Based on the eponymous novella by Stephen King, Netflix’s horror film ‘Mr. Harrigan’s Phone’ follows Mr. John Harrigan, who hires Craig as his book reader. When Harrigan dies of heart disease, Craig gets shattered. He keeps the phone he has gifted to the businessman inside the latter’ coat before the burial happens and he continues to send voicemails and messages to the phone. Startling him severely, Craig receives text messages from Harrigan’s phone, which is very well buried with the latter’s dead body. Since the text messages play an integral part in Craig’s relationship with Harrigan even after the latter’s death, we have tried to decode the same for you. Let us share our thoughts regarding the texts! SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Does “C C C aa,” “a a. C C C x,” and “C C C s T” Mean?
After Harrigan’s death, Craig receives three text messages from the former’s phone. Right after the businessman’s death, he receives “C C C aa” from the phone. The next one, “a a. C C C x,” is received after the death of Kenny Yankovich, Craig’s bully. Craig receives the third one, “C C C s T,” after the death of Deane Whitmore, who has killed his beloved teacher Ms. Hart in an accident. After receiving the third message, Craig connects the dots to understand that “C C C s T” means “Craig Stop,” which indicates that Harrigan wants to put an end to their strange and consequential relationship.
Through the third message, Harrigan can be reminding Craig that the latter needs to stop their unnatural and unhealthy friendship for him to accept the old man’s death and move on from the same. As Craig indicates towards the end of the film, Harrigan may want his reader to not immerse in the pain of missing him and the old man must be expecting Craig to let go of him so that he can also finally accept death and rest. Like Craig interprets the third message, the first two can be decoded as well.
The first message, “C C C aa,” can mean “Craig ask anything,” which indicates Harrigan’s wish to look after him. Over the years, Craig and Harrigan have helped each other to deal with their similar grief of their mother’s death. Harrigan’s unexpected death suddenly puts an end to such emotional support. The ghost of Harrigan, if such a paranormal entity is behind the text messages, may want to offer his helping hand to Craig so that the latter wouldn’t feel emotionally alone and abandoned. The second message, “a a. C C C x,” can be a reaffirmation of the first message since Craig receives the same when he wants to know whether it was Harrigan who protected him from Kenny by killing the bully.
Having said that, these are only some of the possible explanations behind the text messages rather than the definite meaning. When an admirer of the source novella asked Stephen King whether Harrigan telling Craig to stop all three times, the author responded with an ambiguous answer that read, “Yes. Craig stop.” It is also possible that “C C C aa,” “a a. C C C x,” and “C C C s T” mean the same and it is “Craig stop.” “aa/a a” in the first two messages can be the sound or scream Harrigan produces while getting hurt by Craig’s reluctance to accept the businessman’s death and move on from him.
By continuously talking to Harrigan and aspiring his wishes to be fulfilled, Craig must be stopping the old man from finally resting in peace. The text messages can be Harrigan’s way of saying that boy should stop expecting him to be there for him.