It’s night and you’re home alone. You’re about to continue binging on your favorite Netflix show when suddenly you hear it – an unexplained creepy sound. Maybe it’s scratching within the walls or the floorboards creaking above you. Or perhaps you smell something foul out of nowhere. Before you call your neighborhood exorcist, let us help you possibly debunk these spooky occurrences and why they’re happening. Here are the 9 most common creepy phenomena and their explanations:
Things That Go Bump in the Night
Rattles, clanks, creaks, and groans can unsettle any homeowner. Fortunately, you can rest easy knowing that many of these sounds naturally occur in any structure as it settles. Homes are built out of a variety of materials, and their expansions and contractions will often result in those spooky noises you’re hearing. You could very well be listening to the sounds of your baseboard heaters, hot water pipes, ductwork, or even your plumbing. You probably have nothing to worry about.
Something is Buzzing Like a Swarm of Flies
If you feel like you’re about to stumble upon a windowsill filled with the cacophonous buzzing of hundreds of flies like The Amityville Horror, don’t break out your flyswatter and holy water just yet. What you could be hearing may simply be your hard-working appliances. Unless these sounds are very loud, you more than likely don’t need to fret, but it never hurts to call a professional to check it out!
Scratching Sounds Behind the Walls
Could the claws of a demon be clicking surreptitiously within the wall behind your bed? Probably not, but it could very likely be errant mice, squirrels, or even bats. If you hear any skittering or scurrying within your walls, don’t call an exorcist yet – call a pest control professional.
Running Water When No One Else is Home
Either you have thirsty ghost on your hands or something’s up with your plumbing. What you’re hearing could indicate a burst pipe or what’s called a “phantom flush,” which is a very slow leak from your toilet’s tank into the bowl. If you hear running water when you shouldn’t, try shutting off the water main. If the sound stops, you’ll need to call a plumber.
Scary Hissing Sound
Your worst fears have finally come to life. You hear a malicious hissing noise, and you know that this time for sure that 40-foot snake from Anaconda will swoop down from the ceiling and consume you head-first. Actually, something scarier than a massive reptilian trespasser could be happening – if you hear hissing, you may have a gas leak on your hands! If you smell gas along with the hissing around your gas main, evacuate and call the gas company right away!
You’ve Discovered a Cold Spot
If you’ve stumbled across a cold spot in your home, you may immediately assume you’ve come into contact with an apparition with a message from the great beyond. A stronger possibility, however, is you’ve actually encountered an air leak (or have inadequate insulation). You can detect the air leak with the help of a lit candle. If the smoke blows sideways when you hold it up to a door, window, or wall, then you have a leak, which means you should weatherstrip that area.
Appliances Are Turning Off and On by Themselves
It’s laundry day, and as you’re casually tossing wet clothes into the dryer, the TV hidden in the corner suddenly turns on. Your mind blanks as images from The Ring come flooding in. You know you didn’t receive a phone call from a creepy girl who whispered a hushed “Seven days…” after you watched a nonsensical VHS tape, so what’s going on with the boob tube? It could be the work of a storm passing through causing a power surge. If not, you might have a defective switch or a loose circuit connection. It’s best to call a licensed electrician to check it out since these issues are a fire hazard!
Cabinets and Doors Open and Close on Their Own
It seems to happen every winter. After placing some delicious blueberry Pop Tarts in the toaster, you leave the kitchen for just a few seconds only to return and see your cabinet doors standing wide open. Nefarious ghost? Low relative humidity is more than likely the culprit. Drier air will shrink wood, which can make doors, cabinets, and drawers open on their own. You can help combat this with a trusty humidifier!
You’re Noticing Mysterious Foul Odors
A splash of perfume from owners long past. Faint cigarette smoke from your deceased uncle. The odiferous scent of something undead. Unexplained smells in your home can make anyone want to call a ghost-hunting team, but there could be an easier explanation. Your home could be a bit drafty, and odors from the outside could be slowly pouring in. Wet fiberglass present behind the walls can make things smell a bit musty. As for foul odors, you may have a recently-deceased rodent behind one of your walls (or you might need to really take out the trash this week).
Now that we’ve assuaged your fears, it’s time to address those issues with the help of a few professionals, especially if you’re gearing up to sell your home. Once you’re ready for the market, call your friends at BHHS Select Properties at (314) 835-6000. We take the fright out of the selling process!