Ghostwriter? Mysterious Emails Sent From Beyond the Grave
Grieving friends and family members of a deceased Pennsylvania man were both spooked and comforted when they suddenly received mysterious posthumous emails from his account.
The BBC reports that Jack Froese, 32, of Dunmore, Pa., died suddenly of a heart arrhythmia in June 2011.
Five months after Froese's death, his best friend Tim Hart said he received an email from Froese's account, with the subject line, "I'm Watching."
"One night in November, I was sitting on my couch, going through my emails on my phone and it popped up, 'sender: Jack Froese.' I turned ghost white when I read it," Hart told the BBC. "It was very quick and short but to a point that only Jack and I could relate on."
Inside the email was the message: "Did you hear me? I'm at your house. Clean your f-ing attic!!!"
Before Froese died, Hart said the two had been alone in Hart's attic, talking about what to do with the space.
"Just he and I up there," Hart said. "That's it."
Froese's cousin Jimmy McGraw also claimed he received a posthumous email from Froese in November, telling him, "I knew you were going to break your ankle, tried to warn you, gotta be careful."
McGraw said he had broken his ankle about a week before he got the email.
"I'd like to say Jack sent it, just because I look at it as he's gone, but he's still trying to connect with me. Trying to tell me to move along, to feel better," McGraw told the BBC.
The source of the emails is still a mystery. Froese's friends say no one had his password and they don't believe the account was hacked. Hart said he thought Froese's mother had been sending them, but when he asked her about it she said, "Think what you want about it, or accept it as a gift."
Receiving mysterious messages from beyond the grave has been reported many times before, but usually it has been a case of a hacker abusing a deceased person's account or a spamming issue. And it hasn't always been a rosy experience for those still alive.
In December 2011, Cassie Woods of Stafford, Va., told ABC News she "freaked and cried" when she received an email from her late mother two years after she has died. Paula Chase's email account had been hacked and was sending out spam messages to everyone in her address book, including Woods and her two sisters.
"I was kind of hysterical at that point and then [the email arrived on my] phone and I fell to the floor," Woods said at the time. "I'm still struggling with [her] death."
There are also websites that allow someone to creepily send emails to loved ones after they are gone, including Death Switch and GreatGoodbye. Both sites let you write emails to certain individuals, and save them as drafts, which then will be automatically sent if your account is inactive for several weeks.
And yes, there's even an app to help you electronically haunt people. A Facebook application called "ifidie" allows the Facebook user to select three friends as "trustees" who will be responsible for verifying the death to Facebook. Once that's done, pre-drafted messages will go out in whatever manner was pre-determined.
Whether Froese did set up such messages remains to be seen. Some may say that's highly unlikely given his unexpected death. But for now his friends and family seem to have found peace in his communicating with them, even from beyond the grave.
"If somebody is messing around, I don't care," Hart told the BBC. "I take it for what I want."