In a small town in Maine called London Flats an old lady named Elva Keene lives. She is wheelchair bound and has an attendant named Margaret who does her chores and makes her meals during the day then goes home for the night.
One night during a thunder storm, Elva is awakened at two a.m. by the phone ringing. But when she answers it all she can hear is static. After she hangs up the same thing happens again.
The next morning Elva calls up the telephone Operator and reports the odd calls. The Operator informs her that the thunder storm knocked out a number of phone lines and that repairs were ongoing. When Elva insists that something should be done about the calls the Operator tells her to call back if it happens again and the phone company would trace back the problem.
Several more times during the day and the following night strange calls occur. But the calls become more disturbing. First, she starts hearing a man moaning into the line. Then this man starts repeating the word “hello” over and over. Finally, the man started saying he wanted to talk to her and wanted to know where she was. At this last call Elva told him to leave her alone and stop calling her.
The next day the Operator calls Elva back and tells her that the problem has been traced to a downed line. But when Elva asked how the downed line was calling her the operator informed her that the line was inside the cemetery.
Elva has Margaret drive her to the cemetery and she confirms what she suspected. The downed line is on top of the grave of her departed fiancé, Brian. Elva tells Margaret that when she was engaged to Brian her personality so dominated him that he did whatever she wanted. One day while insisting on driving somewhere she crashed the car causing Brian’s death and her permanent paralysis.
But being as lonely as she is somehow Elva is encouraged by the contact from beyond the grave. When she gets home and after Margaret leaves for the day, Elva picks up the phone and calls to Brian. He doesn’t answer so she calls again and again. He finally answers her and tells her that he always listens to her and since she told him to leave her alone that is exactly what he will now do.
This is a good old creepy ghost story. The ending is a little off but the whole idea of the phone call from beyond the grave is excellent. I read that originally the ending was supposed to be that after finding out where the calls were coming from, she gets one last call where Brian tells her he’s on his way over to see her. Now with her alone in a wheel chair and, let’s say, the phones out of service, that would be one scary ending.
Regardless, this is a solid B+.