Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Voices Not His Own

Daniel Natal’s aunt heard him call to her from somewhere in the house. She walked from room to room, searching for him, but couldn’t find him – because he wasn’t there.

This incident marked the first time a member of Natal’s family heard a disembodied voice, but it would be far from the last.

“The second instance was related to me by a cousin who said that he heard me calling him from his upstairs bedroom,” Natal said.

Natal’s voice kept saying, “In here. In here.” As Natal’s cousin followed the voice, it led him to his bedroom closet. He opened the closet, but Natal was not there. He found Natal outside playing basketball.

Natal read a February “From the Shadows” that featured the story of a Lawson, Mo., family who often experience the disembodied voices of family members; they determined their incidents to be a form of telepathy.

“I’ve experienced extremely similar phenomena for some time,” Natal said. “In my own case, the facts don’t lead me down that path. It would appear to be far, far, far more complex.”

Unlike the Lawson family, Natal’s experiences with disembodied family voices moved from a simple beaconing to a conversation.

“This is where the pattern departs, and does so chillingly,” he said. “About six months after the first instances, I received a phone call from a friend in Idaho. She informed me, to my dismay, that she had just gotten off the phone with me.”

Natal hadn’t talked with this friend in eight months.

“She expressed skepticism, thinking I was pulling some prank,” Natal said. “I was adamant, though. I had not phoned her.”

However, she was just as adamant he had.

“But I just got off the phone with you,” she told him.

“Maybe it was someone who sounded like me,” he suggested.

“I think I would have been able to tell the difference after a 20-minute phone-conversation,” she said.

The thought of someone posing as Natal capable of holding a 20-minute telephone conversation with a friend shocked and somewhat frightened him.

“Whatever was imitating my voice had done so now for an extended period,” Natal said. “That event happened about 10 years ago, but the phenomenon hasn’t stopped.”

A number of years after the Idaho telephone call while Natal spent the weekend with his cousins in another city, his wife heard his voice in Center City Philadelphia.

“My wife reported that she heard me call her in broad daylight as she walked on the sidewalk,” Natal said. “She thought I must have come home early because someone with my voice used her nickname.”

His wife felt a hand touch her shoulder and, when she turned to greet her husband, no one was there.

“She found herself alone on the sidewalk, with the closest pedestrian being about 50 yards away,” Natal said. “No one was possibly close enough to have placed a hand on her shoulder.”

When they moved from Philadelphia to South Carolina, the phenomena followed them.

One day, as Natal lie in bed trying to drag more sleep out of the morning, someone poked him.

“Let me sleep,” he said, but the pokes continued. He opened his eyes and, through the open bathroom door, he saw his wife giggling to herself.

“The thing is, my wife doesn’t giggle,” Natal said. “And the time-lapse between the poking and her position in the bathroom didn’t allow sufficient seconds for her to have moved away so far. Something was definitely off, but I ignored it as I went back to sleep.”

This happened sometime after 10 a.m. When Natal finally got up from bed and walked downstairs to find his wife, it was around noon.

“Why did you keep poking me?” he asked her, then described the poking and giggling event.

She insisted she couldn’t have poked him; she hadn’t been upstairs since she woke at 8 a.m.

And the events continued.

In late winter 2010, a telephone ringing in the upstairs hallway shook Natal from sleep. He looked at the clock; it was 3 a.m.

“The first ring dislodged me from sleep,” he said. “So I was wide awake for the second, third and fourth rings.”

The rings bothered him. The rings belonged to a much older telephone – something Natal didn’t have in his house.

“A paranoid father, thinking a burglar might be in the house, I sat up,” he said. “Just then I heard someone answer the phone. It sounded like me. It was my voice.”

Natal checked the house, no intruders, nothing out of place, and his family still slept. It’s left him wondering what has intruded into his life, imitating him, imitating his wife.

“What the hell is going on? Inter-dimensional lapses? Mischievous imps? Mind-energy projected outward to create doppelgangers?” Natal said. “Whatever it is, it isn’t isolated to telepathy and assumptions of family-members coming home. It’s something far, far more complicated.”

Copyright 2010 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “What Lurks Beyond: The Paranormal in Your Backyard,” is available at Jason’s blog,


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a prankster on your hands. You make no mention of any incident where you were in danger, or felt threatened, so I'll assume this is some entity that is using the tools at hand, i.e. your own memories and nervous system.

As long as it continues with this pesky but not dangerous habit of joking, I'd take it in stride. If you feel it may be of sufficient intelligence to communicate with, let it know that you would prefer it not pull its shenanigans during the wee hours.

Lawrence said...

Actually these kind of "paranormal phonecalls", appear associated with haunting/paranormal like phenomena, it is not unprecedented. John Keel often complained of mysterious phone calls with his investigations esp relating to the famous West Virginia mothman affair. Rick Moran in his follow up investigation at Point Pleasant decades later into Mothmam received a similar " phone haunting". Of course this is all associated with the MIB phenomenon, itself a haunting/occult type mysterious phenomenon that I dare to say is largely misunderstood as literal govt agent type shennanigans or dismissed as nonsense. The occult/paraphysical angle is not taken seriously or even recognised in our day and age. It seems too magical and impossible in an age that no longer believes in magic and the extreme paranormal.

These kind of 'paranormal phone calls' have been reported by others over the decades, J Sarfatti the rather nutty scientist reported receiving these kind of phone calls as a kid predicting his future (supposedly these calls came from an onboard computer from a spaceship in the future!). No I do not think that true at all, I think that's nonsense if taken at face value, however if the phone calls were real they may well have been 'trickster calls' of the same paranormal type as the Keel/mothman calls. And this one blogged about here. Apparently (according to physicist S Paul Sirag's account) of the Sarfatti calls, Sarfatti may not have been the only future scientist to receive such paranormal calls as a youngster, but there may have been plenty others. In fact the phenomenon may be more widespread than we realise, most people who receive such calls would not recongise them for their 'haunting' nature and dismiss them as some kind of prank or some such, and that is that.

So what's going on? I don't pretend to know although I do have some ideas here, IF all this is indeed a geniune occult phenomena, I do think it is part of the same occult or paraphysical dynamic as MIB/black eyed children/hauntings/poltergeist etc. This raises more questions than it answers though and I do think ultimately, to oversimplify, that some kind of unconscious macro PK effect is involved, as bizarre and as extreme as this sounds. I think though that unless we really push the envelope with what we believe is possible, we are always going to misunderstand these Fortean phenomena, or dismiss them out of hand. There is so much to say here, really a massive encyclopedia is needed to do justice to this topic.

Other animist cultures where shamanism and the like were taken for granted would be more able to appreciate these kind of bizarre things and if not understand them better, at least recognise their paranormal reality better than our own modern Western culture which merely dismisses this kind of thing as superstition or nonsense.

borky said...

Jason, this isn't germane to this particular post, but it's definitely tangential to your territory.

I don't know if you're aware of or've been following the recent multiple shooting incident which occurred over here in the Lake District.

But here's the Daily Record of Scotland's account of the run in a nine year old kid called Jordan Williams had with the shooter, Derrick Bird, (I've capitalized the key part):

"I saw a man just coming up the hill on his bike.

"Then a crazy, like, taxi just came up and shot his back wheel and then shot him in the cheek.

"There was blood everywhere.
It spurted all down the cyclist's top. It was horrible.

"The crazy driver stared me in the eyes, and my mum. He looked a bit mad.

"He had his eyes like a hawk staring at something. HIS EYES WERE BLACK.

"We were like that for seven seconds but it felt a lot longer. I didn't run - I don't know why.
"I was scared - not of him but of the gun he had. He'd just shot a man in front of me.

"He just kept on driving and he just zoomed off."

This's just in case it's slipped under your radar.


Jason Offutt said...


Thanks for that information. I hadn't heard of all this. I've looked up the series of articles in the Daily Record. The paper just glossed over the comment about the killer's eyes being completely black. Interesting.

Again, thank you for the tip.