Growing Up Haunted, Part 3--The Telephone Man

Growing Up Haunted, Part 3--The Telephone Man

As I related earlier, the house was in a rather rural area. We did not have discreet phone service; everything was on the party line. For those who have never experienced the joy of the party line, it was like you see in the old movies. You'd pick up the phone, and if there was no dial tone you could listen to someone Else's conversations. Privacy? What's that?

However, it was possible to get a unique line dedicated only to you. The problem was waiting while the phone company jerked you around until they finally came out to deal with the problem.

My Mom wanted the phone changed pronto. The house had two built-in telephone desks, one upstairs and one don. But there was also a third phone on the property, and that made things interesting.

Behind the house was a large 4 car garage, a separate building that had its own bathroom. The builder had lived in it while working on the main house. While its walls weren't as massive as those of the house, they were still built of two courses of concrete block, interlaced with cement, re bar, and lead bars.

Why lead? To ward off radiation, naturally. The main house also had several layers of block, metal & concrete; we joked that, on the day they dropped the Big One, we wanted to be home.

Outside the building was an antique gas pump, hooked up to an actual underground gas tank. We never used it, but the old man who lived there before us did. It seemed the house had acted as something of a 'service station' to some of the older farms in the area. Whoever built it also installed a phone. It had a lock on it so nobody could call from it.

Soon after the incident with me in my room, the phones started ringing all hours of the day & night. A lot of the times these were for the party line, but not all. Some were for the old couple; a few were for us; and the rest--the rest is what concerns us today.

My Mom would answer the phone and hear heavy breathing, along with the occasional grunt. She was very worried, because my Dad the rocket scientist worked quite a ways away and I was at school for much of the day. She called the cops a few times, but of course by the time they got there no one was on the line.

She was getting increasingly unhappy, so my Dad & I took turns calling the phone company. Finally, one bright day, the telephone repairman showed up.

My Mom showed him how to get into the attic. Access was in the upstairs hall, in a giant closet that she used for her hats & purses. The shelves acted as steps, and the attic door was then easily lifted.

The phone man went up. He came down, got some tools & his flashlight, and went back up.

We never saw him again.

Somewhere around 6 another telephone company truck showed up. Someone got out and they drove the two trucks away.

And that was it.

We did find his flashlight, lying on the topmost shelf. We had it for years until it finally gave up the ghost and disappeared. My Mom may have thrown it away; she always said the house was 'damned'.

When they installed central AC, the installers had to go into the attic. They never found him, either.

What did happen to the telephone man? I have no idea.

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