I Hosted A Late Night Radio Show In College And I Received Some Creepy And Bizarre Phone Calls That Continue To Haunt Me Today

I cued up the next song (“Always Have, Always Will” by the Impossibles) and as it was about to finish, a guy named Eric who was stationed in the small office to the left of my booth and working as my combination producer/call-screener, looked at me through the window of his closed office door and held up a finger to signal that there was a caller on line one.

I tapped the blinking light on the phone and then set the line to feed into the guest mike input as I said, “Greetings! You’re on the air with [STATION NAME]. I’m Joel and you have the honor of being my very first caller, which officially makes you the coolest person anyone has ever known. May I ask who I’m speaking with?”

“Oh-um, Ellen. My name is Ellen. I was gonna ask if you could play ‘Wake Up, Maggie’ by Rod Stewart?”

“Excuse me?”

“’Wake up, Maggie’ by Rod Stew…”

“No, I heard you. It’s just that this is a college radio station, Ellen. We have an entire library of obscure and hard to find music of every genre and time period and you’re telling me THAT’S the song you called to request?”

“You don’t like Rod Stewart?”

“What do you think I am, a terrorist? I LOVE Rod Stewart. That’s not the point.”

“It’s just stuck in my head and I’m doing my rounds right now…”

“Your rounds? What are you, a doctor?”

Ellen scoffed at this and said, “I work security for an office park. I’m doing a floor-by-floor check and this place gets hell’a creepy at night. I was hoping that listening to some Rod would make me feel better.”

“You know what? Fair enough, Ellen. I apologize for giving you a hard time…”

“No, it’s okay. To be honest, it’s actual more comforting just having someone to talk to while I’m doing this.”

I stopped digging for the Rod Stewart album and turned back to the mic as I said, “Would you like me to stay on the line with you until you’re done?”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Eric turn and glare at me through the office door’s window but I pretended I didn’t notice and Ellen let out a relieved sigh as she replied, “That’d be amazing. Honestly, I’m still sort of recovering from something that happened on the job a few months ago. I’m a little on edge right now because it’s my first night back working and it was hard enough to convince them I was ready…”

“What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“It’s kind of a long story.”

“I got time…” Eric threw up his hands at this but I continued to act oblivious as I said, “Tell me a story.”

And that’s basically how it all started, which is pretty funny in retrospect. You know you spend half your life struggling and fighting for recognition, something to validate all of your hard work and effort, and the thing that ends up resonating with people comes from a throwaway line you said to a complete stranger because you were trying to fill air-time.

And so Ellen told me a story…

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About the author

Joel Farrelly

When Joel isn’t writing creepy-ass short stories, he can be found scripting and acting in subversive comedy sketches on YouTube. You can follow Joel on Twitter or support him on Patreon, if you’re into that.

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