This Man Kept Calling His Loved Ones… Even Though He’d Been Dead For Hours
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 commuter train accident where a total of 25 people died and 135 were injured. But before anyone knew Peck 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.
Peck Was About To Move To California For His Fiancée
49-year-old Charles Peck worked for Delta Airlines. He was considering leaving his job in Salt Lake City International Airport for a job at Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to be closer to his fiancée, Andrea Katz, and had an interview there. Although the couple was ready to get married, the fact that they didn't live in the same state was an issue.
Then, the disaster occurred. Katz was on her way to pick him up from the train station when she heard the news of the accident on the radio. Peck had three children from a previous marriage, one of whom was on his afterlife phone call list.
- Video: YouTube
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 accident. According to one source, the final call from Peck's phone came at 3:28 AM, about one hour before his body was found.
- Photo: Chris Yarzab / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Peck Was Killed When A Commuter And Freight Train Collided In 2008
Charles Peck was a passenger on a Metrolink commuter train traveling through the San Fernando Valley in California on September 12, 2008. It collided head first with a Union Pacific freight train at 83 miles per hour when the conductor failed to stop at a red light. The impact was devastating, and of the 225 people aboard the Metrolink, at least 25 died and more than 100 were seriously injured. The engineer sitting at the front of the train was killed instantly as well. The freight train was carrying only three crew members, but it was demolished in the accident.
The disaster later became known as the Chatsworth train crash and is still considered the worst commuter train accident in the history of California.
The People On The Receiving End Of Peck's Calls Only Heard Static
At first, Peck's loved ones must have been excited when they saw his name pop up on their phone screens. As the calls continued, they had hope that he was still alive and trapped within the rubble of the crash. Unfortunately, they were unable to actually talk to him; all they heard when they answered his calls was static. However, Andrea Katz used the opportunity to communicate with her fiancé and to let him know she was with him, shouting messages of encouragement like: "Hang in there baby. We're gonna get you out. You're gonna be okay."
Other people who claim to have received phone calls from beyond also report hearing static or a voice that seemed very faint and far away.
- 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.
Unfortunately, they discovered his body and knew that he died on impact. Police never revealed if Peck's phone was found.
- 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.
According to anecdotal sources like forums and unsolved mysteries sites, 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.