Back in the 1980’s there was a phone prank that my sisters and I used to do when we were kids. It was known around the neighborhood that if you were to dial your own phone number, replace the first three digits with “555”, and then press the receiver down 3 times, the phone would ring back on its own. It had to be on a touch tone which were common back then.
We did the prank whenever we were bored, waiting to see our mother or father reach for the phone only to hear nobody on the other end. This sent us into huge laughs until one afternoon our mother yelled at us to stop messing with the phone. I remember this vividly because after she answered the phone I saw her face drain of color as she looked over at my sister and me. Her reaction upon slamming the phone down scared us and we promised never to play with the phone again. We must have done the “prank” a dozen times up to that point.
The last time I attempted the phone prank was at a friend’s house across the street during a sleepover. I picked up his phone and dialed 555-4127. I clicked the receiver down three times before I realized I just put my phone number after 555, and not my friend’s.
Before I have a chance to do it over again, the phone rings and I pick it up for my friend thinking it was a legit phone call.
He answers, “Hello?”
I can hear someone screaming back, “What did I tell you?! YOU’RE FUCKING DEA-!!”
My friend started crying and was so terrified and confused that his mother sent us all home. The thought of the phone as a dangerous thing suddenly became real.
Later on that night while I’m looking at my friend through the window, I see a man come up behind him. The light shuts off. It may have been his father, I wasn’t sure.
The next morning I called across the street and got a busy signal. I walked over and knocked, nobody came to the door. All of the cars were in the driveway though… he should still be home.
I walked around to the back of the house to see the back door wide open. I can see that they are in the living room watching tv. I enter the house. A voice is heard softly in the background, “If you’d like to make a call please hang up and dial again…” When I made my way to the living room I saw my friend and his parents all sitting on the couch staring through me with horrible purple expressions on their faces, phone cords wrapped tightly around all of their necks.
They tore the house down, nobody would move in there…
I asked my mother years later, looking at the empty lot across the street, about the phone call that made her yell at us that one day and she told me all she could hear was a man screaming in a very deep voice something about tracing the call next time someone called this number. It sounded like a recording with all of the static, but she wasn’t sure.