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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Who you gonna call? The MobiTel Ghost

Who you gonna call? The MobiTel Ghost

Despite rumours of a 'MobiTel ghost' circulating inside Cambodia's wireless network,

MobiTel officials said their systems have shown a distinct lack of supernatural activity

recently.

Two of MobiTel's free-of-charge data numbers used for internet connections are rumoured

to house fearsome spirits. As a result, the numbers, which are connected to computer

modems, have received repeated phone calls from curious residents, the company reported.

MobiTel employee Michael Johnston, whose personal mobile phone number bares an unfortunate

similarity to the allegedly haunted data numbers, also started receiving phone calls

seeking paranormal contact around two months ago.

"They call up these everyday modem banks, and they think the sound it makes

is a ghost," he said.

As diallers grew accustomed to hearing only the sound of the internet connection,

or "the sound of death" as one MobiTel spokesman referred to it, Johnston

struck fear into the hearts of many callers when the 'ghost' actually answered though

in a strange New Zealand accent.

But Johnston dismissed the craze as a "gimmick". He said that some Cambodians

had even taken to text messaging the technologically savvy spirit.

A MobiTel spokesman speculated the numbers became so popular because of the sound's

similarity to traditional Khmer music heard at funerals and boxing matches.

"When the Khmer people dial the number, they hear the words eeeeeeeee, eeeeeeeeeeee,

eeeeeeeee oooooh, and they think it's the sound of death," he said. "The

Khmer are quite superstitious."

Initially, MobiTel officials were sceptical that Johnston's phone was receiving phone

calls from customers calling spirits.

"When [Johnston] told me about it, I didn't believe him, but then I picked up

the phone and they think I'm the MobiTel ghost as well," the spokesman said.

"Some of them get pretty scared when the ghost answers."

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