Imagine the shock of receiving communication from a loved one who has passed. Such a thing is so fantastical that it can’t help but trigger a whirlwind of emotions within the recipient: nostalgia, longing, and downright confusion. This is exactly the predicament that Tim Hart found himself in in November of 2011.
The Jack Froese Emails Begin
32 year-old Jack Froese of Dunmore, Pennsylvania died in June of 2011. He had a heart arrhythmia, a condition that is usually not detected until it’s too late. Within his circle of friends, he was regarded as “the funny guy,” a master of sarcasm. No one was more familiar with Froese’s unique brand of humor than Tim Hart, his best friend.
In a 2012 BBC interview, Hart referred to Froese as his “right-hand man” and his “best friend.”
“We were inseparable all through high school,” he said.
Obviously, Hart was still in mourning five months later, when he received an email from Froese’s account. Its eerie subject line read, “I’m watching.” Utterly shocked, Hart opened the email, which contained the following:
“Did you hear me? I’m at your house. Clean your f***ing attic.”
An Inside Joke Between Jack Froese and Hart
Even in spite of Froese’s death, Hart couldn’t imagine anyone else who could’ve penned the email. It had Froese’s dark humor written all over it, and the reference to Hart’s attic had been an inside joke between the two friends for a long time. In fact, the second-to-last time the pair had ever seen each other, Froese had joked about how dirty Hart’s attic was; he even offered to clean it himself.
Hart responded to the email, but this was unfortunately the final communication he’d receive from his best friend’s account.
Jack Froese’s Cousin Receives an Email
Not long after Hart received his email, Jimmy McGraw—Froese’s cousin—received an email of his own, the subject line simply reading, “Hey Jim.”
The body of the email went as follows:
“How ya doing? I knew you were gonna break your ankle. Tried to warn you. Gotta be careful.
Tell Rock for me. Great song. Your welcome.
Couldn’t get through to him, his email didn’t work.”
Before this email was received, Froese’s friends and family were theorizing that perhaps Froese was more aware of his impending death than they thought: maybe he had automated the initial email to send after his passing. Such an action would line up with his sense of humor. Now, however, that theory was thrown entirely out the window.
There was no way that Froese could have known that his cousin would break his ankle. Also, the song that the email refers to is one that Froese’s other cousin Frank “Rock” Froese wrote about him following his death. Again, this is something he could never have predicted prior to dying.
The Jack Froese Emails: Fodder for Conspiracy
As soon as the story reached the attention of mainstream media, conspiracy theorists began to speculate that Froese was literally emailing his friends and family from beyond the grave. This theory was only further fueled by Rock’s insistence that Froese came to him in a dream to assist with writing the song.
“I was having trouble finishing the song, and Jack came to me in a dream. We sat down with guitars and a bottle of whiskey and finished the song. The next day, I woke up and played what we were playing in the dream.”
Believers in the paranormal went wild, pointing to this as evidence of the existence of ghosts. Even Jim McGraw was quoted as saying, “I’d like to think Jack sent it. 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.”
Of course, others searched for more plausible explanations.
Did Jack Froese’s Family Have Something to Do With the Emails?
Many questioned how it was possible that someone could have logged into Froese’s email account following his death, ignoring the possibility that perhaps he had never logged out himself. A friend or family member could have simply opened his computer, gone to his email (which he was already logged into), and sent the messages.
Suspicion as to who did such a thing is usually cast onto members of Froese’s family, who took the news of the emails surprisingly well. While most would consider hijacking a deceased person’s email to be a cruel and offensive joke, Froese’s mother said of the emails, “I thought they were fantastic, they were great… they made some people happy, they upset some people. But to me, that’s keeping people talking about him.”
Even Hart claimed, “If somebody’s joking around, I don’t care because I take it whatever way I want.”
Perhaps those close to Froese are merely just trying to preserve his legacy, and if this is true, it has certainly worked, as the mystery is still discussed to this day.
Do you have a theory on the Jack Froese emails? Let us know in the comments!