Caller in the House
Quick - Answer The Phone!
Just a Regular Babysitting Job
A responsible teen named Jenny was babysitting after school one afternoon, for a family that had made Jenny their regular babysitter over the past year. Jenny would sit with 2 children while the parents were out. The parents intended to be home by 10:30 or 11pm - their usual time of return when Jenny was babysitting - and they trusted Jenny to feed the kids and put them to bed before they arrived back home.
The 'job' was quite routine and nothing was out of the ordinary, except that when Jenny and the kids were finished supper and Jenny was washing up dishes, she received a strange phone call.
Once she picked up the phone and said, "Hello...hello...," several times, the person on the other end refused to talk. Jenny could tell that someone was, indeed, on the line, because she could faintly hear breathing. After a moment, she hung up the phone, figuring that maybe the person on the other end of the call had not recognized her voice as the one belonging to 'the lady of ths house.'
Without much further thought, Jenny tidied the kitchen up and went to the living room to watch TV with the children for a while before it was their bedtime. Just before it was time to put the kids to bed, and during the last television show the kids were permitted to watch, the phone rang.
Jenny picked up the phone and said, "Hello...hello..." but as before, the caller on the other end of the line did not say anything. Remembering the other call, Jenny, said, "are you looking for the Smiths? They'll be home in a little while...call back later."
Slightly annoyed at the phone call disturbance, Jenny was still able to brush off her frustration and watch the end of a tv program with the kids. When the bedtime hour rolled around, Jenny marched the kids to the washroom so they could brush their teeth, first - and while they did so, she selected a storytime book to read to them as she put them to bed.
The children enjoyed the story and since they slept in the same room, Jenny left the book behind for them to look at - a usual routine which seemed to please the kids as well as allow them to wind down in their own way at the end of the day. Jenny would return to their room later, retrieve the book and check to see that the kids were asleep.
Jenny went downstairs and planned to watch television 'til the kids' parent came home. After a little while, the telephone rang...
Remembering the previous 2 calls, Jenny approached the telephone with some minor hesitation...
"Hello...speak up this time!"
"Hello, Jenny...it's me, Mom." Jenny was relieved to hear her mother's voice instead of near silence and the faintest breathing sound like from the phone calls before.
Jenny's Mom had the good habit of phoning her daughter at least once during Jenny's babysitting hours - just to check on her and offer any support, should anything out of the ordinary be happening with Jenny and the kids.
Jenny was able to report that the kids had been well behaved and had eaten supper, watched tv for a while, then listened to a bedtime story and gone to bed without incident. At first, Jenny thought against telling her mother about the 2 strange phone calls, but as she still felt a bit unnerved by these, she finally told her mother about them. They both agreed that the caller might have dialed a wrong number a couple of times and - not recognizing Jenny's voice for the one expected, the caller might not have wanted to speak and embarrass him/herself. This made Jenny feel a little more settled, but her mother offered to phone around to the telephone company for her and find out if there was a way to trace where the call was coming from - just in case the caller needed some sort of re-direction if another call came in.
Jenny's mom promised to phone back within the half hour, and Jenny hung up the phone, quite relieved, after all, at her mother's offer.
The babysitter put the phone back in its cradle and got back into watching the television program she'd been interrupted from, but another interruption happened in her viewing experience as a news bulletin was suddenly broadcast over her show. Apparently, an incarcerated man known to be a vicious, indiscriminate killer had escaped from an institution a matter of hours ago...authorities has just now been able to get a cohesive story together to warn people about the danger in their midst within Jenny's local area.
The broadcast frightened Jenny, and she dashed to both the front and back doors to double-check that they were locked. She almost always kept both doors locked when babysitting and to her relief, she found them in locked state.
By the time she'd returned from checking the locked doors, Jenny's show was back on the air but she had some trouble following where the show had been...
Suddenly--- the phone rang again!
Realizing that a half hour surely hadn't passed since she talked to her mother, Jenny figured her mother must have forgotten to tell her something. Maybe her mother had just seen the emergency broadcast on tv and that's what she was going to talk about. Jenny picked up the handset quickly and said hello.
No response came from the caller on the other end of the connection. Just the sound of faint breathing was heard. This whole business of a caller who didn't speak was starting to really annoy Jenny! In her frustration, she commanded, "Stop calling." and set the phone down harshly on its cradle.
Before she could fully walk away, the phone rang...
Once she lifted the receiver, Jenny didn't even have time to say hello!
Her mother's voice - stern and loud:
"Jenny - Get OUT of the house right now - the phone company says the call is coming from inside the house! An escaped killer is on the loose - we think he's in the house - don't ask questions - just
...Get OUT of the house!"
Jenny responded obediently and immediately to the urgency in her mother's voice. She dropped the phone, turned and ran to the front door. As her shaking hands unlatched the lock, she thought she heard heavy footsteps behind her on the stairs, and as the lock unsprung, Jenny looked back over her shoulder...
And saw heavy boots descending the stairs, slowly...deliberately...
She turned the knob and heaved the door outward and began to run...
Self-Defense and Safety
Another Version Courtesy of "Lucas B."
This is further down in "Comments" but I'm copying it right into the hub because this is a GREAT VERSION of this urban legend.
Thanks, Lucas B., for sharing this story!
A girl was babysitting for a rich doctor who lived in the edge of a forest near a big city. One night as the doctor and wife were at a dinner party in town, the babysitter was sitting upstairs watching TV in the parent's room, the kids in their adjourning bedroom asleep. A call on the phone alarmed the babysitter and when she picked it up, she was further alarmed to hear laughing and a shrill, "I'm coming! Get out of the house!" The girl, thinking it was her boyfriend trying to scare her, shouted, "Knock it off Billy!" And hung up. Twice more the call was repeated, and the babysitter called the operator, who said she'd trace the call. The next call and the babysitter shouted at the shrill caller, "What do you want!" The voice echoed, "Doctor killed my kids! I'm gonna kill his!" The caller hung up.
Seconds later an alarmed operater called, "Get out of the house! The calls are coming from inside the house!" The babysitter rushed to the kids' bedroom, woke them, got them into their robes and slippers, and led them into the hall. Steps could be heard on the staircase. The babysitter rushed the kids to a low window and swung them and herself out it onto the overhang below. A last glimpse into the house showed an armed man rushing down the hallway toward them. Sirens flashed as the babysitter and the children were grabbed from below.
They slid into the armed of the sherrif as police stormed into the house.
Official Trailer, "When a Stranger Calls"
Spare Phone, Anyone?
Have you checked the children lately?
The "Caller in the House" urban legend with an unknown but 'audible' killer who taunts the babysitter has been such a successful story that it went to the big screen.
A movie about this legend was made, called, "When a Stranger Calls." (1979)
No, the main babysitter character is not named "Jenny" in this movie version of the scary story.
The babysitter in "When a Stranger Calls" is JILL!
And yes, Jill escapes from a killer who is hiding out in the house where she is babysitting. Well, she escapes - the first time, anyway...
When Jill is inside the house, a man calls her. Sometimes says nothing. Sometimes he asks, "Have you checked the children?" His calls are unnerving and persistent.
Frightened, Jill phones the police - who trace the call and find out that the weird calls are originating from within the same house that Jill is babysitting in.
The police rush over...in time for Jill to dash out of the house, in the nick of time and be protected by Leiutenant Clifford. The children Jill was babysitting weren't as fortunate as to have been rescued by the police. They were, indeed, murdered while Jill was babysitting and right before the killer started his phone taunts and began stalking Jill in the same house...
Unfortunately, 7 years after this heinous event - the child killer and babysitter stalker escapes from a mental institution...and attempts to begin where he left off before.
By this time, Jill is married and has a loving husband and children.
The same scenario that happened to Jill repeats...only the murderer is stalking Jill's children.
Ah, but I do not want to ruin the ending of this one...
Secluded Babysitter Version
In this version, the Babysitter (let's just call her Jenny again, shall we?) is babysitting in a very secluded location.
Jenny has had an uneventful time with the kids she has been babysitting. After the children are in bed upstairs and after Jenny has checked to see that they are sleeping soundly there, she settles on the couch downstairs and starts to watch tv - waiting for the parents to come home.
She receives a phone call and when she answers, someone on the other end of the line starts laughing...
Jenny takes this phone call to be a prank/crank call - some youngster up to no good, and she simply hangs up the phone.
A few minutes later, the phone rings again.
Again when Jenny says, "Hello..." she hears a person laughing on the other end.
After a few more of these calls, Jenny is very annoyed. She phones the local telephone company to report the strange calls and ask if the calls can be blocked so that the ringing of the phone doesn't disturb the kids' sleep in the house she is babysitting in.
The phone company employee agrees to check up on Jenny's request but says that first, a trace will be done on calls coming in to the said phone number.
While the operator is doing her checks, Jenny keeps receiving the strange phone calls. She keeps answering, saying hello, only to have the person on the other end of the line laugh at her - and the laughing starts to get more maniacal...
Finally, the operator phones back and says:
"Young Lady, get out of the house. The calls were traced - the calls are coming from somewhere inside the house - get out - GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!"
Just then, Jenny hears the maniacal laughter but not from the phone line this time - the laughing can be heard from somewhere in the house!
She bolts to the front door, opens it and runs!!
She is in an isolated rural home and so she runs outside and into the woods...
Where the maniacal laughter follows her...where the individual who made the phone calls and who killed the children upstairs right after Jenny put them to bed...where the individual who called Jenny and laughed after he killed the children...
...also stalks Jenny in the woods and kills her...
Original "When a Stranger Calls" pt 1 of 5
Viewing The Original "When a Stranger Calls" on You Tube:
You can view this movie in parts on You Tube. The intro segment has been permitted on You Tube, however, embedding has been restricted for some of the other segments but the entire movie is available in 12 segments.
I actually watched this original on You Tube while I was writing reviews for the movie on other sites where I write articles and the multiple breaks are PERFECT when doing movie reviews. I watch many movies in this manner and although most people get annoyed at the multiple breaks in the viewing experience, I find the breaks allow me time to refresh my coffee or make a tea, get some notes made between scenes, etc.
Both Versions are on You Tube in segments - the Original from 1979 and the Remake from 2006.