back to article Dead wife contacts Lancs man via SMS

A Lancashire man whose house has a chilling reputation for poltergeist activity claims he is being haunted by text messages from his dead wife, the Blackpool Gazette reports. Frank Jones, 59, was obliged 12 years ago to have his home in Windsor Avenue, Thornton, exorcised after a malevolent spirit dubbed "The Thing", which had …


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  1. M Brown

    Not even death

    will stop the nagging of a wife. And who buries people with their phones anyway? What would they possibly do? Ring ahead of time to book a good place in the beyond? or make prank calls to people to mess them up?

  2. Jason Edmunds

    What network is she on?

    I can't get a bloody signal at my desk, never mind from 6 feet under!

  3. Anonymous Coward


    They can see which number she is texting him from?

    And how does she pay her phone bill from the other side?

  4. Anonymous Coward


    'Then one night I was lying in bed and a mist came across the room. I wanted to shout out at it, but I couldn't get my words out. My face seemed to be paralysed. It all got too much for me when that happened.'

    I've suffered from this experience on and off for years in many different houses... it's called Hypnogogic Sleep Paralysis, and is apparently quite common. It's the opposite of sleep walking in that your brain wakes up but your body doesnt, where as sleep walking is where your body wakes up but your brain is still dreaming, so you act out your dream (night terrors are also like this). HSP is probably one of the main causes for Alien abduction experiences... it's been around for centuries, people of yore used to talk about succubus and being hag-ridden.

    Move along now, nothing to see here...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    "No number"

    Have the phone companies looked into this? Can we see an example message? Surely some engineer could run a diagnostic on the phone - messages can't just spontaneously appear. I'd like to actually see some PROOF for one of these stories.

  6. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Surely...

    She's on pay as you ghost.

  7. Andy Bell

    Colour me sceptical

    Lets see some pics of said SMS messages on the phone in question, and someone from the mobile company confirming no SMS messages sent to that phone at that time.

    Until then its just some jolly japer sending prank texts to this poor chap.

  8. Rob Crawford

    Possibly the

    SMS messages say "I'm not dead get me out of here"

    Still I wish my phone has such a good standby time !

    And as soon as I read the description I thought "yeah it's definately sleep paralysis" It's been documented through almost every society as the old hag, alien abductions and ghosts.

  9. dav


    Why do these people keep getting press attention?

  10. Ian

    Isn't it just so easy... put things down to the unprovable.

    It's amazing how some people get ideas into their head and start associating them no matter how illogical and the fact there's a lack of evidence to prove the point.

    Someone lost their son and their wife that smoked heavily within 3 months of each other? I lost both my grandparents within 2 weeks of each other last year but it was hardly a ghostly incident, it was just unfortunate that they were both at that point of their lives where they didn't have long left. For some people this is earlier, some this is later in their lives but ghosts have nothing to do with it.

    He says he's seeing things and smelling things at night particularly? Well yeah, people are prone to this when they're tired, when they're woken up from dreaming and stuff.

    As for the text messages, he himself just says he presumes they're from his wife, it could be someone playing a prank because they know how gullible he is! Here's an idea, get your phone provider to block the sender if they can't tell you who it is. Inform the deceased wife's provider that that number is no longer in use if you're that concerned.

    It's pretty clear this is a guy who has suffered two tragic losses but is also extremely gullible, the combination leads to him believing what he wants to believe whether consciously or subconsciously, either way it's obvious there's nothing in this story to show it deserves any amount of credibility and certainly nothing unexplainable with simple common sense.

  11. jai

    @Sarah Bee

    rofl - oh very good - that's sheer genius

  12. PaulK
    Thumb Down

    Utter shite

    The local rag published this on April 2nd - they couldn't even get that bit right...

  13. Steve


    I dread to think what the roaming charges are from the other side. She's probably already pawned her families souls to pay for it...


  14. Anonymous Coward

    Re: "Phone Numer"

    Actually, checking the phone won't help. If a SMS message has being retrieved without source phone number, it won't help.

    The real check should be done in the Carrier's SMS servers as they have the original phone number who sent the SMS.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    What make of phone?

    Bets on it being something easily hacked? Say with code which makes it appear to receive texts?

  16. Daniel Wilkie

    @Sarah Bee & Jai

    I'm afraid I must disagree, that was truly terrible... And it's not even a Monday morning where such assaults upon humour could be excused. Hang your head in shame.

    On another note, forget paying the bill, where does she charge her phone?

  17. Ian Davies
    Thumb Up

    @Sarah Bee

    [applause applause]

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    i'd hate to see the phone charges on those things.....

    Nice little roaming contract methinks :P

    Paris because she would probably take her phone to the grave too.

  19. John Donovan

    @M Brown

    What's wrong with being buried with your mobile phone? People have been buried with their prized posessions for thousands of years. It's an act of respect by the living to the dead to put in the grave that which they feel represents the deceased.

    I for one would like to be buried with my 10th century reenactment gear, just to confuse future archaeologists.

  20. hi_robb

    Network providor

    Shame this isn't U.S based, they could use Sprit as their service providor

  21. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee & Jai

    Ach. If you've got it, haunt it.

  22. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @M Brown

    >>>I for one would like to be buried with my 10th century reenactment gear, just to confuse future archaeologists.

    *spits out tea*

    Yeah, I know, me and my relatively subtle sense of humour are being slowly ground down.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is possible for an employee of a mobile phone operator to send texts with any number they want, at least it is from where I'm working. If he has mates that work for one of these then he should have a word with them, especially if they knew his wife was buried with her mobe.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    >> ... both my grandparents ...

    You must have a close family.

  25. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Sarah Bee

    Spook Messaging Service. You get 200 free a month on that tariff.....

    The white sheet with the eyeholes thanks.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'd be even more spooked/Impressed.

    If it would have been a 3G video call..

    Paris as you can bet she has sent some "intresting" texts in her day

  27. John Delaney

    Isn't it amazing...

    ...that in this day and age, where world + dog owns some sort of camera, that nobody has ever snapped or filmed convincing evidence of ghostly events taking place?

  28. Paul Naylor

    What was in the message?

    Jones says his family has since received strange SMS messages which they believe to be from Sadie. He concluded: "She always had a mobile with her. We buried her with her phone

    What did the messages say? "LET ME OUT, I CAN'T BREATHE IN HERE!!!"

    Mine's the one with the holy water, crucifx and copy of the the Exorcist in the pockets...

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Same thing happened to my wife!

    "The Thing had "pulled at their bed covers while they were asleep" and that they "sensed a vile smell and felt something breathing in their ears""

    Last Friday, I think it was.

  30. Alex Cooper


    Thought everyone knew about the SMS service in the afterlife, Spooky Messaging Service.

    Just try replying to one though, you don't have a ghost of a chance.

  31. James Haley

    @John Donovan

    10th century re-enactment gear and your mobile phone? that would really mess things up!

  32. Pete Wood

    There's a simpler explanation....

    => The Thing had "pulled at their bed covers while they were asleep"

    => and that they "sensed a vile smell and felt something breathing in

    => their ears".......there was a lot of banging and an earthy smell in

    => the house.

    Had they not lived with a pet cat before?

    Mine's the one with the muddy paw prints and the dead mouse tucked up the sleeve.....

  33. Anonymous Coward


    You've clearly got bored with daytime TV. Haven't you got a job to go to?

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. James Pickett


    Impressive battery (after)life...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Sarah Bee, et al.

    It looks like this is degrading into a reunion of the script writers for Rent-A-Ghost.

  37. tim


    Doesn't having your phone buried with you contravene WEEE?

  38. Anonymous Coward

    not churning in her grave

    With that battery life it must be a Nokia 6310

    A shame nobody could get MMS to work in 2002

    Nothing wrong with being buried with your phone, but please remember to remove the battery before a cremation.

    A heart cos everyone loved the 6310

  39. andy gibson

    @ sarah bee

    I thought she was on o2ooooooooooooo (said in a ghostly manner)

  40. Sam Liddicott

    The logical

    To be totally balanced: I'm surprised at the number of people who insist that the logical solution is that there isn't some dead ghost hanging around.

    Am I wildly speculating when I suppose that no-one who has responded has any experience with being dead?

    I know I haven't, but that doesn't push me to draw un-neccessary conclusions when there clearly is not enough evidence.

    Some people really just don't want there to be any dead ghosts hanging around - and I can see why.

    It just makes me laugh when they pretend they are being logical and rational about it.

    I remember Zaphod Beeblbroxe's seance (which is funny because that IS a fiction) with his grandad who said: "The only reason I'm helping you know is because I couldn't bear to have you and your modern friends lounging around up here"

    Mine's the cloak of invisibility.


  41. JeffyPooh

    Always in houses with hot water heating...

    Many haunted houses have been cured by simply draining the air bubbles out of the (inevitable) hot water heating system.

    Houses with electric heat are never haunted.

  42. Sacha TF Padovani

    @D. Wilkie

    Must be one of those new gas-powered fuel cell thingies... plus, she's effectively sequestering underground the excess methane.

    Spooky, tech-savvy, and eco-friendly!

  43. Secretgeek

    Don't I know you?

    Taking the covers, a vile smell and someone breathing in your ear?

    I see the media have been interviewing my girlfriend again.

  44. g e

    Sarah Bee you rock

    ... but if I die laffing I'll rattle me chains at ya from beyond ;o)

  45. Andrew

    @Sam Liddicott

    Show me evidence of ghosts and I'll concede that there are ghosts.


    No evidence == no ghosts as far as I'm concerned.

    It's pretty straightforward really - no 'belief' either way necessary.

    Laugh at that logic :-P

  46. michael


    pulled at their bed covers while they were asleep" and that they "sensed a vile smell and felt something breathing in their ears".

    sounds like my cat when he wants feeding

  47. Luther Blissett

    Mrs Blisset

    Has poltergeist facilities - nothing I can't handle. (So far, touch wood, ha you thought I was being serious). Now let's see, are there any UFOs or alien abduction claims predating Hiroshima? I haven't seen any. So I will make a prediction, in the best spirit of rational science (if anyone remembers that before it was struck by the fetid cold breath of postmodernism).

    The UFOs will start coming down in large numbers. When you are crapping your pants, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters? The Vatican? You'd be better calling amanfromMars (ha you thought I was joking).

  48. david wilson


    >>The Thing had "pulled at their bed covers while they were asleep"

    How did they know?

  49. Seanie Ryan

    @Sam Liddicott

    "Am I wildly speculating when I suppose that no-one who has responded has any experience with being dead?"

    i was dead once but i got better.

    boo !

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Sarah Bee

    Well-played, madam. Well-played.

  51. Steve

    @Sam Liddicott

    "Some people really just don't want there to be any dead ghosts hanging around - and I can see why."

    Actually, the reason I don't want there to be ghosts hanging around is that it would involve the creation of a new force by which this ghost can interact with everyday matter and light.

    This would be in contravention of everything we know about physics and I'd probably have to hand my degrees back when it turned out that the last few hundred years of experiment and observation had all managed to screw up the results. It's just coincidence that they always srewed up in exactly the same way so all of the results agreed with each other and pointed towards a coherent model of matter.

    We could also kiss goodbye to Conservation of Energy which would fuck up everything.

    Given that I have personally performed and observed the experiments that lead to my conclusion that ghosts cannot exist, please explain where my logic or rationality are failing.

    "It just makes me laugh when they pretend they are being logical and rational about it."

    Funny, that's pretty much what I thought about your comments.

  52. Peter Kay

    Vile smell, and breathing in ears

    Is that all?

    If you've not had the cat toy being dropped on your head, or the teeth/claws on your feet/having your head/ears batted it doesn't count.

  53. Sam Liddicott

    @Andrew @Steve

    I never made a case for ghosts, I merely commented on the number of people who seem anxious to make a case against them.

    My case is that there is no need to make a case, especially on what little evidence there is.

    Andrew: you're making a straw man; why do you feel the need to do this? All you've really done is more closely define ghosts "should they exist"

    By all means say there is no case for ghosts, it's just funny watching people make the case that there aren't.

  54. DirkGently


    Many people are anxious to make a case against them because they are sick and tired of hysterical idiots encouraging other idiots, so that our society becomes littered with airy fairy nonsense rather than rational thought and reasoning.

  55. G Fan

    Vile smell, loud breathing, bed covers

    ... Mrs Fan and I are the proud owners of a baby. When the baby was new, it used to do this. The smells were... very vile.

  56. A J Stiles

    Some people just want to believe crap

    Some people just want to believe crap.

    When the original corn circle hoaxers admitted their deception on TV, there were still people who refused to believe they were fakes. (I had earlier mentioned to someone how I had noticed that most of the circles appeared to occur within a few miles of a university and asked her what she thought that might imply ..... she said, without a trace of irony, that the aliens must be seeking out centres of knowledge.)

    Then there are the Creationists who invent absurd hypotheses to explain how the universe could be only 6000 years old in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and how all those animals could fit on a 150-metre wooden boat for 40 days.

    Don't confuse impossible with merely improbable.

  57. Sam Liddicott


    What a lovely symmetric explanation: the educated nonsense cancels out the un-educated nonsense - an ignorant appeal to the ignorant, so to speak.

    and from my POV there isn't even any real need to tell which is which.

    - and with both sides of such equal fervour, it's hard to believe that only one of the sides makes their case from real belief and the other merely for political reasons.

    Which was my point; except that at least the pro-ghosts think they have some kind of evidence, but the champions of rationality try and prove a negative by disproving the evidence, which hardly helps the cause of rationality.

  58. Pete Wood

    @Sam Liddicott

    Errr, no I wasn't trying to be rational, pro or anti- ghost, when I titled my contribution "There's a simpler explanation...". I was just trying to make a joke about cats. Which at least a few people have spotted, I'm happy to say.

    As a rational engineer sort of person, I can't believe in ghosts. However, I do believe that I grew up, many years ago, with a poltergeist. I'm therefore confused. So cat jokes are good....


  59. Tim Donovan

    Text message

    Perhaps the text actually said:

    'I'm not quite dead yet'

    Mine's the one with the proton pack...

  60. Sam Liddicott

    @Pete Wood

    I thought your post was both rational and humorous. I don't think I addressed your post so now I'm confused....

    Skill and Crossbones cos there's a ghost of a chance that this support call will end before 5.00pm and then I can go home

  61. mewol

    @Sam Lidcott

    "Which was my point; except that at least the pro-ghosts think they have some kind of evidence, but the champions of rationality try and prove a negative by disproving the evidence, which hardly helps the cause of rationality."


    Saying there are more likely to be rational explanations is FAR from trying to prove a negative. There's no need to disprove their story, because it's nonsense. But since many of us are not big fans of nonsense, people offer alternative explanations that are based in reality and not some fairy tale. If it turns out the fairy tale is true, then great, but it's up to them to prove it.

    Or we could change to your mindset in which apparently every conceivable explanation is equally valid and we all ignore the accumulation of human knowledge over the past several millenia.

    Since that seems fun, I propose that it was invisible leprechaun astronauts. They're well-known for their foul breath and love of phone phreaking.

  62. StopthePropaganda

    only one Network folows you to the Beyond:

    "Horrizon! We will never, NEVER stop hunting you!"

    -with apologies to TKT :)

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sleep paralysis

    The misty bed thing sounds like sleep paralysis. I get it once or twice a year, it is truly terrifying. Usually I'll think that I'm awake in my bed and that someone is smashing the door down or actually in the room attacking me. You don't know that you aren't awake, it is a lot more real than a normal dream, you are also totally paralised, because that part of sleep is still working normally, but your eyes are open and seeing (I think, it's hard to tell) whilst you are dreaming.

    I can certainly see how this accounts for a lot of alien abduction/ghost stories, I guess that I'm lucky in that when I wake up it is obvious I've been dreaming. I still end up having to check to see if whoever was "attacking" me has somehow run off. It fucks your morning up.

  64. Charles Hammond

    Cell Phone Bill From the Beyond

    But sir, I did not make these phone calls it is my wife calling from the beyond!

  65. Faramir

    Yes it's weird

    What a way to go! You know, this is giving me an idea about how to leave the world with a bang. And it all starts with an sms a day, triggered by something else. It could be worth a try.

    pick me up -

  66. Eric Pinkerton

    I think the Register should have an SMS from the grave competition!

    Have Arrived Safely, It's Hot as Hell down here......See you on Thursday!

  67. tony trolle

    arrr 67

    saw there was 66 comments only 600/ sorry 599 to go.

    BTW did you know the title has to start with a letter?

  68. Robert Newby


    no it doesn't. :)

  69. Neil Jones


    Cue Dom Joly....

    "I'M IN A COFFIN!"

  70. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it said...


  71. Matth
    Jobs Horns

    Sounds a bit fishy!

    It does indeed sound like Hypnogogic Sleep Paralysis to me, as HSP points out. I have a sinking feeling though, that this gentleman has become prey of a rather immoral bully. There is a very simple, but little known method for sending SMS to a GSM phone without showing where it came from. The added bonus in this method, is that as soon as you move away from the SMS it is instantly deleted. There are a few devices this doesn't work with. I'm tempted to reveal the method to the world, but I fear it may put an end to a whole lot of fun I enjoy. It also comes in rather useful in a "Magicians" style "your dead father wants you to sleep with me" operation; I don't to risk my bed post's future.

  72. Matth
    Jobs Horns


    Damn it, I hate it when I typo. No edit function either. I missed out the word "want" there, as well as quoting HSP? I mean't to refer to the Anonymous Coward. That'll teach me to wake and bake.

  73. Stuart Halliday

    Don't be stupid

    People love making this stuff up.

    Pretty obvious that the undertaker has nicked the phone SIM and is using it via email.

    People though that the Dead could 'talk' through the wired telegraph back in the 19th century and I bet there were people claiming their lost dearest talked via smoke signals further back.

    Funny how as each new technology comes along only the recently deceased seem to make use it. You don't get messages from Arthur Conan Doyle or Harry Houdini using mobile phones even though the dead in heaven are suppose to become enlightened about 'everything'.

    Odd that.

  74. Steve

    @ Don't be stupid

    "You don't get messages from Arthur Conan Doyle or Harry Houdini using mobile phones even though the dead in heaven are suppose to become enlightened about 'everything'."

    Actually, that would be a perfectly good explanation for why they *don't* bother to contact us. They call up to explain that we are all one and there is no more need for war and suffering and all we want to know is next week's lottery numbers and who'll win "Celebrity Ballroom Ice Dance Island Factor".

    Put yourself in their shoes - would you call us?

  75. Fred

    Only 1..

    Girl on here.. gosh :(

    Sarahs getting alot of attention... glad the wive goes to sleep when i read her stuff from El Reg!!!

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