Friday, July 21, 2017

Noises in the Dark

Upon occasion in my lifetime, I've awakened to hear myself fluently speaking an unknown language. The sound of my own voice easily speaking this dialect wakes me up and I cease. Other times, I have heard a phone ring that didn't actually ring, a cell phone make a notification sound of texting when the phone is turned off for the night, footsteps, a door slamming, voices, you name it. Most of us experience this and some of us investigate.

Nighttime is the time you are most likely to hear odd sounds in your home. It has nothing to do with the hours on the clock and more to do with the people in the home being still. Without the distractions of traffic, TVs, dishes clanking and people having conversations, all becomes quiet and every sound is suddenly heard. This is part of the reason ghost investigators work at night, to be able to discern light and shadows in the semidarkness and to hear that which is not caused by human intervention.

My childhood haunted estate had many nightly sounds. One of them was the infamous booted footsteps going up the creaky ancient stairs each night. They never happened when someone was still awake, only when the last person had gone to bed. 

Then, there was the "general" as I liked to call him. These sounds and disembodied voices came from my parent's room. Since the house had been used during the Civil War as a field hospital, it seemed to the listener as if there was a table with men around it having a meeting. A fist pounded, a chair slid back, voices met high-pitched fervor in argument and then went whisper quiet for a time. There was no rhyme or reason as to when this would occur but it seemed like almost every single time, it was when there was no one in the house except directly below in the front parlor. You could look at the ceiling and imagine the men around the table.

When we first moved in for the first few years, we had a 1 a.m. cannonball hit the house. My father would investigate while we kids clutched each other in the hallway upstairs. He never found a reason for the house-shaking boom, but then one time he was in the basement looking at the heating system when he saw an apparition. When the apparition disappeared, father noticed a strange lump in the wall. He felt it and tapped on it to find it was a metal cannonball. The original house did not have the porch added on in the 1900s. The cannonball during the Civil War must have gotten embedded. Water was dripping from it and so he decided to plaster over it. The sound was never heard again. In fact, in 2014, I was back at the house visiting and tapped on the wall to find the cannonball still embedded.

Those are only some of the sounds one hears in the nighttime. Are houses more active at night or do we simply hear that which was always there?  I believe it to be the latter. I had never noticed the sound the hot water heater made or the ice maker until I'm settled in bed.

There also might be another reason why we hear more at night, especially things of a paranormal nature. The very nature of us resting involves going into alpha brain waves state. That is the lovely drifting floating feeling with euphoria that you feel before you go into sleep state. It makes anxiety and stress go away but it also makes you receptive to all kinds of paranormal interaction, as your logical mind's guard is down and the intuitive and instinctive is in charge.

It's always hard to judge is sounds heard at night are actually happening or sleep-dream-related. I've sworn I woke up to hear the phone ring only to find it wasn't ringing. It was echoing in my head, not actually in the environment. Then, there is the exploding head syndrome when you are resting and all of a sudden it's like a loud bomb went off inside your head that startles you. 

If you suspect you are having sounds at night or you simply want to know what goes on when you are sleeping, an audio recorder set to sound activate is best. But, beware that when you do this, you may hear something and wonder if it was you turning in bed or talking to your partner as they got up to go to the bathroom, so setting up video is another option. Now, you can correlate what is going on. 

The ideal way to know if something was disembodied or a real-life sound is to have several recorders in different spots. Should you capture the weird sound or voice on one recorder and not the others, it is more likely this was not heard out loud in the night but something possibly of a paranormal nature.

Here are some options - ear plugs so you don't get distracted by sounds at night, a white noise generator to cover up any sounds or an audio recorder to capture sounds: 

There are some simple options to keep yourself from being jittery at night; set the radio or tv timer to turn off in a half hour and have that distraction or run a loud fan. 

Happy dreams and just know that 98% of what you hear at night has a very logical origin to it, whether it is something you set down and slipped in the sink over time, a heater that is perking up, floorboards that are shifting with temperature changes, or outdoor noises like trees scratching that sound like voices. 

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