There is something quite fascinating about being told of a number that is cursed or that will bring a supernatural entity into your life. For years, rumors have spread through texts, emails, youtube videos, and across playgrounds about certain actions or phrases that can be committed or uttered in order to create a paranormal experience.
And for many years people have continued to do them, whether it was for a practical joke or truly wanting to experience something out of this world. Whether it is repeating “Bloody Mary” in a mirror at night or seeking out an Ouija Board, the human population is obsessed with the unknown.
One way that this tradition has survived is through phone numbers and there is one in particular that has captivated an entire country. The story of the Bulgarian cursed phone number is an odd one but one that has resulted in the number being taken completely off the grid. This is the story of that number.
Unlucky For Some
It is not unusual to find hotels that do not have floor 13 or refuse to have room number 13 as they believe that it is bad luck, and that people will not stay there. It is along this line of thought that has resulted in the number 0888 888 888 being disconnected. A pattern began to emerge in the early 2000s of people dying when they owned this number.
The first owner of the number was the CEO of Mobitel, the phone company that originally issued the phone number. His name was Vladimir Grashnov. It was reported that he died of cancer in early 2001.
His cancer was attributed due to his exposure to radioactive materials. Rumors circulated that his business rival had exposed Vladimir to radiation and poisoned him. It seemed at the time a strange coincidence that he had received a new number and then died.
It is supposed that he went to the Netherlands to inspect his drug empire worth around $500 million. The rival Russian mafia gunned him down through jealousy. One of the few things found on Konstantin was his phone which had the number 0888 888 888.
The third man to die met his fate in 2005. This time the phone number had made its way to Bulgaria.
A businessman named Konstantin Dishliev had picked up the number quite recently when he was killed outside of an Indian restaurant. It was suspected that Konstantin was also involved in crime and that he was running a lucrative cocaine trafficking operation.
It was after this death that the number was suspended. Anyone who tries to reach the number now is greeted with the same message every time: “Outside Network Coverage”.
People have tried to reach out to Mobitel to see if they believed the rumors and that was why they had taken the number down. Their response though was that they do not discuss individual numbers. Whether they believed it or not, the phone number had a short history of which 3 of its owners died.
The Bulgarian story is odd and unusual, but it is not unique. There are plenty of other occurrences of this happening around the world. Horror films have made their money selling mysterious phone calls leading to tragic stories for many years. Here are a few more unexplained myths about phone numbers from around the world.
In the Asian country of Thailand, the number 999 9999 has made its mark as a death number. The legend suggests that if you wish to die then you should ring 999 9999 after midnight.
The story suggests that a person who wishes to meet their maker rings the number after midnight and then disappears. There has been little evidence of this being true and many people have claimed that this was a publicity stunt for a movie but who would be willing to take the risk?
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There is also an American number that is claimed to be haunted: 801 820 0263. However, unlike the others this is not an immediately deadly number, instead ringing this number appears to begin something strange.
It is claimed that answering this number will lead to hearing a man’s voice counting from one to seven. After this, they will hear their name called out followed by their exact location and what they are doing. People who have done it claimed it was like a ghost was standing right next to them.
Another phone number linked to Asia is the number 1 000 000. This is believed to be one of the most haunted numbers on the continent. It is supposed to be a call from the dead and for someone to see this number means that the dead are trying to reach them. It can be a relative or a friend.
People who have answered this number claim that a man would ask them to get 15 people to ring the number. If they failed to do so, then they would die. It has also been suggested that mental torment is one of the symptoms of answering this phone call. This is because talking to the dead is extremely traumatic. Many people in Asia refuse to even take the risk of answering the phone if they see a number like this.
No matter where in the world people look there is always a story of a mysterious phone number that leads to tragic ends if it is rung or answered. There is always a hint of truth in the stories such as with the Bulgarian phone number where people have actually died.
However, the likelihood of it being true is slim. Though the fascination stems from the fact that people can never prove whether it is true or not. The mystery will live on through rumors and conspiracies.
Top Image: Everyone who owned the cursed Bulgarian phone number died, and the number was eventually retired. Source: M-J Milloy / CC BY 2.0.
By Kurt Readman