] a description, and they spent the next couple of hours looking for him. They did end up finding him, and they said that he died immediately on impact and there was no way he could have been calling us." The coroner was unable to find signs that Peck had survived for any amount of time after the crash, confirming the calls were not made while he was still alive.

Members Of Charles Peck's ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list This Man Kept Calling His Loved Ones… Even Though He’d Been Dead For Hours
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Members Of Charles Peck's Family, Including His Fiancée, Received 35 Total Calls


Andrea Katz heard about the crash on the radio as she was driving to pick up Peck from the train station and was relieved when she received a call from his phone. Other friends and family members of Katz were in the same position. After the crash, Peck's phone placed calls to his son, sister, brother, and stepmother. In all, about 35 calls were made during the 11 hours that followed the deadly accident. The final call from Peck's phone came at 3:28 am, about one hour before his body was found.

The People On The Receiving En... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list This Man Kept Calling His Loved Ones… Even Though He’d Been Dead For Hours
Photo: Sifter/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0

The People On The Receiving End Of Peck's Calls Only Heard Static


At first, Peck's loved ones were excited when they saw his name pop up on their phone screens. As the calls continued, they had hope that he was still alive. Unfortunately, they were unable to actually talk to him; all they heard when they answered his calls was static. When they tried calling him back, Peck's phone went straight to voicemail. Andrea Katz used the opportunity to communicate with her fiancee and to let him know she was with him no matter what. "We were yelling in the phone, 'Hang in there baby. We're gonna get you out. You're gonna be okay,'" she remembers. Other people who claim to have received phone calls from the dead also report hearing static or a voice that seemed very faint and far away.

Rescue Workers Used Peck's... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list This Man Kept Calling His Loved Ones… Even Though He’d Been Dead For Hours
Photo: Chris Yarzab/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Rescue Workers Used Peck's Calls To Trace His Location


Before rescue workers discovered Charles Peck's body in the wreckage, they had no reason not to believe the calls placed to his family meant he was still alive. As it became clear they probably weren't going to find any survivors in the crash, their rescue efforts turned into a mission to recover bodies. But when yet another call came from Peck's phone, they decided to trace it to find his location. Rescuers returned to searching the first car hoping to find him alive and possibly trapped under some rubble. Unfortunately, they discovered his body and knew that he died on impact. Police never revealed if Peck's phone was found.