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Bizarre Glitch Causes People Across The Country To Receive Mysterious Texts From Their Contacts Overnight

Bizarre Glitch Causes People Across The Country To Receive Mysterious Texts From Their Contacts Overnight
Paula Daniëlse/Getty Images; @atoomey15 / Twitter

It's a week late, but a night of the living dead has struck the nation.

All over the United States, people have seen long dead conversations seemingly come back to life.

Random text messages from people having conversations they couldn't understand afflicted many earlier this week.

It began, as these stories often do, with confusion.

People were confused at these seemingly random text messages. When they asked the senders, the people on the other end of the digital connection equally bewildered, as they didn't send anything that night.

It wasn't limited to one carrier either. Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T customers all reported the issue.

However, there was a common thread. The messages were resurrected.

All the unexpected messages were originally sent on or around Valentine's day earlier this year, but failed to deliver.

While no official explanation was initially given, a third-party service for SMS processing was quickly deduced as the likely culprit.

Sprint said the error was caused by a "maintenance update." T-Mobile went a step further and blamed a "third party vendor" specifically.

Despite this, for a while we didn't know why only texts from February were sent, and why it only affected some people.

Seven months is a long time between the original intent of these messages and now. Relationships have ended. People have passed away.

A number of people online expressed concern at receiving messages about people they knew were no longer around. Others experienced worse and got a text from someone they knew had passed.

It's enough to put you on edge.

Not everyone experienced such deep wounds. Others just got awkward random messages. The text of a long dead conversation.

HuffPost finally got an explanation. Verizon Media, their parent company, pointed them in the direction of Syniverse, a telecommunication company that provides the precise third-party service we suspected.

They told HuffPost,

"During an internal maintenance cycle last night, 168,149 previously undelivered text messages were inadvertently sent to multiple mobile operators' subscribers."

While they wouldn't elaborate further, they did promise that internal protocols were being reviewed so this incident doesn't happen again.

Here's hoping that was the end of it.

Horror writer Stephen King's Cell: A Novel is available here.

"On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and graphic artist Clayton Riddell is visiting Boston, having just landed a deal that might finally enable him to make art instead of teaching it."
"But all those good feelings about the future change in a hurry thanks to a devastating phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse. The delivery method is a cell phone—everyone's cell phone."
"Now Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a relentless human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then begins to evolve."