Previously: The Playing Card Game.
The ritual game called the Telephone Game is less about calling a spirit to talk to them, and more about… well, it’s kind of like prank calling a spirit: If your efforts are successful and something picks up on the other end, you’re meant to hang up immediately, rather than to speak or ask questions. There isn’t really a winning condition and there’s no prize, so the only reason I can think to play this one is for the thrill, the bragging rights, or because you like to tempt fate.
Like many Japanese ritual games, this one circulated 2ch in 2008. It’s sometimes called 一人電話, or One Person Telephone, giving it a similar air as One-Person Chit Chat and One-Man Hide And Seek.
It’s curious to me that so many ghost stories center around technology. From EVPs to spirit photography, it’s frequently said that otherworldly beings find it easier to communicate through technological means. I can’t help but wonder if it’s because science has often seemed so inscrutable, particularly to laypeople; what’s perceived as a voice in the static could very well just be interference from an unknown source. The lack of knowing, I think, is what encourages these interpretations.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
Then again, though, maybe there’s more to it all than meets the eye or ear.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- A flashlight.
- A power object.
- A building with a landline telephone.
- In that building, a bathroom with a door that locks and a functioning toilet.
- A cell phone.
Making The Preparations:
- Begin after midnight.
- Clear the building of any other people or living creatures.
- Turn off all the lights in the building.
- Gather your supplies. Take them to the bathroom.
- Scatter salt outside the door to the bathroom.
- Enter the bathroom. Close and lock the door behind you. Keep your power object close by.
Making The Call:
- Turn on the flashlight. Shine it on the water in the bowl of the toilet.
- Focus your gaze on the surface of the water.
- Keeping the light shining and your focus on the water, use the cell phone to call the building’s landline.
- Let the phone ring.
- If Condition A occurs — that is, the call drops or gets cut off: Try again immediately.
- If Condition B occurs — that is, nothing happens: The ritual has not been successful. Try again another time. Proceed to Closing The Line, Step 1.
- If Condition C occurs — that is, you notice a change in the water or hear a noise from inside the house: DO NOT PROCEED. Hang up immediately. Locate the source(s) of the interruption(s) and scatter salt around them: If the water changed, scatter salt around the toilet; if you heard a noise, identify where it came from and scatter salt there; etc.
- If Condition D occurs — that is, the call is answered: The ritual has been successful. Hang up immediately. Proceed to Closing The Line, Step 1.
Closing The Line:
- Turn on the bathroom lights.
- Exit the bathroom.
- Turn on the building lights.
- Scatter salt around the landline telephone. If you have more than one phone in the house, scatter salt around each one.
- Henceforth, be careful when you answer the phone.
The power object is meant primarily as a passive form of protection: That is, it is not a guaranteed preventative, but it may help to limit the reach of anything… untoward. An object which is significant to you is recommended. Further information is available here, here, and here.
This ritual is not meant to be used to speak with a spirit. If this is what you are after, try The Shoebox Telephone or The Answer Man instead.
Concerning Conditions C And D:
If the ritual results in either of these outcomes, it is not recommended that you perform it again.
No one likes to be woken up or prank called over and over again.
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[Photo via PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay]
THE TELEPHONE GHOST says
I AM THE PHONE GHOST IF YOU DO THIS GAME I WILL SAY SOMETHING EVERY TIME YOU TRY TO CALL SOMEONE!!!!!!!!
What exactly is the point of this game? Call the phone, and hang up. Be careful around phones from then on. What do you do; curse all telephones in the building?
I will get Greyson to sue the ghost if it kills me says
I’m going to try this tonight. I’m so scared. I’m going to do it in the bathroom by myself while my boyfriend is sleeping. I hope nothing bad happens. I’ll just be careful whenever I call someone after I’m done. If I die I will leave a note telling him to sue the ghost killing me lol…..Anyways wish me the best.
are you still alive?
All I can think of is a ghost picking up the phone then being like, them dang humans messing with me all the time
Deadly Kitty says
I agree. Technology poking its head in the spirit realm can be a pretty bad idea, unless its a camera/camcorder. Otherwise, dont use it other than to call emergency services.
Can I use the flashlight on my cell phone as my flashlight?
Probably not. Keep in mind that in order to hear if the call has been answered, you’d have to hold the phone up to your ear and thereby take the light of the flashlight off of the water, rendering you unable to see. I can’t say for sure what will happen as a result, but I wouldn’t reccommend testing the theory..
Purple Girl The Horror Fan says
What do you mean by be careful when you answer the phone? The fool’s gonna call me back?
HA HA!!!!! Your comment made my day XD.
They might, since you did prank call them by playing the game and they could be mad.
What happens if you don’t hang up hang up immediately for Condition D? Can you talk to the spirit?
It’s not recommended, dude. It’s been written more than once that it is NOT recommended you communicate with who/whatever is on the other line. Unless you have a death wish of sorts or as mentioned above in the article, “like to tempt fate.” If you don’t hang up immediately as suggested by the instructions, expect bad shit to happen. 😐 I’m sure that if there was anything specific and certain that would happen if you tried such, it would have been included. But I’m sure anybody that has ever made such a move… was not in any condition to provide the details on what happens.
Jordan Robles says
What happens if you decide to stay on the line? I know it’s probably an easily answered question but I’m too scared to try the game. Could it be something similar to “Father” in the Hooded Man ritual?
You are calling someone after midnight, it doesn’t matter if the person is dead or alive… it is super annoying to deal with prank calls so late.
If you decide to stay in line you better have something super important to say, because they might look for you after that.
Meteor Girl says
Seems fun to try. I pranked called almost everyone in my apartment.
“It’s curious to me that so many ghost stories center around technology. From EVPs to spirit photography, it’s frequently said that otherworldly beings find it easier to communicate through technological means.”
This is a very interesting thought! But what about the rituals that warn against incorporating technology where it doesn’t seem to belong (e.g., using a rotary/landline telephone in The Hooded Man Ritual instead of a cordless or cellular; not streaming music during Musical Chairs Alone; using a flashlight during The Midnight Game; using a digital picture in The Stranger Ritual; etc.)? Is it the case that certain rituals just require different things, or can be interrupted by certain technologies? Or does it depend on the type of spirit being contacted? Or something else entirely?
Different ghosts, different rituals.
They most likely died in different conditions than the others.
Question, do I have to punch the number manually or can I put it in contact/speed dial? I mean, we have to focus on the toilet bowl, so typing while doing that might be difficult.